How to Pick Catering Equipment for Your Food Service Business

So you have a catering business. Whether your catering business is attached to a restaurant you own or you just specialize in catering for events, you already know that catering businesses require different equipment than restaurants. 

One of the challenges that foodservice business owners have when moving into the catering industry is figuring out what type of equipment they need to buy. Today, we are going to give you a guide that will help you pick the best catering equipment for your foodservice business. 

Most of choosing the right catering equipment for your foodservice business is a matter of asking yourself: 

  • How are you going to be catering?
  • What you are going to be catering for?
  • And what equipment do you already have or have available to you?

How are you Catering?

One of the biggest questions that a foodservice business owner should ask themselves before they start purchasing catering equipment is: “how are we going to be catering?”

For the most part, there are two general types of catering businesses: 

  • Those that prepare their food onsite. 
  • Those that prepare their food in their restaurant. 

Foodservice businesses that prepare their food off-site or in their restaurant are at somewhat of an advantage. With all of the food being prepared offsite, restaurant owners don’t need to invest thousands of dollars into equipment to cook food on site. For these business owners, their primary investment is going to be in safely carrying and transporting food and drink to the catering site.  

Foodservice and catering businesses that are preparing food onsite are going to need a lot more equipment. This can include investing money into an entire, versatile mobile kitchen setup so that you can prepare most or all of an entire meal at the site of the event.  

What Kinds of Events are You Catering?

What kinds of events you are catering to is another one of the most important questions you should be asking yourself before you start loading up on catering equipment. There are a few main types of catering: 

  • Industrial catering. 
  • Business catering. 
  • Mobile catering. 

Industrial catering is going to be for large cooking demands like for schools, large contracts, or even prisons. Industrial catering also applies to catering events for the music, movie and television industry. Due to serving large groups of people and elaborate demands, industrial catering may require the most equipment for your catering business. 

Business catering is going to be your drop-off and pick-up, buffet-style service. Business catering deals more with either buffet-style serving or boxing up lunches or breakfasts for team members or employees of a company. This is the route you would be taking if your primary audience is going to be local businesses and nonprofits that need you for lunches, breakfast or dinner. Business catering may require a lot or a small amount of kitchen and catering equipment for onsite service, depending on the needs of your customers. 

Mobile catering is typically for concession stands and parking lot vendors. These catering gigs often operate using more limited menus and only use smaller workspaces. Mobile catering can require the least amount of catering equipment. 

What Equipment do Your Customers Already Have?

The equipment that you have or have available to you is going to greatly determine the type of catering equipment you need. In some cases, your customer is going to have a full kitchen, all of the appliances that you need and tables for your setup and their guests as well. In other cases, you may be catering for a blank slate and need to provide all of the cooking equipment as well as food prep, kitchenware, food storage, cleaning supplies and more. 

After you have determined how you are going to be catering, who your customers are and what kinds of events you are going to be catering, this will give you a clearer picture of what catering equipment you need for your foodservice business.