How to hire a great caterer for your next event or party

What party would be complete without delicious food? It’s the secret ingredient that keeps your guests dancing and having fun well into the small hours – so it’s important your caterer serves up a feast everyone can enjoy.

At Bark, we’re proud to be helping people throughout the UK find great local catering companies. But before we start putting you in touch with caterers in your area, you need to know what you’re looking for.

To help you choose the right pro for you, we created this easy guide to hiring a great caterer for your next event or party.

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Know your guest profile

While it might be relatively easy to create a menu your closest friends will enjoy, when planning larger events you’ll often need to cater for a range of tastes and eating requirements.

For example, older attendees may prefer a milder, less adventurous menu to younger guests. Meanwhile, guests concerned with health and fitness may prefer more seafood or vegetarian options.

Considering your guests’ preferences in this way should help you arrive at a much clearer idea about what sort of caterer you’re looking for.

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Plan your menu

Once you know what sorts of guest you’re expecting, it’s time to start planning your menu.

With Bark, this is easy. Simply indicate what sorts of cuisine you’ll consider when placing your Bark and ask the pros who respond to your request to propose a menu tailored to suit your tastes.

Make sure you know whether you’ll need to provide vegetarian or gluten-free options so your caterer can make sure there’s something for everyone.

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Do you want any additional services?

Some caterers are more “full service” than others – and the level of service that’s right for you will depend on the kind of event you’re planning.

If you’re planning a birthday garden party, you might be happy with a simple buffet service. But for a larger event like a wedding, you’ll likely need cutlery, table linens, a full waiter service and more.

Simply select the level of service you’re looking for from our checklist when placing your Bark to help us find local caterers who meet your requirements.

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Sample the food in advance

It’s often a good idea to sample a few different caterers’ food before you hire someone. This gives you a chance to check the quality of their cooking and to experience how the food will be presented.

It’s also a great opportunity to meet the chef and determine how flexible they are. Many caterers will be happy to adjust their dishes to your tastes – so don’t be afraid to make your feedback heard.

Click the link below to now place your Bark we’ll do all the legwork to get you multiple quotes from local caterers fast and free.

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Food For Thought: What’s Filling Plates At This Year’s Summer Parties?

Here at Bark, we’re all food fanatics. Not a lunch can go by without somebody suggesting a stroll to the nearby food market to sample the somewhat absurd variety of cuisine there is on offer.

Interest in food has sky-rocketed in recent years, perhaps down to the explosion of ‘Food Porn’ imagery that is posted across social media each day. In fact, in the UK alone last year, the word ‘food’ was mentioned 155 million times by social media users, whilst the hashtag #foodporn was included in 50 million images on Instagram. From Poutine to Martinis, here’s what you’ll likely be dining on at this year’s summer parties.

The Reinvention of the Burger Ask anyone and they’ll say the same thing: ‘The Burger is a staple of any memorable summer party’. Yes, it’s usually overcooked to the point of oblivion and resembles more a hockey puck rather than something even remotely edible, but why complain? It’s just a beef burger, right? Wrong.

Pork Belly Burger. New burger trend
The burger will undergo a makeover of sorts this summer

Whereas sliders and posh burgers have dominated summers past, this year the twist is centred on what animal the burger on your plate actually derives from. Duck, lobster and pork belly are all vying to be the meat of choice in your burger this year, meaning you may need an animal picture chart to identify what you’re eating this summer.

Poutine: So what’s the perfect accompaniment to the burger? Chips, off course! Once again, much like the burger, there’s a twist on a Great British favourite this summer thanks to our Canadian friends across the pond. Put simply, Poutine is chips, cheese and gravy and it’s delicious. Its versatility is key; add something extra to it like pulled pork; your taste buds will forever be in your debt…

Poutine: Summer food trends 2015
The new accompaniment to a summer party

Love Your Lobster: Here’s something to sink your claws into: The UK is going cray-zy for Lobster. The rise of the likes of Burger & Lobster has made the food a lot more accessible and affordable, and we’re making the most of it. The Capital is slowly becoming packed full of Lobster pop-ups, market stalls and kitchens, and it makes for a perfect addition to a summer party. So next time you’re at a summer party, jump on the bandwagon and go for a mouth-watering Lobster Roll, the ideal summer seafood dish.

Jump on the Lobster bandwagon this year

A Bitter Twist: No summer party is complete without a cocktail or three, and with that in mind, we’ve taken a look at what your party attendees will be sipping on this summer. Out are sugary cocktails such as your appletinis and your daiquiris; in is something a little more bitter. If you’re hosting a party soon, we suggest stocking up on Amaro and Campari. The bitter, the better, it seems.

Keep an eye out for Vermouth too; that’s also enjoying a moment, especially with its biggest advocate, Mr. James Bond, hitting our screens once again in his latest film, Spectre, this October. Anyone for a Martini? Shaken, not stirred, of course…

Bitter Cocktails Summer 2015
Cocktails this summer: The bitter, the better

Get The Scoop: So we’ve talked mains and what tipple to wash it down with, but what about dessert? There’s only one option to satisfy our sweet tooth this summer…Ice Cream. Homemade ice creams and sorbets are the scoop of the summer and they’re easy to make. Try to include fresh fruits such as raspberry or blueberry; the sharp, sweet flavour will clash nicely with those bitter cocktails we’ve just discussed, and the chilled texture will offer perfect respite to the summer heat. We can’t think of a more refreshing and cooler way to see out a summer party.

Home made Ice Cream and Sorbets
The scoop of the summer

Let’s Get Digital: Perhaps not quite a food trend for a Summer Party, but your smartphone is about to become a valuable dinner partner. This year has seen an upturn in the number of restaurants going digital. Be it paying for your meal via your iPhone, or booking a table or settling a bill amongst friends, your phone will make your dining experience a very interactive affair. And what kind of summer party is it if you don’t have a dedicated playlist? Apple’s newly launched streaming service, Apple Music, will help you here. Just leave the cooking to the expert.

Digital interaction is on the rise in dining
Digital interaction is on the rise in dining

Thinking of hosting a summer party this year but panicking at the thought of putting it altogether? Why not hire a caterer to do the job for you? All you’ll have to do is play the gracious host…

For more tips and insight, why not check out our other blogs?

What are you hoping to see grace your plate at your summer party this year? Let us know