What Is Catering? Exploring Types of Catering Services

5/5 - (6 votes)

Ever attended an event and wondered, “What is catering?” Well, that’s the magic of catering services! Catering brings events to life with scrumptious food that leaves a lasting impression, delicious cuisine, and impeccable service. From corporate events to weddings, this industry offers a variety of services to suit every occasion. Ready to dive into the exciting world of catering? Let’s get started!

Short Summary

  • Catering services provide delicious food and exceptional experiences for events, from weddings to galas!
  • The Catering Industry is a multi-billion dollar business with Robert Bogle as a key figure.
  • Caterers are responsible for creating menus, setting up buffets and ensuring an amazing dining experience, making sure your event will be unforgettable!

Defining Catering Services

Catering is the business of providing food and other services used for special events, playing a crucial role in event planning. Imagine a corporate function or a wedding reception without mouth-watering food and beverages – it just wouldn’t be the same!

There are various types of catering services, including corporate catering, wedding catering, special event catering, mobile catering, and canapé catering. Each type offers numerous opportunities for catering business owners, from serving tasty treats at corporate events to providing sumptuous meals at wedding receptions. Catering is about more than just food; it’s about creating memorable experiences for clients and their guests. A good caterer understands the importance of menu design, food presentation, and staff coordination, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable event for everyone involved.

A caterer’s responsibilities go beyond just preparing and serving food. They work closely with clients to custom craft a menu, discuss staffing, scheduling, presentation, and post-event clean-up. Caterers may also be responsible for the banquet hall, arrangements, table set-up, delivery of decorations, and arranging staffing as needed. In short, a catering team is the backbone of any successful event, providing the necessary support to ensure everything runs smoothly.

The Catering Industry: An Overview

The catering industry, which includes catering businesses, is a multi-billion-dollar business that encompasses caterers, event planners, and venues. From its humble beginnings in the 1840s, when restaurant owners began to combine catering services with their shops, it has grown into a thriving and competitive market.

Catering services can be classified into four different types: full-service catering, drop-off catering, food truck catering, and corporate catering. Each type caters to specific needs, whether it’s a large corporate event or an intimate gathering at home.

One key figure in the catering industry is Robert Bogle, recognized as the originator of catering. His contributions have helped shape this exciting industry, making it what it is today.

Corporate Catering Services

Corporate catering services provide food for business meetings, conferences, and other corporate events. These events can range from breakfasts, luncheons, barbecues, conventions, tradeshows, conferences, board meetings, and even product launches. Corporate catering ensures that attendees of large events are well-fed and energized, allowing them to focus on the event itself.

A successful corporate caterer understands the unique needs of corporate clients, including menu planning that accommodates dietary restrictions and preferences while providing delicious food that fuels productivity. Corporate caterers and catering services must be punctual, organized, and efficient to keep events running smoothly and on schedule.

The cost of corporate event catering can vary depending on the size of the event, the type of food, and the level of service required. For example, catering costs for 100 employees can range from $2,000 to $4,000, making it essential for businesses to budget appropriately when planning an event.

Wedding Catering: Making the Big Day Special

Wedding catering is all about making the big day extra special by providing food for the wedding reception and party. A wedding caterer’s role on site, is not only to create delicious meals, but also to pay attention to detail, ensure perfect timing, and communicate effectively with the entire wedding crew.

Wedding catering comes in many forms. Each type of caterer has its own style of food presentation. Full-service wedding caterers are responsible for décor, the table settings and arrangements, food presentation, accommodating food allergies, dietary restrictions, and coordinating rentals like linen and serveware, as well as staffing. By taking care of these aspects, they help create a seamless and memorable experience for the happy couple and their guests.

The cost of wedding catering can vary depending on several factors, such as the number of guests, the type of service, and the menu selections. The cost of traditional wedding catering per person can range from $70 for meals to $85 for food and beverages. On average, it is around $70-$85 per person. Couples should consider their budget and preferences while selecting a wedding caterer to ensure their big day is both enjoyable and affordable.

Event Catering: From Birthdays to Gala Dinners

Event catering encompasses planning, preparing, delivering and serving food for social events and birthday parties. It is all about creating a memorable experience through the perfect menu selection. These events can include birthday and holiday celebrations,, retirement parties, grand openings, housewarming parties, weddings, and even baby showers. The goal is to create a memorable experience for the hosts and their guests with delicious food and exceptional service.

Social event catering packages often include appetizers, décor, bartenders, and servers, ensuring every detail is taken care of. Party menus vary greatly based on each client’s individual dietary needs, allergies, preferences, and cultural beliefs. It is imperative to ensure these factors are taken into consideration for a successful event.

Event catering companies can also help clients reserve rentals for their event, including tablecloths, cocktail, gift, and cake tables, chairs, dishware, bar glasses, space heaters, and more. This assistance simplifies the planning process and allows hosts to focus on enjoying their event.

Mobile Catering: Food on the Go

Mobile catering is an exciting service where food is served directly from a vehicle, cart, or truck. It’s common at outdoor events like concerts, workplaces, and downtown business districts, offering a convenient and accessible option for people to grab a quick bite while on the go.

One of the advantages of mobile catering is that it requires less maintenance costs compared to traditional catering services. Agreement has to be reached over the items that are to be included in the menu. Delivery of the food must be sorted accordingly. Caterers and clients both benefit from minimal staff requirements. It reduces overall costs significantly.

Mobile catering is a fun and flexible option for various events, providing delicious food to large crowds without the need for extensive set-up or infrastructure.

The Art of Canapé Catering

Canapé catering is a specialized service that provides delicious canapés for events. Canapés are small, bite-sized hors d’oeuvres consisting of a base layer, such as toasted bread, topped with something savory and designed to be enjoyed in one bite. They are often served at sophisticated events like Christmas parties and weddings, adding an elegant touch to any occasion.

The benefits of canapé catering include providing guests with a variety of scrumptious small bites that can be savored before the main course. It’s an excellent way to add a touch of sophistication to any event and impress guests with the caterer’s culinary skills and creativity. Canapé catering ensures that every detail, from the presentation to the flavor combinations, is expertly crafted to make a lasting impression.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Caterer

Caterers play a vital role in ensuring that events are successful and enjoyable for all attendees. Their role is varied and multifaceted. They are responsible for designing menus, creating cuisines, renting dinnerware and plates, and ensuring appropriate staffing for pre-event, event, and clean-up activities. A caterer’s main goal is to ensure that attendees have an amazing time at events, offering a scrumptious, relaxing dining experience.

Caterers may also be responsible for setting up chafing dishes, bowls, and platters filled with food for buffets and casual gatherings, replacing them as needed, and serving the same food again to guests. This ensures that everyone has access to a variety of delicious options throughout the event.

To maintain high service standards, caterers must be insured, responsive, organized, punctual, and clean. It’s essential to investigate a catering company’s online reviews, referrals from past clients, insurance, and license to serve food and alcohol before booking their services.

A clean, organized kitchen is another crucial aspect of a good catering company, reflecting their commitment to quality and hygiene in preparing food and food preparation.

Catering Service Standards: What Sets the Best Apart?

Catering service standards are what set the best caterers apart from the rest. These standards include being insured, responsive, organized, punctual, clean, and well-staffed. Caterers who adhere to these standards ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience for clients and their guests, leaving a lasting impression.

Catering insurance is a specialized type of Business Owner’s Policy that offers protection to catering companies from specific hazards associated with running a catering business. Catering liability insurance coverage guards against work-related accidents and any litigation, providing peace of mind to both caterers and their clients.

Ensuring that a catering company has the proper insurance and licensing in place for food safety is an essential part of selecting the right caterer for any event.

Navigating Catering Costs

Catering costs can vary depending on factors such as the type of food service used, hours of work, number of guests, serving style, kitchen availability, overhead costs, and the cost of ingredients. To estimate catering costs, you can calculate the cost of ingredients per person, add up the fixed costs, and multiply the per person charge by the number of people. This helps to give clients a clear understanding of the potential costs involved in hiring a catering service for their event.

The price of traditional catering services might range from $20 to $200 per person, while food truck catering, excluding set-up and travel expenses, ranges from $20 to $35 per attendee. This wide range reflects the variety of catering options available, allowing clients to choose a service that best fits their budget and event requirements.

When planning an event, it’s essential to consider all potential catering costs and budget accordingly. This ensures that clients can provide their guests with a memorable dining experience without breaking the bank. By understanding the factors affecting catering costs, clients can make informed decisions when selecting the perfect catering service for their event.


Catering services play a crucial role in bringing events to life, providing delicious food, exceptional service, and seamless execution. From corporate events to weddings and everything in between, the exciting world of catering offers a variety of options to suit every occasion. By understanding the different types of catering services, their roles and responsibilities, and how to navigate costs, clients can confidently select the perfect caterer to make their event a memorable and enjoyable experience. So, go ahead and explore the world of catering services – the perfect partner for your next event awaits!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to do catering?

Catering means preparing and serving delicious, high-quality food and beverages to a large number of guests, making special occasions and events extra special! With catering, your guests will remember the outstanding meal you provided long after the event has ended.

What are the 3 types of catering?

Catering is a fantastic way to create the perfect special occasion! There are three primary types of catering that can add just the right touch – wedding, corporate, and social events.

No matter the event location or type of event you’re planning, make sure to consider catering options!

What does a catering service include?

Exciting your guests is a breeze with catering! Catering services include delicious food preparation and presentation, delivery to the event venue, of choice, setup of buffet stations or dinner tables, staffing (including chefs and servers), and all clean-up afterwards. Wow your guests with an unforgettable experience!

A catering service provides an all-inclusive solution for event hosting. It includes menu design, delicious cuisine creation and presentation, plate and dinnerware rentals, as well as arranging pre-event, event, and clean-up staff. Catering makes hosting a memorable occasion – your guests will be delighted!

What happens in catering?

Catering is an exciting way to bring people together, as it involves designing menus, preparing and serving food, styling and presenting dishes, and managing logistics. You get to see the happiness and satisfaction on guests’ faces when they enjoy a meal created and served with care!

Dec 7, 2019.

What is the main role of a caterer?

A caterer’s main responsibility is to create a memorable and enjoyable dining experience by serving delicious food and providing attentive service at events.

They must be able to plan menus, order supplies, and coordinate staff to ensure that all guests are satisfied. They must also be able to work with clients to create a menu that meets their needs and budget. Additionally, there are numerous reasons for it.

Oktoberfest Menu Ideas

Oktoberfest Menu Ideas

Every fall, millions gather in Munich to celebrate Oktoberfest, the world’s largest folk festival. While…

Read More


  • Dacia Flowers

    Dacia Flowers is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with a major in Cultural Anthropology. Since graduating in 2019, she has expanded her expertise and applied her anthropological background in the practical domain. As the Administration Manager at CMJJ Gourmet since August 2022, Dacia handles crucial day-to-day operations, ensuring the warehouse's optimal functionality, timely delivery of orders, and managing invoices. Her commitment to excellence and in-depth understanding of organizational dynamics stem not just from her academic prowess but also her personal passion. Beyond her professional responsibilities, Dacia has a keen interest in reading, loves to travel, and stays active through regular exercise.

    View all posts

1 thought on “What Is Catering? Exploring Types of Catering Services”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Get the inside scoop on all new products, sales, and articles

-served up fresh in your inbox each week.

Scroll to Top