Catered events are only as good as the planning that goes into them. This is why it’s important to do your research, set a budget, and use this guide to help make sure your event goes off without a hitch.

Do your research.

Before you can even begin to plan an event, it’s important to know what your goals are and what your guests expect from the experience.

  • What do I want people to take away from this event?
  • How will my catering service help achieve that goal?

Once you’ve determined these things (and made sure everyone else is on board), start doing some research into different caterers in your area. Look at their menus and pricing structures–but don’t spend too much time comparing apples and oranges here! You’ll probably find that most catering companies offer similar services at similar prices. Once you’ve narrowed down the list of potential candidates based on price, start looking deeper into each company’s offerings so that when someone asks about vegetarian options or gluten-free desserts during an interview with them, they have something specific they can tell them about.

Set a budget.

A budget is the first step to planning a successful catered event. The cost of your event will depend on many factors, including the number of guests, type of food and drink served at the event, venue hire and decorations. Remember that there are many hidden costs that can add up quickly–such as delivery charges and taxes–so it’s important to factor these in when setting your budget.

Once you’ve determined how much money you have for catering, look at all aspects of what needs to be done:

  • Food cost – include everything from appetizers through dessert; this includes drinks if they’re being served (and don’t forget about tips!)
  • Venue hire – does this include tables/chairs? Do we need extra lighting? If so, how much will this add onto our bill?

Pick the right menu.

When planning your next catered event, it’s important to remember that the menu is just as important as the venue and guest list. Here are some tips for picking the right food:

  • Pick a menu that fits your budget, and the type of event you are having. If you’re hosting a corporate luncheon, for example, your options will likely be very different than if you were throwing an all-day wedding reception.
  • Choose a menu that is appropriate for the season–you don’t want guests shivering in their seats because they’re too cold or sweating profusely due to excessive heat! Consider how much sun will be shining through windows or doors at whatever location(s) where festivities will take place; if there aren’t any windows or doors available (e.g., if everything takes place indoors), consider how much ventilation exists within those spaces before selecting foods that require cool temperatures such as ice cream sundaes or potato salad made with mayonnaise rather than vinegar dressing (which won’t spoil as quickly).

Consider a venue that will make your event memorable.

Once you’ve chosen a date and a venue, it’s time to think about what makes your event special. A great venue can be the perfect complement to your theme and help set the tone for an unforgettable occasion. Here are some examples of memorable, unique venues:

  • The top floor of an old skyscraper
  • An outdoor garden with waterfalls and fountains
  • An old church turned into a restaurant with stained glass windows

Get help with planning, if needed.

If you are planning a catered event, it’s important to know that you don’t have to do it all yourself. You can hire a caterer and/or planner to make your life easier.

  • Hire a caterer: A good caterer will know how much food your guests will eat, how many courses of service they’ll need and whether they have any special dietary needs (such as vegan or gluten-free). The best ones also offer services such as set-up and cleanup so that you don’t have to worry about those details either!
  • Hire a planner: If your budget doesn’t allow for hiring someone full time, consider hiring them on an hourly basis instead–this allows them more flexibility in what they do for you at each stage of planning (and saves money!). They’ll help organize everything from invitations through final touches on the day before the event itself; plus they’ll make sure everything runs smoothly during setup/service times too!

Remember to be realistic and inclusive when planning a catered event, and don’t forget to invite people who are there only to celebrate with you!

One of the most common mistakes people make when planning a catered event is forgetting to invite people who are there only to celebrate with you.

It’s easy to get caught up in the details and forget about what really matters: having fun! So don’t forget those guests who will help make your event memorable, more fun, or more successful.


We hope that these tips have helped you get started on planning your next catered event! Remember, it’s important to be realistic and inclusive when planning a catered event. You don’t have to do it all yourself–if you need help, reach out to friends who may be able to lend a hand. And don’t forget about those people who are there only to celebrate with you: they deserve an invitation too!