Think Like a Caterer – Advice for Your Next Event


Everyone needs to plan an event now and then. Occasions such as birthday parties, family dinners, and office lunches pop up and require even the most unlikely candidates to step in and be party planners. When you find yourself needing to be the host, here are a few things you can do to think like a caterer:

  • Plan, Plan, Plan. Caterers make lots of plans. They plan out the menu, the seating, and the decorations. Caterers carefully consider each aspect of the event, from transportation and serving all the way to cleaning up to make certain they're prepared for each moment. Use lists extensively for everything like the menu, utensils, and groceries.
  • Make a Schedule. Yes, this is still planning, but it's so important that it needs special mention. Caterers know that they can't do everything for an event on one day, so they plan (there's that word again) to do tasks ahead of time. Make a calendar to schedule shopping days, prep days, and cooking days, as well as days to prep the venue and pull together decorations. Map it out so you don't have to everything all at once.
  • Edit. Possibly the biggest mistake you can make in planning an event is to make it too complicated. If something in your plans feels like it might be too much work, reconsider it. Can you outsource it or even eliminate it? Don't hesitate to ask for help and don't shy away from simplification. This is especially important if you're going to attend the event as well; you won't enjoy yourself at all if you've bitten off more than you can chew.
  • Even the most inexperienced host can pull off a memorable party with a bit of planning, careful scheduling, and a lot of editing.

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