Catering is used by companies and private parties to provide food and drink services for gatherings. This is commonly seen at business events, weddings and other gatherings and may include full course meals, bar services or buffet settings. Often catered events will have staff prepare the food that will be served on their own equipment or on provided equipment.
Many professional caterers have their own equipment. This equipment includes plate and stemware and the tools necessary for cooking and serving food. Catering equipment may be commercially available items such as basic cooking equipment. This equipment is often what is available to the general public and can produce good results for food preparation.
Commonly used equipment includes chafers, which are used to keep dishes warm after being prepared. Buffet warmers are often used for buffet catering as they can keep multiple items warm at the same time. Other types of serving trays may be used to accommodate smaller gatherings and are often easily washable in a standard kitchen sink.
Catering equipment is often more affordable than industrial equipment, making it easier for small catering businesses to get started and work for clients. Some catering equipment may be purchased through retail stores or other kitchen supply locations instead of through an industrial catering retailer. Other catering equipment may include basic table cloths and place mats that are used to cover the tables.
Industrial catering equipment is frequently used by larger catering companies to produce excellent and efficient products for catering. This equipment may not be available to the general public, or may be cost prohibitive for smaller catering businesses. Industrial catering equipment may be purchased through industrial retailers or through specialty locations that handle industrial grade equipment.
Choosing industrial catering equipment over standard catering equipment can help with clean up as well. Many industrial catering supplies include ware washers that are capable of handling large amounts of serving trays, plates and stemware at once. This can help reduce the amount of time spent washing used goods after and during the catering process.
Industrial catering equipment is often more durable than standard catering equipment. This can lead to longer lasting equipment that is more resilient to dents, dings and other damages that occur during catering. Purchasing longer lasting equipment can lead to a reduction in how often the equipment must be replaced. These industrial grade machines and serving trays also may hold larger amounts of food, making it possible to easily serve larger gatherings and groups.
Industrial catering equipment is also often used by hospitals in the kitchen to serve meals. This equipment is often used to bring individual meals to patients but can also be used to cater settings where individual meals are required. Standard catering equipment may not be able to easily accommodate individual meals, or the equipment may not be as durable.