17 Aug Why Do I Need A Caterer Or Catering Professional?
Why would I need a caterer?
So your planning an event. It can be a daunting task, venue, guest lists, decoration, table plans, invitations, music, set up and catering just to name a few. Obviously some of these tasks do not apply to all events. The planning can change depending on your event such as Wedding, Christening, birthday party, corporate event, funeral and many more but the one thing that is a big task whether you believe it is or not is catering.
Unfortunately those Christmas adverts from the big supermarkets make it seem catering for a large group really easy. Just pop to the frozen isle in your favourite local store and no doubt you will find plenty of overpriced ready to defrost and serve canapes and nibbles. Chuck in some sandwiches which will take you 5 minutes to prepare and surely the 50+ people you have ticked the catering box on the checklist for the party planing.
The harsh reality is very different when catering for an event…….
Surely its just preparing some food but on a larger scale?
In the first commercial catering kitchen I worked in and went on to run we served around 2,000 meals a week. I have seen disasters created from smaller catering operations and the last commercial catering kitchen I ran before starting Penguinos Catering Newmarket served upwards of 14,000 a week along with 35 staff to manage.
At the beginning of every service or catering job i still worry about every detail along with any scenario that could go wrong. Its a stress and worry any professional chef, cook or caterer can tell you about but when it all comes together it euphoric and that is why the good ones keep doing it.
So is it just like cooking for the wife/husband and the 2.4 children but on a larger scale? I hate to break it to you but no it is not.
Have you thought about variety, quality, time, storage and set up. Have you thought about John from accounts gluten allergy or Sandra who became vegan yesterday? surely those spring rolls from Tesco are vegan friendly right? do they contain gluten?
How long have you set aside to make those sandwiches? when are you making them as sandwiches can go pretty manky quickly if not handled, stored or prepared correctly.
Obviously you can do it your self just be prepared.
But as hinted at in the last section there is a little issue of food safety when dealing with catering. Caterers are legally required to register with their local authority and receive a hygiene rating. You can view your local caterers and food establishments at Scores on the doors my personal recommendation would be never eat at an establishment with under 4/5 stars. Here at Penguinos catering Newmarket we have 5/5 #justsaying
When food is not stored or prepared correctly bad things can happen. People claim they have got a bit of food poisoning but the reality is actually life threatening. Did you know some bacterium can start with 1 cell and multiply to over 2,000,000 cells in around 7 hours in the right conditions such as temperature (remember storage? how can you fit all that food next to the Prosecco )
Containment’s can come from a range of places in catering and can lead to very deadly consequences. A quick search of google can lead you to cases where people have gone to prison because if poor practices. The unfortunate reality is that an untrained caterer or inexperienced caterer would not even know they were causing harm.
The original question, why do i need a caterer?
A catering professional can help you plan your menu or even create it for you. They can provide advice, ensure allergens are avoided and ensure the food is safe. Here at Penguinos our clients always feedback how we make the process seamless along with great menu ideas and of course great quality and affordability.
When scaling up the catering operation experience is invaluable. If you are planning to do your catering your self then please read up on some food safety and make sure you have the resources to be compliant. If using a caterer other than the fantastic Penguinos catering Newmarket then please ensure they have a good hygiene rating.
The catering section of the Penguinos website can give you an idea of our prices and possible menus and if you have any questions the team are always at hand to help.