Whether you’re just getting started in the industry or you’re a lifetime vet, you undoubtedly will run into this issue at some point: You arrive to a catering event without necessary equipment or tools.
The best way to stay organized and have everything you need is to create an inventory and checklist of every item for your event. This includes items that you may only potentially need. There are plenty of items you can overlook if you don’t have the list… forks, napkins, salt shakers, etc. Of course, there are ways to make up for this after the fact. You could run back to the restaurant or go to the local store. But you never want to count on that. Not only will it put you out, but your client will most definitely notice – even if you think they don’t! Preparing a detailed checklist before any event is a must. It will prove to be an enormous time-saver.
You will also need to note the differences in checklists. For example, your checklist for a full service event will be different than for an open sales event. You will also need to communicate to your client, and possibly the venue you’re catering to, to make sure that you absolutely have everything you need before arriving. It is good to know if you’ll need to rent extra equipment, along with what equipment is available to you. There are several free comprehensive checklists online, but you also want to make sure that the checklist is specific to you.
Creating Your Checklist
On top of this checklist, you want to make sure you have the right amount of food on hand. If you are questioning whether the amount of food you bring will be enough, always err on the side of bringing more. The last thing you want is to have to 86 an item during an event.
Here is a little helpful list of some items that are often times forgotten during catering events:
- Directions to the catering location (you’d be surprised how many people forget this one!)
- Laundry bags for dirty towels
- Bus tubs for dishes
- Plastic wrap
- Jug of water – Just in case no running water is available
- Hand sanitizer
- Extra towels and paper towels
Catering is really one of the best ways to dip your toes into the water of the restaurant industry without spending too much. It is also an outstanding way to offer more to your guests, and increase your overall sales and profit margin.
Written by: Kinzington McElvain