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For your next corporate or private function - from the more cosy to the large scale event. These functions can be a "never-forget moment" - hopefully a memorable event that will make your clients remember you fondly. You don't want to be remembered for not having any spoons to go with their soup!
The successful caterer has to be extremely organised to handle any sort of function. In the rush to get to the event on time, a lot of items can be overlooked, and for that reason, we have created a 7 point Catering Equipment Checklist for you.
Let's start with the obvious, for a sit-down meal you'll need dinner plates, bread plates, and salad plates. If you're serving a soup course - soup bowls. You'll need water glasses and wine glasses if wine is being served, coffee cups with saucers, and utensils. Remember to bring a few extra utensils as well. Next are the tablecloths, napkins, placemats, and centerpieces. Remember to include the little extras like salt and pepper, sugar and butter in attractive holders.
You'll have to get your wonderfully prepared food and drink to those seated guests, so don't forget serving trays, bus tubs, and water pitchers. In fact, you'll want extra bus tubs to hold those dirty dishes after each serving has been cleared.
You'll need the same items if you're serving a buffet, but placement will be different and you'll require a few extras on hand. It's more common for items to be inadvertently dropped or broken in a buffet setting. Off-premise catering equipment may also be required such as a Chafing Dish or Bain Marie to keep food warm. You'll need tongs and large spoons for serving, as well as at least one sharp knife. That turkey, ham, or roast beef will require a cutting board, and make sure you have something tucked away nearby to clean up any messes on the spot. And don't forget that buffet tables need decorations, too.
This is where your Beverage Dispensers come in handy. A coffee machine, hot water urn or beverage dispenser. Iced tubs for cold drinks are important, and you'll need an assortment of glasses, coffee cups or mugs. Add a variety of teas and cocoa, and sugar and dairy packets. A tidy wastebasket somewhere nearby for guests to toss their trash is a great touch and makes cleanup a lot easier for your staff.
Take along garbage bags to hold dirty linens and disposable containers for food storage or for left-overs. That cooler will come in handy here as well. Don't forget plastic wrap, tin foil, hand sanitizer, paper towels, disposable bags to cart off trash and garbage.
One of the most common pitfalls involved in catering is taking your customer's word for it about how many mouths you're going to feed. In many cases, they'll give you numbers before all their RSVPs are accounted for. It's always better to have too much of everything on hand than to run out at a critical time.
Keep the list in your event-planning book and make a copy for all staff who are helping you with the function. Check items off as each person is preparing to load up. Have everyone mark off those items for which they're personally responsible. Then have everyone compare their copies to make sure everything is in place.
SOURCE / Inspiration: Catering Equipment Checklist for Small and Large Parties