From time to time no matter your business, you may want to throw some sort of event to raise publicity, or to thank people that have been particuarly helpful to your business, or woo potential new clients and one of the things that tends to be most remember at these sorts of things is the standard of catering.

If it is a fairly low-key do or your business is relatively small you may think about catering it yourself, which could be risky, not to mention time consuming. It would be worth, no matter what your size, looking into getting an outside caterer in to do the work for you.

Although it may cost you more, it has several distinct advantages – not least being that if there is an issue caused by the catering, you have some sort of protection which could mean the difference between an expensive insurance claim and not, where as if you catered yourself, the buck would stop with whoever was responsible for the catering.

There are a few things you can check out for yourself before hiring a company though to help ensure that any possible issues are minimised.

    1. Think long and hard about your menu choices, and consider the time of year of your event and how your food will be presented. For example, if your event is held as a luncheon in the height of summer, do you really want shellfish and cold meats out in the heat of the day without adequate chilling facilities?


    1. Consider your guests – Are there any people expected who have food alergies or specific dietary requirements? If so, does your chosen menu allow for them to have ample food or are they left snacking on the crisps and very little else?


    1. How are the catering company going to store the food they have prepared in advance until the event. – Do they have facilities, like a chilled van (if required) or would you need to somhow provide them with storage?


  1. What quailifications do they hold? Have they had the right training? For example, do they hold any certification like the CIEH Food Hygiene or the “Score on the door”?

Reputable catering companies are quite happy to provide their qualifications and by using one of them it means you are less likely to end up with insurance claims caused by food related illnesses.