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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Introduction

    Catering is a convenient service that brings restaurant-quality food and beverages to a variety of social gatherings. It's beneficial to weddings, workplace celebrations, and other events because it invites guests to relax and enjoy a festive meal. While there are many dedicated catering businesses that transport food and equipment to their clients, many restaurants also offer catering as part of their dining services.

    For those interested in a career in catering, the flexibility to take your business anywhere is one factor that may make the industry attractive. Like traditional restaurants, caterers often specialize in one type of cuisine, and they can vary widely in price and capacity. Whether you're looking to hire catering services for your next event or you want to learn more about the profession, take a look at these frequently asked questions below.
  • Can a catering company serve alcohol?

    Just like brick-and-mortar restaurants, catering companies need a liquor license to serve alcohol to patrons. If a caterer is serving alcoholic beverages, guests under the age of 21 are allowed on the premises, but they may not buy or consume alcohol.

  • Are catering tastings free?

    If you're having a large event catered and expecting to spend a lot of money, having a tasting beforehand is often a good idea. Tastings are handled differently by catering companies; some may charge while others won't. In general, most caterers charge a fee, usually around the cost of a meal at a restaurant.

  • When catering for a party, how do you calculate how much food is needed?

    Caterers usually help their clients calculate food by offering a recommended portion size per guest. Taking this into consideration, all you need to do is multiply this portion by the number of expected guests to determine the total amount of food needed.

  • When should you reserve catering services before an event?

    The amount of time in advance needed to schedule catering services depends on the number of people and type of event. For weddings with 50 people or more, six to 12 months in advance is recommended. For smaller gatherings, a month or two should suffice.

  • Do you tip the caterer?

    Some catering services include tips in the bill, so you don't have to worry about handling this aspect on the day of your event. If the tip is not included, a minimum of 15% of the total bill is recommended, while tipping 20% is not uncommon.

  • What is included with catering services?

    In addition to the food you order, catering services can include delivery, linens, silverware or plasticware, plates and cups, a small heat source to keep hot dishes warm, and staff. When planning your event, it's always a good idea to confirm which of these items are included and necessary.

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