One of the most difficult aspects of having a party is deciding whether or not to cater it yourself. When trying to decide whether you will be doing this yourself there are a few questions that you should ask. The answer to these questions will help you determine whether you need hire a caterer or if you can do it yourself. As you answer these questions write down the answers for later consideration.
- When is the party? The answer to this question matters for two reasons, the first of which is that professional caterers typically charge more for last-minute parties than they do for those with more notice. The second reason is simply that the more time you have, then the more time you have to properly plan every aspect of your party. The more planning you undertake, then the easier it is to keep the costs down.
- Where is the party? Potentially one of the largest obstacles to doing your own catering (or even to hiring a professional) is the location. Does the location have the facilities to prepare the food? If not then you might want to consider having the party in another location or having the food prepared well in advance, and simply reheating everything using chaffing dishes and the like. Some caterers will charge more for having your party in an out-of-the-way location, where they will have to truck in more equipment.
- What will the menu be? It should go with out saying that a menu made up of things like pizza rolls, chips, dip, and soda pop will cost significantly less (and be a lot easier to make) than things like fillet mignon, pate, and a nice merlot. Decide on your menu by considering things like your personal taste, the general tastes and preference of the guests, as well as the cost.
- Do you have the ability to cook the menu? If you do not have the ability to cook the proposed items on your menu, then you need to do one of two things. Either change the menu or hire a professional caterer. Do not waste your time or money or risk potential embarrassment by trying to do something that you know you will not be able to do.
- Have you called around to price caterers? Before making your final decision, take the time to call around to a few different caterers and get a few quotes. You can find great deals by calling around and may find out that it would be cheaper to hire someone than to do it yourself.
Once you have answered these questions, take the time to go over the answers. Do not rush into any major decisions that you may regret latter. Remember, proper planning can go a long way, and these questions will go a long way to help you come up with your plans.