Event Catering Pros and Cons

February 21, 2024

There are a number of elements you might be considering for any upcoming event, and the realm of catering is a common example here. Hiring out to a catering service for an event has several major benefits depending on your needs, but also may come with certain drawbacks in other cases. 

At In The Event, our event planning services for clients around Utah are comprehensive, from long-term planning and event management solutions to day-of event coordinator services, event rentals and more. We handle all the details for you, including needs like catering or other food-related concerns. What are some of the benefits and possible drawbacks of hiring a catering service, and should you be going this route for your event? Let’s dive in. 

What Catering Companies Do

Before we dig into the pros and cons of hiring a catering service, let’s make sure we’re clear on what kind of services these companies usually offer. In general, the primary service provided by a caterer is food preparation and delivery for an event. This can include everything from menu planning to actual cooking or baking, as well as serving and cleaning up after the event. 

Many caterers also offer additional services such as event planning or rentals. They may have packages available that include everything from start to finish, allowing you to simply delegate and let the caterer handle all aspects of the event related to food and beverage. This can be a major benefit for those without much time or resources for planning an extensive event.

Another common service offered by catering companies is customization. Depending on the event and your specific needs, caterers can often create a menu or dishes tailored specifically to your preferences. This allows for flexibility and personalization that may not be available with other food options.

Benefits of Hiring a Catering Service

Depending on your specific needs, budget and time factors, there may be several distinct benefits that caterers bring to the table:

  • Saving time and money: Likely the largest benefit of hiring a catering service is the time and money it saves you, particularly if you’re hosting a larger event. With a caterer on board, you can focus on other tasks associated with event planning.
  • Stress relief: Planning an event can be extremely stressful, especially when it comes to food and beverage. By delegating this aspect to professionals, you’ll have one less thing to worry about and can feel confident that your guests will be well taken care of.
  • Professional quality: Catering companies have experience in providing food for events, meaning they are often more prepared and skilled than non-professionals. This can result in higher-quality food and service for your event.
  • Experience with your event types: Many catering companies have experience in specific types of events, from weddings to corporate functions. This can be a major benefit if you’re looking for specialized services or menus.
  • Hygiene and cleanliness: Caterers are required to follow strict hygiene and food safety guidelines, ensuring that your event will be up to industry standards. This can provide peace of mind for both you and your guests.
  • Will work with other staff: If your event requires additional staff, such as servers or bartenders, catering companies can often provide these services as well. This eliminates the need for you to source and hire multiple vendors for different aspects of your event.

Possible Drawbacks of Hiring a Catering Service

While there are many benefits to hiring a catering service, there may also be some drawbacks depending on your specific situation:

  • Cost factors: In many cases, the largest drawback to hiring a catering service is the cost. For smaller events or those on a tight budget, catering may not be a feasible option.
  • Limited menu options: Some catering companies have set menus that you must choose from, limiting your ability to customize or personalize the food for your event. This may not be ideal for those with specific dietary needs or preferences.
  • Lack of control over food quality: When delegating food preparation to a catering company, there is always the risk that the quality may not meet your expectations. It’s important to research and choose a reputable caterer with positive reviews.
  • Communication challenges: With multiple vendors involved in an event, there can sometimes be miscommunication or confusion when it comes to logistics or specific details. This can be avoided with clear and consistent communication throughout the planning process.

Hiring a catering service for your event can be a major benefit in terms of time, stress relief, and professionalism. However, it’s important to weigh the potential drawbacks and consider your specific needs before making a decision. It’s also crucial to thoroughly research and choose a reputable caterer that meets your expectations and budget. 

At In The Event, our team of event planners is dedicated to providing top-notch services, including help identifying and managing catering and food-related needs. Contact us for a consultation or quote for your next event in Utah. Let us handle the details so you can enjoy a successful and stress-free event!