Whether you’re catering a wedding outside or a business event inside, there are some catering supplies you’ll use over and over again because they’re useful and versatile. Since every catering event requires a lot of planning, it can be hard to keep track of all of your tools. This is why we made a list of the most important food supplies you should always have on hand so you can be ready for any event.
- A commercial food truck
A cargo van is the most common type of vehicle used to deliver food. It usually has a lot of room for cooking tools, tables, and storing food. Think about how much room you need when looking for a catering vehicle. Your vehicle’s size will depend on how much tools you’re taking and whether or not you need room for staff. Before you buy, find out what licences you need to drive this type of commercial car.
- Carrier pans that keep food warm
When hosting an off-site event, you might want to use insulated food pan carriers to move ready-to-eat dishes. With these food pan cases, your food will stay hot or cold for a long time. The last thing you want to do is give food that is cold and has no taste. Caterers love food carts because they can fit pans of different sizes and many of them can be stacked on top of each other, making it easy to bring many meals to events.
- Cooktops with induction burners
Caterers are increasingly setting up “chef action stations” to show guests how the food is made. Action stations make talks more entertaining and give you a chance to show off your skills to customers. With a tabletop induction cooker, you can set up a cooking station quickly and cook food very quickly. Not only that, but these cookers are also useful if your location doesn’t have a kitchen.
- Chafers and food warmers
Chafing dishes and catering go together because they are the best way to serve and show food that has already been made. If you use chafing plates and chafing fuel, hot food will stay at the right temperature for the whole event. There are chafing dishes made of stainless steel that can be used more than once and chafing dishes made of aluminium foil that can be thrown away. How formal the event is should determine the type of paper you choose. There are different sizes for different servings or types of food. Chafing plates can also be stacked, and some of them come with lids to make them easier to carry.
- Tables, chairs, and tablecloths
When you serve an event, your clients will probably need tables, chairs, and tablecloths. Table sets need to be both useful and pretty, and they should match the event. The table sets you need to provide depend a lot on the type of event you’re catering. For example, if you know how many people are coming, you’ll know how many seats you need, and if the event is inside or outside, you’ll know what kind of tables to use.
- Equipment for serving
Serving equipment is one of the most important tools in the food service business. Having the right equipment for serving makes sure that your team has everything they need to serve guests quickly and well. Here are some examples of things you should always have on hand for serving:
- Serving tools to keep the food and drinks tidy
- cardboard catering boxes to carry and display food nicely
- Trays for serving
- Platten stands
- Hand Truck
Even though hand trucks might not be the first thing you think of when you think of serving, you’ll be glad you have one when you need to pack up big items. As a caterer, you will often have to move big loads of food or seating. With a hand truck, the weight of big items is spread out over the wheels, making it easier and more comfortable to move large items.
There are many things to think about when picking the right dishes for an event. No matter what kind of dinnerware you choose, make sure the style fits the theme of your event and that they are of good quality. If you’re going to use plates and spoons more than once, they should be strong and sturdy so they don’t break or chip easily. Disposable dinnerware is great for events that aren’t formal or have a lot of people because it makes cleanup easy.
- Outdoor Coolers
Whether you’re serving an indoor or outdoor event, you’ll need an outdoor cooler if you don’t have access to refrigeration or need to move food. Industrial outdoor coolers have a lot of insulation, and some are made to keep ice frozen for days. You can chill your drinks and foods that have already been made to keep them fresh. Industrial coolers are bigger than regular coolers and can keep the cold air in even when the weather is bad.
- Drink dispensers with insulation
To keep drinks at the same temperature while moving them, you’ll need insulated drink dispensers. Plus, they make it much easier to set up drink booths and serve guests. It’s important to keep drinks at the right temperature, and the type of drink you serve should help you decide which machine to buy. For example, you’ll need coffee airpots or coffee chafer urns if you’re serving coffee at an event.