How To Plan a Stress Free Catered Event

Are you feeling overwhelmed by planning your catered event?  We’ve all been there.  Hiring a professional catering service in NYC is, in itself, already a HUGE deal! And then when it comes to all of the planning and decisions it requires, like whether to serve passed hors d’oeuvres or to opt for food stations, how everything will look, etc… the stress can really escalate.

Whether it’s a private party, corporate cocktail reception, or holiday celebration, planning an event can be a daunting task. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Check out our top tips to guide you through the process with ease.

1-Set a Budget

Setting a realistic budget for your event is essential to ensure that you can cover all of your costs without overspending. Include things like catering, venue rental, decorations, equipment rental, entertainment, and any other services or products needed for the event. Have an estimated cost for each item and determine how much you’re willing to spend on each one.
This will help you stay within your budget and avoid surprise costs.

2-Review your guest list

Once you have a budget in mind, it’s time to review your guest list. This will help you determine how much food and drinks you’ll need to provide for your guests.
Don’t forget to include any special dietary requirements so that you can be sure to have options available for everyone attending the event.

3-Find a venue

When planning a catered event, the first step is to find the perfect venue. There are hundreds of venues in New York City so it can be a little overwhelming to find the ideal one. The good news is there are lots of online resources that can help you narrow down your search. When researching venues, consider things like available space, ease of access, and any services that might be included like catering and AV

4-Choose the right catering service

When it comes to choosing a caterer, you want to make sure you pick the right one for your event. Start by researching New York City catering companies and narrow down your search based on the type of food you’re interested in as well as your budget and any special requests.
Review catering websites, social media, and menus to get an idea of the type of food they offer and make sure it aligns with your event’s theme and vibe.
And don’t forget to read reviews from previous clients to get an idea of the quality of their food and service. The more information you gather, the easier it will be to make a decision.

5-Discuss menu options with your caterer

When it comes to planning a catered event, food is one of the most essential details. Don’t be afraid to discuss various menu options with the caterer – they’re the experts and can provide helpful suggestions. Maybe you’re looking to serve vegan or gluten-free menu items. Or perhaps there are specific cultural considerations. Whatever the case may be, the caterer should be willing to work with you to create a delicious and inclusive menu that all of your guests can enjoy.

6-Do a site visit with the caterer

It’s important for the caterer to meet with you at the venue where your event will be. The goal of a site visit is to establish the flow of the event, determine the layout (like where the bar will be), review load-in and load-out times with the building, and determine the equipment needed.
A thorough site visit will help to avoid surprises on the day of the event!

7-Establish an event timeline

Creating an event timeline will help you ensure that your event runs smoothly and on time. Your catering company should work closely with you to create a timeline for your event. The caterer will typically do this at the site visit.
The timeline should include details like expected arrival times of guests, when the food should be served, when speeches or presentations should take place, as well as when entertainment and/or activities should begin. This will help you stay organized and on track.

8-Plan out the decor and equipment

Decorations can make or break an event, so it’s important to plan out the decorations ahead of time. From table settings and centerpieces to lighting and props, you want to create an atmosphere that brings your event together.
Most New York City catering companies will coordinate and order all of the basic rental equipment needed for your event. This includes items like glassware, plates, flatware, tables, chairs, and linens. Make sure to discuss these items with your caterer ahead of time so that you have everything you need for your event.

Now that you have our top tips you’re one step closer to planning your special occasion.
Contact us for a custom proposal and to start planning an unforgettable catering experience for you and your guests.