Catering Service vs. Restaurant Catering: Which Is Best for You? 

Is using a catering service different than using a restaurant that caters?

Catering Service vs. Restaurant Catering

Many restaurants advertise event catering as a part of their overall service offerings. But, in most cases, what they actually offer falls far short of what a true caterer can – and does – provide as a part of their services.

So, while it may appear that you could save money by using a restaurant to provide food for your event, you should ask a few important questions to get a true comparison.

What Will You Get from a Restaurant that Caters?

Let’s start by looking at the food you’ll get when you use a restaurant for your event catering. In most cases, the restaurant cooks everything at their location, then packs it up for transport. Some deliver but the chances are good that you will have to pick the food up from their location.

In most cases, that’s the extent of what a restaurant that caters will provide. Once you get your food to the event venue, you will have to set up chafing dishes (or some other way to provide heat), transfer the food, etc.

What Will You Get from a Catering Service?

A catering service may prepare some dishes ahead of time but, whenever possible, they will prepare food onsite, guaranteeing freshness. You won’t have to run out to pick it up, as they will bring everything to your event venue – including a full staff of servers and bussers.

They will provide all the chafing and serving dishes as well as flatware, plates and napkins.

Once your event is done, their staff will clean and pack up – and they’ll even send the leftovers home with you if you request them. For the client, it’s truly a “hands-off” experience that takes care of everything you need for your event food.

How to Compare Restaurant Catering to a Catering Service

Once you receive your price quotes from both, including what each vendor will provide in addition to the food, make a quick list of what you will have to provide as a supplement.

For example, if you order your food from the restaurant, will you still have to hire waitstaff, bussers and a cleanup crew? Will you have to set up and tear down the food stations? Will you have to provide the drinks, cups, flatware, plates, etc.?

For each item you must provide if you use a restaurant instead of a caterer, estimate a rough cost – and don’t forget to include however much of your time will be required to source each item.

Once you make a true comparison, you just might find that you will spend less when you choose a professional caterer to handle your reception, party or corporate event.

In Provo and throughout the Salt Lake City metro area, Brown Brothers Catering offers a full-service experience for our clients. Our award-winning service includes all the waitstaff, setup and teardown, bussing and flatware. You can rest assured that your guests will Northern Utah’s finest food – without you having to lift a finger – when you choose us as your professional event catering service.