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Essential Catering Checklists For Events

Back Print

July 09, 2024

Did you know that 52 percent of catering-focused businesses do $1 million to $7.5 million in sales every year? By tapping into the lucrative catering market, restaurants can significantly boost their revenue. Whether you're hosting on-premises events or catering off-site, staying organized is crucial to ensuring seamless operations, being proactive vs. reactive, and maintaining profitability.

Learn tips from the experts and make your next catering event flawless.


Why You Should Plan a Catering Checklist

Restaurant owners are familiar with comprehensive checklists. From kitchen cleaning to opening and closing duties, having checks and balances is critical to staying on track.

One benefit of checklists is the ability to help prioritize tasks and ensure that each one is executed in the proper order. Catering checklists are no different. Creating one for your team means every aspect of service—from the routine to the critical—is organized and accounted for.

Benefits of Catering Checklists

  • Keeps Chaos at Bay: Organizing and labeling necessary equipment for catering mitigates confusion and keeps things tidy. Plan to have all your food pots, pans, serving utensils, and Cambros ready to go for easy cooking and plating. Don’t forget to have your hot and cold beverages primed to go, as well.
  • Keeps Expenses in Check: Having a list of all necessary ingredients, beverages, equipment, and staffing ahead of time means better money management. There are no last-minute purchases or scrambling for products, which can drive up food costs and increase food waste.
  • Streamlines Prep: Having all your mise en place and supplies on a checklist means set-up, prep, and cooking is low-stress, letting you focus on what matters—wowing your customers.
  • Creates Loyal Customers: A well-executed event featuring stellar dishes is a surefire way to win customers' hearts. Implementing and following a catering checklist provides any establishment with the schematics for smooth and successful service and the chance to convert first-time customers to return customers and devoted followers.

5 Indispensable Catering Checklists

Catering involves meticulous planning, requiring a few distinct checklists to ensure an event goes smoothly. Here are five catering supply checklist examples to get you started.

1. Kitchen and Cooking Equipment:

  • Knives and cutting boards
  • Cooking utensils, including tongs, spoons, spatulas, ladles, and strainers
  • Pots, pans, hotel pans, and baking sheets
  • Food processors, blenders, and mixers
  • Mixing bowls
  • Storage containers, foil, and plastic wrap
  • Thermometers
  • Cooking oils, seasonings, and spices

2. Serving Essentials:

  • Serving platters, bowls, and utensils
  • Chafing dishes with sterno
  • Dining plateware and cutlery
  • To-go and leftover containers
  • Glassware for water, wine, beer, coffee, and specialty drinks
  • Napkins and table linens
  • Salt and pepper shakers

3. Beverage Equipment:

  • Beverage dispensers for hot and cold drinks
  • Water pitchers, ice buckets, and tongs
  • Beverage napkins, straws, and stirrers
  • Creamer, plant-based “milk,” sugar, and sugar substitute for coffee
  • Iced-drink garnishes, including lemon wedges, cucumber, and mint

4. Bar Supplies:

  • Cocktail shakers, strainers, jiggers, and liquor pour spouts
  • Bottle openers and corkscrews
  • Ice scoops
  • Bar mats, bar towels, and garbage can

5. Cleaning Products:

  • Dishwashing soap, sponges, and sanitizer
  • Cleaning towels, sanitizing sprays, and wipes
  • Brooms, mops, dustpans, dish bins, and buckets
  • Disposable gloves

Take a look at your menus, guest count, kitchen and scullery area, and bar needs. Based on your unique catering event, develop checklists to ensure a successful soiree every time.

Stock Up on Catering Essentials at US Foods CHEF’STORE

CHEF’STORE carries a wide range of high-quality catering products, our wholesale prices ensure you get the best value for your money. You’ll discover durable cooking tools, professional-grade cleaning products, bar garnishes, beverage necessities, and more! 

Stop by one of our many locations or get your products delivered with third-party delivery services. 

The information materials and opinions contained in this blog/website are for general information purposes only, are not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. We make no warranties, representations, or undertakings about any of the content of this blog/website (including, without limitation, as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of such content).

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