I’ve offered Catering Services on-and-off for over fifteen years. I’ve also hired countless caterers to service everything from birthday parties to my own wedding. In this article, we’re going to explore all of the services offered by Catering Companies.
What Services Does a Catering Business Provide? The services offered by Catering Businesses are generally broken down into three categories:
1 – Food, 2 – Supplies, and 3 – Service.
Below we’ll dig into some of the variations that a Catering Business might offer.
What Kinds of Food Do Catering Businesses Offer?
Every conceivable type of food is served by catering companies across America and around the world.
Keep in mind that every Catering Business was started by someone just like you: someone who loves food!
Every Catering Business offers food that is loved by the owner, and desired by his customers…or at least every successful Catering Company.
Here are some examples of some of the foods I’ve personally seen offered by successful Catering Companies:
- Horderves (or hors d’oeuvres)
- Ice Cream
- Ice Cream Cocktails
- Pit BBQ
- Fish Tacos
- Chicken & Waffles
- Mashed Potatoes
- Fried Everything
- French Fries
- Middle Eastern
- State-Fair Food
- Organic Food
- Low Carb
As you can see, nearly any kind of food can be a successful Catering Business focus, it just depends on if your food passion will also be loved by the clients in your area.
Of course, it also depends if you are offering the supplies and services that the customers in your area are looking for.
What Kinds of Supplies Do Caterers Normally Provide?
The supplies provided by a caterer vary by company, and by what your clients are willing to pay.
Let’s start with a list of the supplies that most caterers include in their costs, but you should go through this list to verify that each item is included in the price.
Standard Supplies Provided By A Caterer
- Serving Containers
- Heating Elements To Keep Food Warm
- Serving Utensils
Premium Supplies Offered by Some Catering Companies
Many Caterers will offer to bring extra supplies for a mutually agreed upon up-charge. These premium catering supplies might include:
- Non-Alcoholic Drinks
- Table Cloths
- Center Pieces
- Table Runners
- Sound System
Services Offered By Catering Businesses
At its core, every catering business is going to offer three services:
- Purchasing Food
- Preparing Food
- Delivering Food
However, most provide many more services. The standard services that most people will expect from a Catering Business include:
- Setting Up Serving Space
- Serving Food
- Cleaning Up Serving Space
Additional Services that a Caterer might offer as either part of their service or as an add-on service include:
- Dining Table Setup
- Bar Setup
- Bartender Service
- Elegant Uniform For Service Workers
- Bar Cleanup
- Table Side Service
- During Event Dining Table Cleanup
- After Event Dining Table Cleanup
- Ticket-Takers for Paid Events
- Tableside Dessert Service
As you can see, there are as many kinds of services offered by Catering Businesses as their are caterers.
If you are considering starting a Catering Service, you’ll need to think about what you are interested in offering, and what you are willing to offer if the price is right.
You should also not get too set in your ways. As your new Catering Business grows, so will you. You might be ready and willing to offer services you never imagined in just a few short years.
Extra services are often the secret sauce to increase your margin and your take-home income!
If you are considering hiring a Catering Service, just keep in mind that you never get what you want until you ask.
Be polite and respectful, but don’t be afraid to ask for even crazy services. Also, don’t be surprised if the caterer asks you to pay well for extra services. No one will be offended if you ask for something that can’t be provided within your budget.