Tips to eliminate stress when planning your party / event
Pick a date
Sounds simple but without a date, you cannot begin to be calling Caterers or inviting guests. The Holidays are a busy time of the year and as basic as may seem , getting a date on the Calendar is the first step in planning. Keep in mind, just like the airlines, there are blackout dates in the catering world, know the date you choose can hit your bottom line.
Once you have the date, think about the basic parameters of your event so the caterer can create a quote for you.
Don’t begin calling or planning until you know your budget. Without this, the options are limitless and you will be wasting your time and your caterers time. Know your budget, as this will drive the entire planning process.
Time of Day
Timing is critical as it impacts food quantities. An event from 3.00 to 5.00 will demand very much different quantities then the same menu served at 5.00 to 8.00.
Have a sense of your number of guests, again without a number a catering proposal cannot be completed.
What type of party are you throwing?
A one hour cocktail party, a four hour event with canapes and dinner, a champagne toast with dessert? Explain to your caterer the type of party you want. Review the caterer’s menus on line, discuss your ideal menu and give as much detail as possible. This will help you achieve your ideal menu budget much quicker.
Staffing costs money, often as much as the food itself. When planning a menu, keep in mind that menus that require staff will be expensive. Stationary canapes are more budget friendly options then parties with a variety of Passed canapes which require on site kitchen staff and a number of paid servers. Buffets are a better option when working on a tight budget than a served dinner, because there are less staff required to execute the menu. Great parties including weddings have been thrown with creative, artistic and innovative stationary canapes and buffets, so don’t dismiss anything until you have explored all the options.
Look into the Details
After you have got the basics down, you can talk with your caterer in more detail about the event.
Schedule a walkthrough of the site
Before getting into deep planning, schedule a walkthrough of your office, home or venue with your caterer. The layout of any space in the early planning stages- what you have or don’t have (in terms of tables, linens, seating) can impact the cost, in order to make an educated decision and get a fully thought out quote, make sure your caterer does a walkthrough before you sign on the bottom line.
Big Return on Investment
Small touches can add fun and flair to a holiday party. Upgraded paper goods colourful linens votive candles and good music can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Allocating some resources to design and aesthetic makes these touches but most can be found online-cutting the middle man will get you a better price!
View our menus
Hire a caterer you know or have heard about that you can like and trust, you may have to leave the keys to your home. As with any project, big or small, the success of the venture is based on the relationship with your vendor. Make sure you choose a local caterer or catering company that is close to you, do your due diligence and ask for references if you did your research online. The best way is to pick up the phone and interview the company just like in any other relationship, communications is key and you need to plan your event with a reputable company that understands your needs . You need to connect, feel confident and comfortable that you are working with an established company that can deliver what their proposal outlines. Choose a company that is not new to the industry but has a proven track record in the North West.