Generally, states that permit in-home caterers need residents to possess a catering permit. To get a catering permit, residents must take an examination proving that they have knowledge of food safety rules, such as the temperature at which food items should be stored, what food items should be stored, how to safely handle food and where food items should be displayed for customers.
Depending on the requirements of each state, most restaurants will require their caterers to be licensed, at least as a minimum. Caterers are required to obtain a written contract with the customer and have the customer sign it, which include the terms of payment, the date of event, and a list of food to be served, including the number of tables needed. Also, the list of dishes to be prepared and the price of each dish will be agreed to by the caterer and the customer, which are usually included in the contract.
Once the contract has been signed and delivery has been made, the caterer will take care of all the food preparation and delivery. Some states require caterers to serve food at the event, while other states prefer that their caterers only prepare the food for the event and bring it back with the customers. Other states, such as Texas, require the caterer to prepare the food as the event begins, such as placing the food in the refrigerator, but not before the beginning of the event. This ensures that all food items available to guests are ready when guests arrive.
Some caterers also offer pre-arranged or pre-cooked food items that customers can bring to the event. These pre-arranged meals come with all of the food items requested by the customer and all of the plates, napkins and glasses that the caterer will use. Food that is pre-arranged to be eaten at the event typically includes hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, sandwiches, pizza, desserts, and more.
The cost of food preparation and delivery is usually less than what it would cost if food was to be ordered and prepared at the event, as the caterer can save on labor costs, overhead costs, and waste. because there is no need to stock the restaurant with food for the entire duration of the event. This saves both time and money for the caterer.
When considering whether to hire a caterer, it is important to remember to consider both the cost of food preparation and the food that is provided, because sometimes caterers will provide more food than can be consumed on the date the event takes place. It is important that you be sure that the food will be consumed, as guests who will not eat the food may feel bad and have a negative experience dining out with someone who does not care about the health of their guests. This could cause them to avoid your catering service.