Pros and Cons of Hiring a Catering Service for an Event

By  //  May 17, 2019

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If you have ever had to organize an event to celebrate something like a wedding, milestone birthday, engagement, graduation, retirement, conference or similar you know just how much work goes into making it happen.

If you have ever had to organize an event to celebrate something like a wedding, milestone birthday, engagement, graduation, retirement, conference or similar you know just how much work goes into making it happen.

From drawing up guest lists and overseeing invites, to sourcing a suitable venue, there are endless decisions to be made and chores to be done; then on top of everything, there’s the catering to organize as well.

It’s pretty easy to feel overwhelmed by it all, so abandon those ‘to do’ lists, and take a few minutes to read about how you could possibly save yourself a whole lot of stress by hiring a catering service. Here we run through the pros and cons of doing just that, so you can decide for yourself if it is the best route for you to take.

The pros of hiring a catering service for an event

  • It saves you time and stress

Take a look at that ‘to do’ list again and then tell me you need the added pressure and workload of catering for what could be hundreds of people, and that’s presuming you even have access to the space to store, and either prepare or cook the food.

  • They have experience

Catering for large numbers of people is nothing like most people have ever done in their own kitchen, so even having coped with those huge family Thanksgiving meals won’t deliver the expertise needed to cater a large event competently. Cooking in huge batches is about more than just scaling up the recipes, that’s for sure.

  • It’s cost-effective

It’s unlikely that you’d actually save much cash by catering a large event yourself. Caterers have access to discounted products, and providing the staff to take care of the cooking, and, if relevant, the transporting and serving of the food is all part of the package.

  • Safety and good hygiene are guaranteed

These things are the backbone of a successful catering company, so you don’t have any worries about the quality of food, the way it is prepared and managed from that point, or the personal standards/health and safety knowledge of those serving it.

  • Everything’s top quality

Although all catered events have a budget of some sort a caterer is able to produce high-quality food to match it, without being tempted to cut corners.

  • Flexibility

Many good outside catering companies can deal with all kind of events, whether they are for a select group of people in your own home, or for hundreds at a large corporate event.

  • Variety

Catering company staff are generally used to providing food on various themes, whether that’s BBQ style or a German-themed feast, never mind any other number of cuisines from different countries around the world.

  • You get professional service staff

If your catering needs include chefs and wait staff to serve directly to the guests you can rest assured that when booked through your catering company they are on the ball, delivering a high-quality service with impeccable manners and attitude which are sure to impress your guests.

The cons of hiring a catering service for an event

  • Raised stress levels triggered by worries that you may have made the wrong choice.  [This could probably be avoided by arranging to actually try the caterer’s food ahead of time, reading plenty of reviews before making a reservation, or by connecting directly with an established and well-respected catering company. For example, if you are around Las Vegas Worry Free Catering just opened a new location near to you.]
  • The costs

There’s little chance that any random person could prepare and serve food to a large number of people without a good bit of help and support. Of course, it’s possible to put something on the table in a buffet style for less than a caterer will charge, a tempting option if things are tight.

But weigh up the stress it will add to your life, and the time it will steal, before you decide one way or the other and you will realize it really isn’t worth the trouble.

  • It’s too formal

This is especially the case when there are staff members from the catering service wandering around with plates of food and drinks at what is meant to be quite an informal, low-key event. However, good catering staff are clever at being able to blend into the scenery – so you shouldn’t need to worry about this too much.

If you really want something small and intimate then it’s better to choose say a home BBQ party, or a potluck get together rather than a formal food option, although these do tend to work better for smaller events, while having staff serve is pretty standard at anything bigger or more formal.

  • You are limited to your original plan

This is inevitable, although most venues have a decent window of time within which changes to the menu can be requested. Booking a hot meal with specific menu choices and set courses for a formal meal does mean locking guests into their choices perhaps several months ahead of time.

That can definitely be tricky should someone drop out of the event quite close to the day. However, there are more flexible options, such as buffets or hog roasts which reduce the need for such preciseness.

  • They may go out of business

This is the worst possible scenario, ranking high on every event organizer’s nightmare list, but it is exactly why buying good event insurance is so vital. It’s unlikely to happen, but if it actually did then at least you should be able to recover any money paid to the caterer and be able to look round for someone else to take over the task.

So, we’ve examined the main pros and cons of hiring caterers for an event, and we believe that despite possible complications, on the whole, there are more advantages to hiring in the experts than there are to trying to go it alone.

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