On-site Catering vs. Catering Delivery: Which is Right for You?
When planning a special event, it's tempting to put simplicity and convenience first, not to mention cost. For this reason, a catering delivery service often seems a more attractive prospect than accommodating an on-site catering. With a delivery-only service, you can choose your food and get it delivered to your home or party venue, ready to unwrap and serve to your guests.
But when it comes down to it, the most important question to ask is this: How special do you want your special event to be?
Make an impression
There are a number of sacrifices one makes in favour of cost by choosing a delivery-only catering service. One of the most obvious is forgoing a team of professional waiters. Whether you're hosting a wedding, a party, or a private dining event, the presence of top-notch, experienced butlers can make all the difference. Having a team to assist in setting up, serving, and clearing away also frees you up to enjoy the event. So much for the convenience of delivery-only catering!
Having a chef present, meanwhile, ensures your food looks just as it should, freshly dressed and garnished by the person who made it. An on-site chef can also work around the specific requirements of your event, responding to changes in guest numbers or the speed at which they eat by adjusting the pace of service.
Serve the best
While the best caterers make every effort to keep food fresh in transit, there's simply no way to avoid some of the problems involved. It goes without saying that, with a delivery-only service, food will be wrapped, unwrapped, and finally transferred to serving platters when it reaches your venue. All the while, it's being exposed to changing temperatures, the vibrations of a moving vehicle, and a host of other risk factors involved in transit. Compared to a good on-site catering service, a delivery-only alternative just doesn't hold up to scrutiny.
Many foods will also need to be re-heated, which means they'll have been in the oven twice before they reach the plate, with a cooling period in between. Often, particularly when it comes to rice and seafood, they can't be heated again—so anything left over at the end of the party might have to be thrown away. So much for cost-effectiveness!
The risk of contamination and spoilage is very real when it comes to caterers inexperienced in handling food outside their own kitchen. Equally, if it's not under-cooked, it could be over-cooked by the time it's served to guests. Obviously, neither outcome is desirable.
All in Hand are comfortable whether delivering your food or catering on-site. That said, we also take great pride in what we do and want our clients to see the best, every time. While a delivery-only service is perfectly appropriate in some cases, such as a low-key gathering of family and friends, we generally prefer a more hands-on approach. Special events should be special, after all, and we're more than equipped to host them.