Few gatherings can be as special as those you host in the comfort of your own home. But hosting an event at home doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. One of the biggest tasks in pulling off any memorable party is in the food and drink you serve, so why not delegate that task to a professional caterer? That way you can relax and enjoy the event and your guests.
Size doesn’t matter
Most people think of catered events and envision 500 people in a large ballroom. But you can hire a full-service catering company for a small gathering with big impact. From an intimate sit-down dinner to a cocktail party with passed hors d’oeuvres, a full-service caterer can do it all.
The choice is yours
Is most of your party Vegan? Do you have a bunch of seafood lovers on the way? A professional New Orleans caterer can serve up whatever your heart (and your taste buds) desire. From alligator hors de oeuvre stations to live chef grill stations, you can work with a caterer to make sure that the menu fits your specific tastes and budget, and be able to offer dishes you might not have thought you could pull off on your own, like Oysters Rockefeller or a flaming Bananas Foster a La Mode.
Not everything has to be created in your kitchen
Don’t have a very large kitchen? No problem. Caterers that can do what’s called off-premise catering (or off-site catering) have the proper equipment necessary to successfully execute the event, even if your kitchen is not large enough. Caterers that are skilled in off-premise catering and events often have their own kitchens, refrigerated trucks for transporting food, portable cooking equipment, and beautiful display ware. But, feel free to utilize your own special serving vessels (i.e. your special china) if you want.
Where will I put everyone?
For intimate sit-down dinners, you can use your own dining room table to give your event a personal feel. For larger events, you may need to rent extra tables, chairs, linens, dishes, glassware or serving pieces. Your caterer can help make recommendations as to what you will need, and will most likely be able to recommend reputable rental companies.
How much catering staff do I need?
It all depends on the level of service you want to provide. If you want pass hors de oeuvres or a plated sit-down dinner, that will require a different number of staff than buffet stations. Talk to your caterer about the level of service you’d like, and how many servers it will require. Be sure to also ask about staff attire and see if you can alter it to fit your special occasion. For example, you could have servers wear ties that match the theme, or t-shirts that say “Happy Birthday John” or wear blue bow ties in honor of a boy baby shower.
No self-serve bars here
Don’t forget to also discuss with your caterer what beverages you want to offer. Your caterer can then staff the bar with their own bartender to quench guests’ thirst. Be sure to work with your caterer to select a signature drink or two themed to the event.
Since this event is in your home, you’ll want to establish expectations as to what you as the host will do and provide vs what the caterer needs to do and provide. For example, will the caterer be the one to pick up rentals and take them back after the party, or will you as the host do that? Will the dishware that belongs to you be washed? Will the staff clean the area as the party progresses? Will staff refill wine and coffee? Will leftovers be packed and left in your fridge? These are all questions to ask your caterer and be clear on.
Choose a quality caterer
Whether you are having your event at a venue, or in your home, finding the right caterer can really make or break your event. Check out Messina’s article 7 Tips for Choosing the Best Caterers to learn what to ask and what to look for. You want to find the right event catering company that can execute your vision of the event. After all, the term “cater” by definition is to try to satisfy a particular need or demand. That same rule applies in your home. The best part about hosting the event in your home is that you get to keep the leftovers.
An experienced New Orleans caterer like Messina’s can help you craft the perfect catering menu for your at-home event. To learn more, visit http://www.messinascatering.com.