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Caterer caterers in Fresno Trendy Catering Fresno

5 things to know before you hire a caterer in Fresno

You want your local event catered, what should you decide before you begin to hire a caterer in Fresno?

Catering in Fresno
Dinner is served by a Fresno Caterer

There are numerous types or styles of catering that one can choose from.  But before we discuss the styles, we need to decide whether your event is catered on-premise or off-premise.

What’s  the difference? The on-premise caterer is one who is attached to the venue in which you are holding your event.  The kitchen facilities are part of the venue and everything is prepped and cooked on site. It isn’t unusual that an event venue will have an in-house caterer, baker, bar service and so on. One of the first questions you should ask while booking a venue is if they have their own vendors.  If that works well for you, continue on with setting budgets, securing your date, arrange a tasting and so on. If your heart is set on using a particular caterer that this venue doesn’t use, you’ll have to continue your search.

With off-site catering you choose whomever you’d like and they prepare their food in a commercial kitchen not connected to the venue. Food is then safely transported using insulated coolers, refrigerated vehicles and portable warming units.  This equipment ensures safe food handling that any reputable caterer will use. 

Caterers who specialize in barbecue usually bring their own barbecue equipment along with any other items needed for safe handling of the food. 

With on-premise or off-premise caterers the decision between a sit down meal served by staff or a buffet style dinner should be made at the very start of your planning. If you choose a sit down dinner it’s important that you are shown how food is arranged on the plate and what garnish is used. This is usually accomplished when you schedule a tasting.

For a buffet dinner, ask to see a plan of the room arrangement. This will help with room set up and decorating when you see the buffet table placements and the design for orderly traffic flow around the buffet.  

As always, budget is of utmost consideration.  Be sure in the contract you sign with your caterer all details of what they provide are clear.  Make sure it’s a caterer that you trust and rely on their expertise to ensure a beautiful, delicious event.

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caterers in Fresno

Who’s Doing Your Catering? 

One of life’s most important moments is approaching and who will bring the food?  Whether you’re planning a bridal shower, bachelorette party, a wedding, retirement dinner, fiftieth anniversary, the list of life events goes on and on and what do they have in common?  Who will take care of the food? Eating is a major part of any and all these events. Whether you are planning for a dozen or 300, the right caterer is key!

If you event is taking place at a rented event location it’s quite possible they have their designated caterer already in place.  If you want a specific caterer, you may have to find the venue that will work with you.  

Fresno Catering Pros
A Fresno Caterer in action!

Planning an event and all that it entails can be overwhelming but here’s 5 quick tips to help you in your search for the right caterer

  1. When you contact the caterer do they delay in answering your phone call, text or email?  Even if a caterer is booked and can’t handle your event, you should always receive communication telling you so.. Beyond that, many caterers will have a suggestion or two for you. 
  2. Schedule a tasting, in fact, schedule up to three tastings with a range of local Fresno caterers.  Be sure that at the tasting you will be sampling specific food items that you wish to serve at your event.  In addition to how the food tastes, pay attention to the presentation. You want your food to look good as well as tastes good.  Ask about variations of the menu or if you want a specific recipe included. Some caterers may also offer a wine paring at your tasting.  Ask what if any are the charges for the tasting. 
  3. Find the right fit.  Most caterers can provide a variety of food services however they most often have their specific niche.  They may be more boutique style of catering, corporate catering, Black tie events, Barbecues. They may have the best food but it just may not be the best fit for you and your event. Schedule meetings with at least three caterers to see who is the best fit. 
  4. Know what is in your contract.  Go over the fine details of the contract with your caterer so you know exactly what is standard and what are upgrades. Take time and talk through your event.  Is it a buffet, is there a wait staff, beverages, bar options, etc. Don’t assume anything. It’s great to ask questions and know exactly what you are receiving for the amount you are paying. Also, what is their cancellation policy.
  5. Ask for references or look for ratings through social media.  If you can reach out to past clients and have a conversation. Check with family and friends for recommendations to find the Fresno caterer that is right for you.  

With these tips in mind it is of course foremost to know your budget.   How much do you plan to spend. How flexible is your budget? Have you factored in everything?  As one local Fresno caterer suggests, If your budget is extremely tight it may be time to narrow down the dinner plans and make it a dessert only event.  This can be done simply and elegantly. Call in all your favors from friends to set up Pinterest worthy dessert tables and perhaps just pay for the desserts to be professionally made.  You can pick up the items to save money or have a drop off from the caterer. Hire a couple of servers or ask friends to handle the tables, put them in matching aprons and you’ll have a lovely event.  Just make sure that the time of your event isn’t at a meal time so guests know that this is a dessert event, not lunch or dinner. This can be cleverly noted on the invitations. Such as, dessert will be served, dessert buffet available, save room for dessert.  Use a local Fresno bakery or local Fresno chef who specializes in desserts. This is also a great way for new baker start up businesses to get their name out. Catering is not just chicken and tri-tip. So many ways to cater a special event without serving a complete dinner if your budget doesn’t allow. 

A local Fresno food truck to serve your guests is a fun way to have a party and quite a growing trend. There’s lots of ways to do a party or event. Be creative and do it your own way, Locally we have the best Fresno caterers available and with a wide variety of food and price ranges.

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Fresno Best Caterers, do you recommend a contract?

Fresno Best Caterers Contract Suggestions

Once  you have decided on catering your event in  Fresno, it’s customary to go over a contract that includes all the details of what you are getting and at what price.  In addition to the food for your event its important that in the contact it is specifically listed who and what the staff will be.  Depending on the size of your event and what style of dinner you are serving, staffing does vary. Here’s a few great guidelines that any reputable Fresno caterer would suggest.

Buffet – It’s ideal at a buffet that there are two servers for every 30 guests. One local Fresno caterer suggests that if you have a buffet table with people serving themselves from both sides of the table, it  should accommodate 40 guests. If your event has 80 guests then you need two identical buffet tables set up. More than 40 guests makes the buffet line way to long and slow. If it is a large event that you are hosting there should also be 2-3 additional staff members, runners, that can keep chafing dishes restocked and clear dishes.

Sit Down Dinner – For a sit down dinner one server per table of eight will keep the dinner flowing nicely.  Additional servers can handle the drink refills and extra requests, rolls, butter, sugar, cream, etc.

Great Fresno catered event
Best caterers in Fresno serving a great event

Bar Staff – For every 50 guests you should figure at least one bartender and one bar-back.  If you are planning on specialty drink stations, you will need a few additional bartenders.

 

Staffing is important to keep your event seamless.  When asking for references regarding local Fresno caterers ask about the food and,  how was the service? The right number of well trained staff will help make your event run smoothly and keep all your guests happy!  Check local social media and friends and family to find the best Fresno caterer for your event. And of course contact Best Fresno Caterers website for the best caterers in Fresno.