Unless you’re in the catering industry and dealing with related topics on a daily basis, you may not know that there are actually different types of services in this area. One key distinction involves commercial versus non-commercial catering, as there are reasons you might opt for one over the other. Generally speaking, commercial catering puts you in control over the product and service, instead of having important decisions made for you by an intermediary person or entity. However, there are many additional factors involved with the comparison. You can discuss your needs and get the specifics from New York commercial catering services, but an overview may also be useful.
Comparing Commercial and Non-Commercial Catering
The main difference between the two is choice and control. With commercial catering, you make decisions as the customer regarding the food, beverages, theme, and type of service. You pay the catering professionals directly based upon a budget you’ve established. Commercial caterers may serve clients ranging from large, major corporations hosting meetings – down to you and your family dining at a local restaurant.
You may have encountered non-commercial catering without knowing it, commonly in a cafeteria-style setting. A third party entity makes the arrangements and hires the non-commercial catering service, which often takes place at the hiring organization’s site.
Both forms of catering are offered to public and private customers. At times, commercial catering is described as services which are intended to drive profit or where money is the primary business objective. A non-commercial caterer typically offers services as an accompaniment to a principal product or some other goal.
Examples of Commercial Catering for Events
To better understand the services offered by commercial caterers, some examples may be helpful. For instance, you might consider retaining such services if you’re hosting:
- A celebration for a wedding, anniversary, birthday, retirement, or other special occasion;
- A memorial, funeral, or celebration of life service; or,
- A special event for your business, such as a customer appreciation party or open house.
In the corporate world, many companies use commercial catering services on a regular basis for a wide range of events. According to The Balance, an online resource for business and financial information, the most common corporate events for purposes of commercial catering include:
- Industry seminars and conferences;
- Meetings of key executives, members of the board of directors, or shareholders;
- Customer training and education;
- Trade shows;
- Executive retreats;
- Incentive clubs for high performing employees;
- Celebrations commemorating an organization’s growth, expansion, or milestones;
- Team building and employee enrichment activities;
- Events to celebrate a product launch; and,
- Many more.
As mentioned, many non-commercial catering services are in a cafeteria setting. You may have experienced them when dining at a school or college, corporate dining room, in a hospital, or related environments.
7 Tips for Choosing a Commercial Caterer
Because you’re in charge when it comes to making decisions on a commercial catering professional, some recommendations may help you find the right fit for your needs.
- Start by stating your budget, including an itemized list of what you want to spend on various components, such as food, drinks, service items, and related issues.
- Discuss the objectives and details of the event with your catering provider, including location, type of venue, number of attendees, and duration.
- Be clear on your expectations and what you’ll need from the commercial caterer, much of which you’ll have itemized on your budget documents. Provide information on the style of service you’re seeking, such as a buffet, passed appetizers, food stations, or other options.
- Make sure your catering service provider can accommodate any special requests you may have, based upon the type of event you’re hosting.
- If possible, request a tasting of the items you’d like to serve at your event.
- Determine how many people you’ll need for food and beverage service. Your commercial caterer can provide useful information on the topic, as these professionals come from years of experience.
- Ask for references from current and previous clients, and go online to read reviews where available.
Contact New York Commercial Catering Professionals
Once you’ve decided to move forward with commercial catering services, it’s important to work with an experienced company that can provide for all your needs. To learn more about our expertise in all types of catering, please contact the Manhattan office of Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering & Events. We can set up a consultation with one of our skilled professionals, who can help you navigate the planning process for your event.