Special Considerations for Catering an Outdoor Event

by on February 8, 2011 Filed under Catering Tips

Catering Outdoor Events

Whether you’re planning a corporate picnic, a class reunion outing or a summer birthday party, there are several specific things to consider when you’re thinking about catering an outdoor event. The challenges and details of setting up your catering arrangements will surely change depending on what type of event it will be, the venue where it will be held and the time of year during which the event takes place. This handy guide will lead you through the process of catering your outdoor event.

1. The Menu

Before you plan your menu for your outdoor event, consider the weather conditions you’re likely to encounter. Your guests may prefer something light and cold on a hot summer day rather than a heavy, hot dish. Also, having food that requires plates and silverware will require extra costs as well as extensive seating areas. Finger foods and appetizers are easier for guests to eat while mingling. Speak with your caterer about making sure your food stays at the correct temperature while catering an outdoor event. You’ll want burgers, hot dogs and other dishes to stay hot while still keeping salads and fruit chilled, which can be a challenge depending on the weather.

2. The Setting

Choose an outdoor venue that will accommodate all your guests comfortably. Parks often provide a great setting for a catered outdoor event. If you’re hosting a corporate picnic or birthday party, think about where you could hang up some decorations or a sign that indicates the location of the event. You may want to rent a large tent to provide cover for your guests in case of rain. Even if no rain occurs, your guests will have a comfortable shady area where they can eat and relax during the event. Don’t forget about other accommodations which may not be available at some outdoor venues. For example, you may need to rent portable toilets during the event.

3. The Entertainment

Catering Outdoor EntertainmentMany people choose to provide entertainment during their outdoor event. A corporate picnic can be much more fun with a few games or a DJ, while a child’s birthday party will be a hit with the addition of a moonbounce or other inflatable structure. Check with your catering company about including these types of entertainment with your food package. Many of these companies partner with local businesses to give their clients special deals on entertainment while catering the outdoor event.

4. The Costs

An outdoor corporate picnic, party or class reunion can be cheaper since you don’t have to rent out an expensive venue. However, you should still look into event insurance to make sure you’re covered, especially in the case of corporate picnics. Furthermore, look into additional costs through the catering company for set-up and pick-up. You should also make sure you deposit can be transferred should you have to reschedule due to weather.

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{ 5 comments }

1 marla February 8, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Such great tips for the upcoming warmer weather seasons 🙂

2 Clinton February 9, 2011 at 9:49 am

One of my favourite things to do is get together with friends and family in an outdoor setting. It makes for great memories!

3 Bryah February 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Great advise. I own an catering company that specializes in outdoor events and this will help a lot of party planners

4 Susie May 11, 2011 at 11:28 am

Ashley is doing a wonderful job writing articles with sensible ideas and comments. I suggest our clients visit caterista.com to review Ashley’s articles. She is breaking ground and showing potential clients very important information.
Thank you Ashley.

5 Pearl Princess March 21, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Great tip for starters like us!