Imagine it’s your job to organise a private party such as a birthday or wedding.
You find the venue – it could be a bar or something a bit more trendy from hidden gem venues in London, or an open space in an old public building, or an authentic public garden space for a summer celebration.
The problem is that the place has no catering facilities - London has literally thousands of wonderful venues like this.
What do you do? Fortunately, the city has an equal number of catering companies, so you have so much to choose from.
What you pick will depend on your budget, but we recommend you think about three essential qualities for your catering firm.
The first of these is excellent produce. The best catering companies will use fresh, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. For London, that means vegetables grown in nearby farms situated in the surrounding Home Counties.
Of course, what local means depends on who you speak to. It is possible to enjoy an over generous serving of locally sourced succulent Aberdeen Angus beef, reared in Scotland but served in London – if you define local as UK wide.
If you really care about this you have to ask questions to find out what a company means.
The bottom line with produce is that you get what you pay for – the best ingredients add to the price of the London catering companies service you purchase.
The next important quality is experienced staff. Inexperienced waiters, chefs and bar people can lead to all sorts of problems. The organisation of your day, the timings of the dining, the stock levels of the beverages will all be at risk of slipping. And once that starts it can all unravel.
On the other hand good quality service is almost invisible so often not appreciated. I suggest that you do not underestimate the value of good people who have pride in what they do.
The final item on our list is food. Excellent menus full of delicious London catering food will leave your guests or your staff satisfied.
A good catering company will normally have a selection of buffet options and a formal dining menu selection. Versatile canapés are a very popular choice. These delicious bites of flavoursome cuisine can be served as a starter or as the whole meal. They come in sweet and savoury options and are easy to serve without much fuss.
Next on the list are the catering buffets, which are a choice finger or fork food - either hot or cold. These orders normally have lots of variety and can include sausage rolls, sandwiches and delicious options from across the globe.
The three-course meal or fine dining options are the more pricey. This could be a seared piece of freshly caught fish with steamed and buttered seasonal vegetables.
The choices are endless but not every company passes the quality test based on our three questions.
We know one that does - take a look at All in Hand Catering, a company with a love for food and flair in kitchen. You can see it here.