(Closed) Catering— cooked on site or brought in precooked?

posted 8 years ago in Food
Post # 3
Member
295 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We are having a lot of prepared food brought in ready-to-go because our venue doesn’t have much of a kitchen. However, the cost difference isn’t huge—check to see what happens if there isn’t an extra chef there. If they still need the extra body based on the number of people to serve, they may just add another server instead, and with our caterer the rate differential between the two wasn’t huge.

I think it is the norm to prepare or finish food on site. Because of our not-exactly-a-kitchen situation, we had a couple of caterers specifically say they could not do certain dishes on their menus at our venue because they simply wouldn’t turn out well. It’s also possible that they will not consider taking off a chef an option, and will simply say no thanks to the event—so I would call them and tell them upfront that you need to identify a way to bring their bid into your budget, and let them suggest where to cut back. We did this with two different caterers and had very positive responses—they were happy to work with us, and had good strategies for cutting costs while keeping the basics of the event intact.

The extra plate charge seems odd—I would confirm that it’s really for the extra chef and not just for different types of food that the chef is making. I haven’t heard of linking plate charges to staff, since you typically pay hourly for staff anyway.

If you do decide to have prepared food brought in, you can also adjust your menu accordingly. We went with lots of cold dishes that would travel well, and eliminated salads that our caterer thought wouldn’t sit well for the couple of hours, etc. Lots of solutions out there—good luck!

Post # 5
Member
1465 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

If the caterer is reputable, the food will not be soggy or overcooked if prepared in their own kitchen. Many reception venues do not have adequate kitchens for preparing food on-site.

Post # 6
Member
304 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

My venue didn’t have a kitchen so all the food was precooked and DELICIOUS. We are still getting compliments on our wedding food… esp the cake. That was included in our catering contract and it was amazing.

 

Good luck !

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