One person’s lifetime is filled with many events that call for special gatherings and celebration. Because of their significances, there are many factors and intricacies that go into planning these events. The venue, the arrangements, the decorations, and the catering services all play their special roles in making the celebrations into the memorable treasures that they are.
In order to make a special gathering successful, it is important that you only coordinate with the best and most fitting catering services in order to make your grandest vision a reality. This article serves as a guide to helping you navigate your way through the ins and outs of throwing a party with the best wedding catering in Manila.
Criteria and Important Notes on Selecting a Catering Service
The types of food servicing styles, the factors to keep in mind when choosing a catering service, and the steps to follow when coordinating with the service are some of the things you must take note of to throw a successful celebration.
Types of Food Servicing Styles
- Catered Buffets
Buffet dining may have originated in 16th century France, but it continues to be a popular dining option for many restaurants and food servicing businesses. Buffet style dining is ideal for events with a large number of guests such as corporate dinners and weddings. An advantage of buffet-style dining is that they require fewer staff members to operate, as opposed to plated meal servicing. Most dishes can be served to fit a buffet setting and buffet-style catering services are also budget-friendly in nature which makes it a popular go-to option for most events.
- Cocktail Receptions
Although formal cocktail receptions take place between the hours of 4 in the afternoon to 7 in the evening, they are also fit for informal gatherings. This style of catering service is perfect for rehearsal dinners as well as the actual wedding reception. The standard appetizers for cocktail receptions are pricier than that of buffets, hors d’oeuvres and canapés also require more time for preparation. To put things in context, it takes significantly longer to prepare 500 individual scallops wrapped in bacon than it does to uniformly cook large amounts of spaghetti sauce.
- Plated Dinners
Plated dinners are commonly more expensive. Also known as a seated dinner, guests of this type of catering service are seated and served individually –essentially mimicking the usual restaurant dining experience. Besides the higher cost-rates, plated dinners also require a large staff for both the kitchen and the dining room.
Tea catering services are best suited for an event that calls for an elegant yet simple atmosphere. Teas typically take place between 2 and 5 in the afternoon and are more fitting for intimate gatherings such as small birthday celebrations and bridal showers. Dainty finger sandwiches, along with different types of tea, punch or champagne, are the main elements of a charming and traditional tea setting.
- Food Stations
Food stations are the latest trend in catering services. Similar to buffets, food stations are perfect for events with large groups. The main difference is that buffet selections are laid out on long tables, while food stations are dispersed throughout the event venue. Each station carries its own exclusive theme and food selection.
Factors to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Catering Service
Responsiveness does not just pertain to response time, it ultimately relates to a catering service’s overall interest and dialogue with you and how you want your event to turn out. The initial conversations that you have with a catering service are usually indicatory of how the process and final output will turn out. A catering service should genuinely give off the impression that they are learning everything about you and your preferences.
- Ability to Handle Client Requests
The catering service that you decide to go with should be able to handle the specific type of event that you are planning. Be specific when elaborating the details of the event and the types of food that you want to be served. Because it is a possibility that a particular catering service cannot provide for your event’s specificities.
- Menu Flexibility
Catering services usually offer standard or fixed menu selections for their clients to choose from. But the more successful ones are adept at customizing and substituting their menu packages to be specifically tailored for fitting their client’s needs.
- Provide Tastings
All of these factors serve as indications for how well a potential catering service can accommodate you and your event. With that being said, you should not feel shy when arranging food tasting sessions before signing a contract.
- Venue Familiarity
Many event venues have certain conditions and restrictions that you and your catering service should be aware of. You need to be sure that the catering service that you decide to work with has experience and is well-acquainted with the specific type of venue where your event will take place.
- Thorough Explanation of Services
Minute details when it comes to food, beverages, and services should be written clearly on the contract form that you are going to sign. All the details in line with price ranges should not only be explained well verbally, but also in written form with your own personal copy for reference.
- Clear Cancellation Plan
Successful catering services always have their clients’ best interest at heart. Get clear information on how a catering service handles cancellations and make sure that this is clearly stated in the contract. The cancellation policy should indicate that your deposit is fully refundable and that they should provide you with alternative options.
- References for Assessment
There are many online resources that you can check in order to gather background information on a potential catering service. But if you want an assured flawless execution of your event’s catering, it is always wise to be more extensive with your research. Seek out previous customers that have already had a full experience of what it is like to work with a particular catering service in order to gain a full grasp of how they accommodate clients.
- Experienced Chef and Staff
Sometimes picking the right catering service means going as far as examining the CVs and qualifications of their staff. There needs to be a certain level of meticulousness when you want to be sure that your event is filled with all the deliciousness and beauty that your heart is set out to pull off.
Steps to Follow When Searching for and Coordinating with Catering Services
- Ask and inquire – The first thing that you can do is to ask your family and friends for recommendations. Another great alternative is to ask event planners and culinary schools for a list of reputable wedding catering services.
- Check the specialty – Make sure that the first thing you inquire on is if a catering service can accommodate the size, scale, and nature of your event.
- Ask for references – Once you have selected potential catering services, you should then ask them for references or various sources to help you ultimately gauge how they would fair when you coordinate with them.
- Check the license – Inspecting the proper licensing and the previous records of a catering service should not be overlooked. It is not a wise option to go with a catering service that has had complaints and violations.
- Ask for a sample quotation – Before making a commitment and signing a contract, make it a point to request for a quotation. It is best to know exactly how the food, equipment, and services correlate with the accumulated price rate.
- Schedule a tasting – Request a sample presentation of the food and setups in order to get a full glimpse of how your event may potentially turn out. This is so you can make the appropriate changes accordingly.
- Read the contract – Before giving any sort of down payment, be sure that the contract is well-versed with all the clauses.
- Provide a list of necessities – Once the major elements such as the food and venue arrangements are already set, you can now make a list of the more supplementary additions such as decorations, invites, etc.
Catering Services Equipment Checklist
Here is an equipment checklist you can refer to when discussing important details with your chosen catering service:
- Table Settings
Standard dinner plates are a must. Besides bread and salad plates, if you plan to serve soup, then bowls should also be covered. Wine glasses, water glasses, coffee cups with saucers, and appropriate utensils should be in stock with extra pieces. Tablecloths, napkins, and centerpieces should also be neatly laid out along with the right condiments (salt, pepper, butter, sugar, etc.)
- Serving Equipment
Serving equipment pertains to the trays, bus tubs, and water pitchers that will be used in both the food distribution as well as the clearing of the table.
- Buffet Equipment
Standard buffet equipment consists of the same items for serving and table setting. However, placement is the key factor when it comes to buffet amenities. Silverware can be stored in rolls and the addition of tongs, large knives, and large spoons will be required for serving.
- Beverage Station
This area requires different coffee pots and decaf alternatives for those that wish to drink caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee. Hot water and ice should be stocked in abundance, as well as an assortment of the right glasses to match the drinks. Finally, make sure that a variety of tea, sugar, and dairy packets are readily available for the guests.
- Off-Premise Catering Additional Items
Depending on the location and conditions of your venue, you may need to prepare additional items such as insulated containers that keep food hot and coolers that keep drinks and other foods cold. Whether your event is indoors or outdoors, it is best to be equipped with garbage bags, tin foils, plastic wraps, paper towels, and sanitizers.
Food Trends in Catering Services
Interested in following and showcasing a food trend that is making rounds on various social media platforms? Then, continue reading to see a few of them that some wedding food catering services offer.
- Chocolate Fountains
Chocolate fountains are currently becoming more of a staple amenity for catered events. These are easily acquired from commercial distributors and are, often times, the favorite aspect to parties and receptions. What’s so great about these fountains is that you can choose to go with different types of chocolate. Plus, they are fun for dipping snacks like fresh fruits, pretzels, marshmallows, etc.
- Family Style Dining
This style of dining is also known as English Service. It features food placed in bowls and platters on each table for everyone to share. This is not to be confused with dinner plating because meals are individually served for that type of dining. Family Style dining adds a layer of intimacy to the experience.
- Food and Drink Pairings
This refers to a setting that is similar to that of wine tasting. There is a current trend of dining experience that involves a 3 to 5-course meal with different drink pairings. It is becoming a more sought after option for bridal showers and rehearsal dinners, as opposed to the traditional buffet or plated meal styles.
- Artisan Food and Drink
Artisan food service is usually produced in small batches. The term artisan is very ambiguous, but in this context, it refers to continental-type foods that are petite in nature. Dishes such as assortments of artisanal cheese paired with handcrafted sourdough are examples of artisan culinary craft.
- Street Foods
Local comfort delicacies and street foods are currently very hot in the catering services market. In the Philippines as well as on a global scale, people are looking more to choose their favorite street snacks as course servings for big events such as wedding receptions.
Elegance, Experience, and Excellence with Juan Carlo
We here at Juan Carlo have a deep understanding of what it means to have only the best of catering services. Our business is built on a foundation of love and appreciation for the special gatherings that celebrate life and our loved ones. Throughout the decades, we have handled an eclectic range of the Philippines’ most esteemed families and individuals.
Our extensive history and experience in providing catering services have given us the fully-realized skill of adaptability when it comes to not only meeting, but exceeding our client’s needs. It is our mission to provide only top-quality service because we know that your event deserves only the finest.
Get to know more about our services by clicking the links below.