Holiday Event Catering

It’s that time of year and you want to go “all out” for the holidays! You can just hear those sleigh bells ringing, you’ve written down all your party ideas, and you can’t wait to plan the perfect gala for your family and friends.

As a matter of fact, this is the one time of year when you let go of budget concerns and enjoy spoiling your guests with an extravaganza they won’t soon forget. And why not? It’s the perfect season for letting everyone know just how important they are in your life by providing them with a fun evening of holiday merriment, pulling out all the stops and offering your guests the best of everything.

Making Your Party Shine

What’s the most important part of your party? Some would argue that it’s the decorations. They are certainly integral to creating the holiday mood. You’ll want the best tree you can find, trimmed with lots of sparkling objects. Your yard, perhaps, will be decorated with Santa Claus, candy canes, twinkling lights, and more, setting the mood before your guests even enter your home.

Others would say it’s the music that’s most important. Perhaps some live music would be ideal. A pianist playing popular Christmas tunes, an acoustic guitarist, or maybe even some traditional carolers would be ideal for your soiree. Whichever you choose, music is sure to pump up the holiday mood.

And then there’s the food.

For many party throwers and party goers, this is the most important piece of the pie…or fruitcake. Seriously, how many people go to weddings, parties, and other events and then go home and comment about the food? Just about everyone!

That indicates, of course, that what you serve will be remembered the next day, though they might not remember what color Christmas balls you had on your tree or the last song the quartet sang at the close of the evening.

Planning that Magical Meal

So, let’s talk about the menu. It goes without saying, of course, that if this is your big party of the year you won’t be doing the cooking. Instead, you’ll be hiring a caterer and spending your time hobnobbing with your guests. That’s the way it should be!

That means, of course, that you only need to make decisions about what to serve and how to do it, and then you can leave the rest to a capable caterer who can manage all food-related issues including not only the food itself but also linens, tableware, and servers, if and when they are needed.

So, what’s the first step once you find a caterer you trust?

It’s deciding how you want to present the food (sit-down, appetizer stations, buffet, etc.) and all the particular of what you want to serve.

Many party hosts opt to go with buffet meals of some sort, simply because it’s the most adaptable to the space in your home. Unless, you have a huge room available for a sit-down dinner – most people don’t – you’ll want to stick with something a little less formal. If, of course, you can accommodate the
number of guests in attendance at your table(s), go for it! There’s nothing more elegant than a multi-course meal complete with holiday favorites or other food of your choosing.

If you opt for buffet, you can consider several options. For example, you may want to begin with served appetizers (here’s where the waitstaff comes in) along with champagne or other beverages and then transition to a buffet for the remainder of the meal, including desserts. Make sure, nonetheless, that there’s ample seating or standing space for those who are worried about juggling plates and drinks. You might consider bringing in small standing café tables where 3 or 4 can gather to enjoy their food.

At the holidays, a dedicated dessert table is always a nice idea. You can dress it up with fancy cookies and cakes as well as lovely decorations. Ask your caterer if they have experience in creating a dazzling dessert table that’ll wow your guests.

And what about the menu? Do you have traditional holiday favorites you’d like to include or would you like to go in a totally different direction? Do you have a theme in mind, like an Olde English Christmas or a Renaissance feast?

Whatever your pleasure, be sure before you hire the caterer that they are amenable to stepping out of the box and away from their usual menus. Of course, you might find that one of their usual menus is right up your alley, but be sure you discuss the menu in detail before you sign on the dotted line.

But remember…

No matter how elaborate your party and how fancy and delicious your food, it’s the people around you that count the most. You’ve chosen to use a caterer so that you don’t have to be stuck in the kitchen tending to the food. So, let the caterers do their job and trust their experience. If you’ve done your homework, you’ve selected a caterer you know will make your party one that your guests will remember for years to come.

It’s Not Too Early to Plan Your Holiday Party Catering Details

Yup. The holidays are coming. We bet you’ve gone into your favourite big box or department store in the last few weeks and witnessed rows of Halloween costumes, candy, and jack-o-lanterns on one side of the aisle and Christmas decorations and goodies on the other. After all, there’s only a few months left to plan for the latter while Halloween is practically here!

So, if you’re the type that makes a big deal about the December holidays, you’re probably starting to formulate plans – at least in your head – for fun get-togethers for friends and family members. It’s never too early to give some preliminary thought to what kind of party (or parties) you’d like to host this coming holiday season, and – of course – food is a huge part of any Christmas party, so the details of what you’ll serve should be given priority as far as planning is concerned.

Many party throwers are proud of the fact that they can do it ALL by themselves. Decorate, cook, plan activities. It’s a one-man-show for some happy party planners, but taking on all the tasks of a successful party can be taxing and stressful, especially at the holiday season when there’s simply so much to do.

But what are the alternatives? And how do you know if they’re right for your party?

To DIY or Not to DIY?

Why do party throwers often insist on doing it all themselves? Well, usually it’s a pride of accomplishment thing. It makes us proud to say we “did It all” with little or no help from others. Similarly, many hosts simply enjoy the tasks of cooking and baking, so they decide that they will plan an elaborate menu and start days before to get everything done before the first guest arrives.

Chances are we’ve all done this at some time or another AND chances are that we sat down when it was all finished and asked, “Why did I put myself through that?” Even those who like to cook recognize the difficulty of taking on the responsibility for all the party food as well as the other details of a well-executed holiday event.

Besides preserving our price of accomplishment, we often take on all this responsibility because we think someone else can’t do it as well as we do. We’re afraid that menus from party caterers will lack the originality we seek when putting together our own creations. We have specific plans in mind that we don’t think a caterer will want to tackle.

Truth is, however, that most catering businesses – at least, the good ones – are more than eager to sit down with you and plan a menu that matches your vision. As a matter of fact, chefs love a challenge and would be absolutely fine brain-storming with you to craft a holiday party that makes you proud to be the host.

If you take time to choose a quality caterer, you won’t get the dry chicken, the green beans almandine, the dinner roll, and the vanilla ice cream dessert that you’re normally offered at so many catered dinners. Far from it! When you choose to go with a party caterer that’s flexible and creative rather than succumb to the do-it-yourself option, you’ll still have plenty of choices.

So Where Do We Start?

It’s likely that you already have some ideas in mind for your party menu. That’s great! Maybe you’re thinking about an hors d’oeuvres party or perhaps a fancy sit-down dinner. Or maybe a large buffet is the ideal option for the huge gang you’re planning to invite to your soiree. Or perhaps you’re thinking about something else that you deem totally “out of the box.”

Having a definitive idea of what kind of menu you’re hoping to serve is the ideal place to start. You don’t need to have every detail planned, but an overall idea of which direction you’d like to proceed is essential before you start seeking a caterer for your party. Write down some details so that you can best convey your wishes as you meet with prospective caterers and bring those notes to your meetings.

When it’s time to start looking around for the perfect party chef, begin by searching the internet for catering businesses in your area and take a preliminary look at the kinds of events they offer. Do their sample menus show that they are pretty much stuck in a rut or do they demonstrate creativity and a willingness to be flexible? Does the company’s website copy include sentences such as “it’s your party and we want the food to be as unique as you” or “we strive to best compliment that special atmosphere that you are working to create”?

It’s sentences like those that indicate a prospective caterer is willing to listen to your wishes and isn’t stuck to a particular food style or menu.

Of course, it’s important to remember that you may need to be a little flexible as well. All of your ideas may not be suitable to party catering, especially with a large group, and a good caterer will tell you so and then help you figure out other options that will make you just as happy, resulting in a party full of joy and merriment.

And aren’t holiday parties all about joy? Oh, and food, of course!

BBQ Catering a Great Autumn Alternative to Traditional Menus

Aah, barbecue! Just think about it for a moment and chances are that, in your imagination, you can smell (and hear) those sizzling beef burgers, succulent ribs, tasty chicken, and all the mouth-watering side dishes that go along with a delicious BBQ meal.

Fact is that just about everyone loves a barbecue. It’s a down-to-earth, friendly meal that’s meant to be shared with friends and family, and the food that’s offered at such an event can range from simple burgers and dogs to more elaborate items like steaks and seafood. For many, barbecues are a highly-anticipated summer tradition and many foodies just can’t get enough.

At Catering Visions, however, we believe a great barbecue meal mustn’t be limited to the summer months. Fall is the ideal time for enjoying such a feast, so we offer BBQ catering throughout the autumn months for those who want to hold onto a piece of summer, even when the weather has turned a bit, along with the leaves on the trees.


A Fete for Friends

If summer got away from you and you didn’t have the opportunity to invite your best buds over for a meal and some camaraderie, it’s not too late. And, if you let an experienced caterer handle the particulars, you can sit back and relax and enjoy spending time with your pals instead of at the grill or in the kitchen.

Furthermore, the meal doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive to make your friends smile. BBQ catering can be quite basic but still delicious, offering entrees such as those perennial cook-out favorites, juicy hamburgers and scrumptious hot dogs with all the fixins’. Add a few sides, such as potato salad, a green salad, fruit, and some sweet delights, and you’ll have a meal that fills the stomach and the heart.

Of course, if you want to move towards the slightly more elaborate, there are many more options beyond the burgers and dogs. Chicken is often a welcome addition to the menu, especially for those who prefer not to eat red meat. It can be simply seasoned and then grilled or can be marinated in BBQ sauce (or similar) for a zesty taste.

Want to go a step further? Take advantage of amazing local seafood and add it to your menu. It’ll be the highlight of the party along with perhaps some juicy, delicious steaks. You can spruce up the side dishes too, adding items such as Caesar salads, corn-on-the-cob, baked potatoes, baked beans, and more.

Companies that do BBQ catering have plenty of experience in customizing menus for their customers and they’ll be eager to sit down with you and come up with a selection that will encompass the tastes of all your guests, including vegetarians or vegans.


Corporate Cook-outs Rule!

In the summertime, a lot of companies deal with a “skeleton staff” because employees are busy taking time for their holidays. However, in the fall, everyone is back at work and it’s a great time to have a “welcome back” get-together where everyone can actually chat about what they did this summer! It’s an ideal way to kick-off a new project, give a jump start to a brand new fiscal year, or just to say “we appreciate you” and we want to show you how much.

Similar to barbecues you might have at your home, corporate cook-outs with food provided by a BBQ caterer can run the gamut from modest to quite extravagant, depending on your budget and/or the size of your company.

So, why a barbecue and not a fancy sit-down event at a restaurant or catering venue? Simple! Corporate BBQs encourage and allow much more interaction between individuals. Employees are not confined to a table with 8 to 10 people, where they are likely to stay for hours when the event is more formal. With an informal event such as a barbecue, there’s likely to be more moving around or you’ll find that many people will stand and eat, allowing them to go from co-worker to co-worker to get the scoop on their summer adventures and upcoming fall plans.


BBQ for the Bride and Groom?

An outdoor autumn wedding. They’re more popular than you might imagine. It’s a great time of year to be outside…and think about the wonderful pictures the photographer will take among the fall foliage and other greenery!

With an outdoor wedding in the pleasant early fall weather, there’s no reason to limit the wedding dinner to formal food in a big white fancy tent. Many brides and grooms these days opt for something a little less expensive and perhaps a little more rustic, and a barbecue could be ideal.

If the chosen reception venue seems suitable for a barbecue dinner, go for it! Again, those experienced in BBQ catering can recommend the right menu for your autumn wedding and perhaps even suggest a few foods that might match the time of year, like something made with everyone’s favorite fall gourd – the pumpkin.


Choosing a Caterer

So, if you’ve decided a cook-out might be the right choice for your next event, look for a company that has plenty of experience in barbecue catering…and don’t be afraid to ask them if you can do a little tasting and perhaps call some references.  A quality BBQ caterer can help you craft a sumptuous menu for your event and will take care of all the little stuff too, like set-up, serving stations, servers, condiments, napkins and tableware, breakdown, and anything else that’s needed to complete the event, whether it’s at your home, business, or elsewhere.

Choosing a Wedding Menu That’s Perfect for You AND Your Guests

The proposal is complete. The date is set. The bridal party is chosen. You’ve picked a restaurant or other venue for the dinner. So, now it’s time to think about the wedding menu.

What makes weddings memorable? Chances are that if you asked a group of 10 people what they remember about a particular nuptial, 7 or 8 of them will mention the food in some way or another. Usually, you’ll hear comments like: “The appetizers were amazing”, “My steak was too well done”, “The dessert table was divine” or “The chicken tasted like rubber.”

Indeed, guests remember a lot about the food served at a wedding – both good and bad, and they can often cite facts about dinner much more easily than about the details of the bride’s dress or what colors the bridal party was wearing.

Wedding food is important! It’s the meal we share as we celebrate the new couple, visit with family members, and make new acquaintances. That’s why it’s essential to carefully consider the wedding menu for your special day, taking time to choose a meal that’s right for both you and your guests.

Consider the Cost


If you’re like most people, you’ve planned a particular budget for your wedding and, certainly, the dinner or reception eat up the bulk of that budget. So, before you go looking for a wedding caterer, know your limit, if you have one.

An old adage talks about someone having “champagne taste on a beer budget.” That makes us chuckle, but it also rings true. It’s important to be up front about budget with your chosen caterer before you start talking about what’s available for your wedding celebration.

Specifically, think about the per person cost you can afford as that is how most dinners will be priced. Plan for extras, such as the cake or other incidentals. Once you’ve arrived at that number, then you can start chatting about what kind of menu fits your budget.

It may be that the best bet for your hard-earned dollars will not be a full sit-down or buffet dinner. Cocktails and appetizers might be all your budget allows. Or even just dessert. That’s fine, and you can still work with your caterer to make those hors d’oeuvres or sweets the best ones your guests have ever tasted!

Consider the Time and Place


Often, when and where your wedding will be plays into your menu choices.

Having a morning or early afternoon wedding? Then your wedding menu might be different than what you’d choose if you were having a very formal evening wedding. For example, you may opt for a light lunch menu or perhaps a brunch. A novel idea might be to have a “tea”, which will include items such as scones, small finger sandwiches, and tiny desserts. Guests will love it!

Fancy evening ceremonies tend to lend themselves to very formal receptions in ornate venues. For those kinds of weddings, a sit-down dinner menu with two or three entrée choices is often the way to go, but you can also opt for a buffet as well. Often, guests love buffets because they are offered a wider choice of foods. Some guests, however, rather not get up from the table to plate their own food and prefer a full-service meal. Either is fine for the formal wedding or you can compromise on the wedding menu and do a little of each, perhaps offering sit-down service for the salad and entrée but adding an ornate dessert buffet at the end of the meal.

Having an outdoor wedding? Many brides and grooms who want to be married outside often opt for a tent or tents when it comes time for the wedding reception. Under the tent, you’ll usually find a buffet, but a served dinner is suitable as well if that’s what the new couple chooses.

However, it’s also fun to think a bit out-of-the-box and perhaps plan something such as a “wedding barbecue”, especially if your wedding is rather informal. The caterer can offer traditional picnic foods such as hot dogs and hamburgers, chicken, ribs, and all the sides that go along with those finger-lickin’ entrees. You might be surprised at how much your guests will love this option!

Consider your Guests


Speaking of guests and what they enjoy…remember when you are selecting your menu that – while this is YOUR reception – it’s really for your friends and loved ones. Chances are – a year or two from now and maybe sooner – you won’t even remember what you ate at your wedding dinner.

So, when you’re planning a wedding menu, keep your guests in mind. For example, if you’re a huge fan of a certain kind of food – perhaps Thai or Mexican – don’t simply opt for a Thai or Mexican meal. While it’s perfectly fine to ask if the caterer can include one or two dishes from those traditions, if you’re feeding a diverse crowd, your selections should be diverse, too. While a taco bar might be fun, for instance, it’s a good idea to also include a well-prepared chicken, beef, and/or seafood dish for those who prefer to be not too adventurous or simply don’t like Mexican food.

You’ll also need to think about those with dietary restrictions, including vegetarians and perhaps guests who prefer to remain gluten-free. Ask your caterer what he or she can offer in those categories and make sure it’s just as delicious and interesting as your other offerings.

Choosing Catering Companies: Don’t Just Look at the Price

We’ve all turned to catering companies at one time or another for a special occasion happening in our life or the lives of our family. We’ve hesitantly (or eagerly) abandoned the idea of preparing all the food for our event in favour of turning the job over to the professionals and just sitting back and watching. For many, it’s hard to hand over the pots, pans, spatulas, and favourite recipes to others, while some of us see it as a huge relief that there’s someone else actually willing to do all the preparation and cooking!

Where do I begin?

So, you’ve thought long and hard about your options and you’ve made the decision to pass the reins to the pros for that anniversary dinner, wedding reception, retirement party, family reunion, or corporate event. That’s step number one.

But how do you proceed from there and how do you determine if a specific catering company amongst dozens of catering companies in your city or town is the right one for your event…and for you? What should you be looking for as you begin to whittle down the list of catering companies in your region? What characteristics are essential in a good caterer?


A catering company is more than just the owner. Or the chef. Or the servers. A good catering company is represented by a cohesive group of individuals that WORK TOGETHER to make events run seamlessly. That team works in tandem from day one to craft the event of your dreams.

How will you know whether there’s a good dynamic amongst the team members at a particular catering company? Often, you can see it from the moment you enter their location or when you talk to various individuals on the phone. You’ll sense the ease of communication from one team member to the other.

But if you’re worried that you’re not that astute, check with references who’ve used the company in the past. Ask them if one hand knows what the other hand is doing, so to speak. Check with former clients and find out how the event transitioned from an idea on paper to a real-life event? Did the owner/manager properly convey your wishes to the chef and other staff members? Were the staff members pleasant towards each other? Did they anticipate each other’s needs?

Sounds like relationship questions, right? Well, they are! You’re looking for a team with a good working relationship and, when you find it, you can be assured that working with that team will be easy for you, too.


When an individual has a passion for their work, you can usually bet on the chance that their job is well done. And, often, you can simply observe how that person exudes passion for their profession with just one meeting.

So, do you want a caterer who likes his job (or does it for the money), or do you want a caterer with a passion for food?

The answer is simple, of course, but it isn’t always easy to find catering companies that aren’t just going through the motions of catering your special event. You want one that truly knows and loves food and what they can do with it.

That likely means finding a catering company that’s creative with their menu. Creative not only means that they’ve shown you plenty of interesting options for your party, but it also means that they’re willing to step out of the box to come up with ideas that fit your wants and needs. Of course, limits will apply depending on the size of your affair, but the sure sign of a passion for food is the desire to manipulate it to create something wonderful.


Anyone can cater a party or other event. Perhaps you’ve had offers from your close friend who loves to cook, your aunt who’s been hosting family events for the last 40 years, or your neighbor who wants to “get their foot in the door” by cooking for your next special event.

You may be tempted. But – remember – certain special events only happen once in a lifetime, so don’t you deserve the best? What you need for your party is a team of individuals who are specialists in the field of catering. Why? Because they’ll leave no stone unturned and won’t drop the proverbial ball.

They won’t run out of appetizers. They know how many are required for a party the size of yours.

They won’t forget the cream and sugar for the coffee or the mustard for the hot dogs.

They’ll provide beautiful linens and elegant tableware, not plastic tablecloths and cutlery.

Specialists of any kind boast a wealth of experience in their field, and catering companies who are specialists have developed a reputation for being good at what they do. They’ll see that everything is done well from start to finish, from preparation to clean-up, and you’ll walk away happy that you chose them.

But how will you know if someone is a specialist? Ask! Dig around on their website. Look for information about how long they’ve been in business. Search for client testimonials. Request references. That’s all an essential part of making the right choice and being happy with that choice.

Remember, the lowest priced caterer isn’t necessarily the right caterer, even if you’re worried about your budget. Consider the characteristics above COMBINED with the prices offered to choose a caterer that makes you, your guests, and your wallet happy.

Breakfast Catering

Breakfast Catering Feeds More than the Stomach

When you were a child, chances are your mom or dad repeatedly told you how important to was to eat breakfast. Maybe even your teachers stressed the importance of that first meal of the day. After all, it’s been proven that starting your morning with a healthy meal not only satisfies your hunger but also gives you extra energy and stimulates your brain, getting you ready for the day ahead.

If you’re like many adults, however, your good breakfast habits may have started to dwindle as you got older. Many high schoolers, for example, depart their home in the morning without eating breakfast, losing out on that meal because they slept through their alarm and are running for the bus. Many adults in the workforce tend to disregard the importance of breakfast too, opting instead for a quick cup of coffee, a pastry, or perhaps a piece of fruit they can eat in the car or on the train.

That’s too bad. Breakfast really is an essential meal…and an ideal one to share with colleagues or friends, whether at work or elsewhere. After all, it’s a meal that feeds not only your body – which is hungry after a long night’s sleep – but also your brain. And, besides, it’s delicious!

Corporate Breakfast

Mornings aren’t for everyone, but research shows that the a.m. hours are a good time for serious tasks. Author Daniel Pink, in his book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, says that mornings are best for focusing and analyzing, including working with others, while afternoons are made for looser, free-thinking tasks.

That makes breakfast the ideal meal for companies that want to get the proverbial think-tank going. A good meal, shared by colleagues, is not only perfect for networking but might also be a great way to get the ideas flowing in a friendly, non-threatening atmosphere.

Group Breakfasts

Similarly, sharing breakfast with others who are members of an organization to which you belong can be fun and productive as well. For example, enjoying a group breakfast with other volunteers, not-for-profit board members, women’s clubs, men’s organizations, or any other group of which you are a part, adds not only a social aspect to membership but also provides time to discuss goals and dreams. Such a discussion over a tasty breakfast every so often also offers a rare opportunity to get to know one another outside of meetings and other more formal settings.

Catered or DIY?

As with any group meal, breakfasts can be organized by the host company or organization itself or a caterer can be used. It’s a matter of preference, but it’s good to remember that organizing such a meal can be a time-consuming task and, often, that time is better used on other things.

By hiring a caterer who offers breakfast options, you’re not only saving time but you will also be assured that everything will be done correctly and completely, and there won’t be any need to assign tasks such as picking up food and drink, purchasing tableware, and buying centerpieces to employees who – usually – rather not have that responsibility.

A breakfast caterer does it all, from helping you plan the menu and choosing food options to supplying the tableware, linens, and all the condiments needed. It’s all inclusive! The caterer does the set-up, break-down, and everything in between.

Hot or Cold?

Everyone’s idea of breakfast is a little different, so options are good!

Breakfast catering can include a “continental” menu, which would feature items such as fresh baked goods like muffins, croissants, and pastries, as well as fruit, juice, and coffee/tea. It’s simple and involves little set-up.

Most caterers who specialize in breakfast also offer hot options, which might include trays of steaming hot scrambled eggs, a variety of scrumptious breakfast meats, potatoes, and some cold items as well. Another good choice for a group morning meal is breakfast sandwiches, which usually include egg, meat, and cheese on a muffin or bagel or in a tortilla wrap. Yum!

Continental breakfasts are lower in price because they require less preparation and can be an excellent option for the company that wants to offer a meal but has a limited budget. Hot breakfasts cost a little more but are generally lower in price than lunch or dinner, making them a money-saving option in general.

What’s the Occasion?

While you don’t need to be marking a special occasion in order to schedule a group or corporate breakfast, sharing the morning meal is indeed a good way to celebrate landmark moments for your company or organization, such as:

  • Meeting or surpassing company goals
  • Welcoming a new executive
  • Celebrating a notable anniversary
  • Marking the retirement of a long-time employee
  • Kicking off a fundraiser or other special event
  • Celebrating Christmas/Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, national holidays, or even the start of summer

Choosing a Breakfast Caterer

Sold on the idea of a corporate or organizational breakfast? Great! Next, you’ll need to find the right caterer, so look for one in your region that has a reputation for good food, offers a good value, and is flexible and will work with you to create a breakfast that fits not only your needs and wants but also your budget. Ask friends and colleagues for references and be sure to check those references before you hire the caterer in question.

Corporate Catering

The Company that Eats Together…

There’s something special about sharing a meal with others. Think about it. Meals are always an integral part of special events, from annual holidays to occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, or graduations. Eating together gives us a chance to sit and relax, chat, and enjoy good food that nourishes our bodies and souls.

So, why shouldn’t it be the same in the workplace? Corporate events that include a meal are a great way for colleagues to sit and enjoy each other’s company. They’re an ideal way for executives to get to know their employees. They are a lovely way to introduce guests to the company. They’re perfect for networking. AND a meal together – be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner – should also be an opportunity to partake of great food.

A corporate event that involves food can be something as simple as continental breakfast or as a complex as a multi-course meal that employees will savor for a long time. But what’s most important is that the food is tasty and presented in a pleasing fashion and that the service is top-notch. That’s why hiring a corporate caterer – rather than heading to the nearest donut shop for sweets or getting sandwiches from a delicatessen – is the preferred way to proceed when making good impressions is paramount.

There is a long list of solid reasons to hire a caterer for your next corporate event. These include:

Saving Time

When you turn the food procurement and preparation over to the professionals, you’re relieving yourself or an employee of a time-consuming task. A catering service will do everything from start to finish to make your corporate meal a suitable one for your company and your guests. You’ll never need to worry about things such as whether or not you have enough forks or if you need to make a last-minute run to the market because you forgot the mustard and mayonnaise!

Freedom of Choice

A good corporate caterer can provide you with a wide variety of options for your company meal. Most will offer hot or cold options for all meals so that you can choose which best suits your needs and time frame. Buffets can be a good option for many company functions or you might choose a more formal sit-down meal if that seems more appropriate. And if you’re looking for something fun, you might even consider a corporate BBQ, ideal for the spring or summer months and featuring favorites such as burgers and hot dogs, chicken, ribs, corn-on-the-cob, and more. Many caterers will also craft themed meals for certain company events and are usually open to hearing your suggestions for a meal that will make your occasion special.

Ease of Preparation

When you use a corporate caterer, the hassle of food preparation is left to the professionals. You don’t need to worry about food being handled properly or being kept at correct temperatures, which are issues that can get you into trouble when things are done incorrectly. Furthermore, the caterer will do all the set-up and insure a beautiful presentation of the food for your guests to enjoy.

Putting your Best Foot Forward

Let’s face it! Hiring a corporate caterer makes you – the company – look good! When you put forth a beautiful presentation, it becomes clear that you are a business that cares about quality. You’ll impress not only your employees but also longtime clients or guests that are just being introduced to your company. And, of course, everyone enjoys their food more when it’s tastily prepared and beautifully presented! It’s a win-win for all involved.

Cost Savings

One might automatically assume that when you hire someone to cater a corporate meal rather than doing it yourself that you will spend more money. That’s actually not true, unless you cut a lot of corners and skimp on quality. By hiring a corporate caterer, you’ll not only get delicious dishes and great service, but you’ll also be able to consult with professionals who can suggest the best way to plan a meal that fits your budget. And, don’t forget, you’re also saving time by letting someone else do the work, and – as they say – time is money!

Choosing a Corporate Caterer

As you begin to consider using a caterer for your next company meal, take time to search for someone who you can be assured will get the job done right.

Start with local companies that are close to your location. Begin by reviewing their menus for the meals you seek. Don’t see what you want? Find out if they are willing to make changes or adjustments. Most quality caterers are open to changes and can suggest deviations from their regular menus that’ll better suit your needs.

As a perk, also ask if they use local ingredients, such as produce from area farmers or fish from local fishermen. That’s always a plus!

Finally, ask for an in-person meeting where you can chat with the owner and/or chef and request a tasting, if appropriate.

All of these steps will put you on the road to a great corporate meal, served by a caterer who cares about the food they serve and the people who eat it.

Use  this link to learn more about our Corporate Catering Service

Shopping For A Wedding Caterer

The “wedding dinner” has always been a big deal. You’ll find mentions of wedding feasts in ancient texts, in the Bible, and in many other places through the centuries, evidence that food and weddings go hand-in-hand. That’s why finding the perfect wedding caterer for your special day should be an item on the top of your matrimonial to-do list.

But where do you start? Likely, you should start by discussing your vision for your wedding day meal with your partner and/or others that might be involved in the planning. There’s plenty to consider.

Will it be white tie or casual? Buffet or sit-down dinner? Appetizers and cocktails or a seven-course masterpiece? Indoors or outdoors? Opulent or Bohemian? And how big is the guest list?

Breaking down your budget

That’s a lot to think about!

Often, however, the first factor to consider when shopping for a wedding caterer is your budget. That will largely guide the direction in which you proceed. However, don’t count anything out because you think you can’t afford it. Once you start visiting caterers, you might be surprised as to what your budget can buy. Conversely, don’t set your mind on something over-the-top until you know that what you’ve set aside for food costs will cover it.

It’s really all about gathering information. Come up with a potential dollar amount and then get to work making calls and visits to potential catering services.

Guests vs. Food Costs

Have you made your guest list or do you have a pretty solid idea of how many friends, family, and colleagues you’d like to invite? Can you afford to feed them all?

That sounds like a funny question, but – in all seriousness – you need to determine what aspects of your wedding are most important and where you’re willing to exercise some give-and-take.

For example, you may have always wanted a dream dinner with fancy linens, over-the-top centerpieces, and scrumptious food in an incredible setting, but your budget is $10,000 and you can’t feed the 200 people on your guest list for that amount of money! So, where do you make the cut? Do you lower your catering expectations or cut your guest list?

While you may “want it all”, you need to figure out where you can cut back if “all” is not in your budget. Are the 200 guests more important than the lavish dinner…or vice versa? Would you consider a less expensive buffet dinner instead, or would you rather cut the list by 50 guests? These are important considerations.

On many catering websites, you can gather some preliminary information about costs. Many offer sample menus with pricing, so you can get a good idea as to what your budget may buy and where you might need to make some changes if the sky is NOT the limit.

Once you figure that out, you can commence serious conversations with wedding caterers.

Scheduling appointments

The next part of the process will likely begin with several phone calls and, often, you can get an idea of whether or not a particular caterer is for you just by having a telephone conversation. Did they take the time to speak with you? Are they eager to answer your questions? Do they seem flexible as far as food offerings are concerned or do they rigidly stick to their menus?

Often, this is the part of the process where you tend to go with your gut. If you enjoyed the phone call and are looking forward to seeing and hearing more, than go ahead and make the appointment. If you felt uncomfortable or thought the person on the other line was stand-offish, pass on that caterer for now.

Also ask friends and family for referrals or use your own past experiences to find a caterer. Did you love the food at cousin John’s wedding? Then be sure to include that caterer on your list of must-sees.

Next, arrange to meet the caterer or one of his/her staff for a discussion about menus as well as about other services offered by the catering company. Do look at their online menus first but remember, in most cases, these are just a jumping off point. You’ll find that many (or even most) wedding caterers are flexible in their offerings and are willing to let you offer menu ideas. However, if that’s not your thing, allow the caterer to offer his or her expertise in planning something appropriate for your taste and for the size of your group.

If at all possible, ask if you may attend an event catered by any company you think might be a good match for you. That can usually be arranged without being too obtrusive. This way, you’ll be able to not only taste the food they create but also observe servers, catering managers, and others who will be interacting with your guests. If you like what you see, you can put them on your “short list”.

Speaking of lists, it’s usually a wise idea to visit or speak with more than one or two wedding caterers and then to narrow it down until you have just a few on your list, eventually pairing it down to your absolute favor. Always give yourself choices.

Ask Questions

Remember, this is a once-in-a-lifetime event for you, your beloved, and your family and friends, so be sure to cover all the bases with your chosen caterer. Never be afraid to ask questions about the food or service and, by all means, offer your opinions and suggestions. If the caterer, can’t accommodate all of your requests, he can likely offer suitable alternatives. In general, caterers are eager to please and will do whatever’s possible – within reason – to make your wedding day super special.

You will also want to make sure you have a contract that spells out all the details of the event. Before you sign, review all the particulars including menu, extras, time, place, and – of course – pricing and cancellation policies. Here’s an example of a time when you want to read the small print! If something is missing that concerns you, ask for it to be added.

Once all of that is in place, all you need to do is confirm the details a few days before, just for your own peace of mind.

Remember, this is YOUR special day, so you should only choose a caterer to whom you can give a vote of confidence and with whom you enjoy working. Doing that allows for a stress-free wedding dinner that you and your honored guests will savor and talk about for years to come.

Catering Services

Food plays a part in so many of life’s memorable moments. We use it to celebrate, to come together, and even to soothe our bodies and our souls. It represents our heritage, our passions, and our unique personalities.

Great meals fill us up and make us happy. And sharing those notable meals allows us to form life-long memories with family and friends.

That’s why food well done is so important and why so many of us turn to the “professionals” to provide catering services for our most important – and special – occasions, whether it be a birthday or anniversary, the birth of a new little one, a meal with friends or colleagues, a bridal shower or wedding, or even a gathering to celebrate the life of that special someone who has passed on.

Why hire a caterer?

Do you love to cook? Many of us do. Cooking, for so many people, is a way to relax, a way to create, or a way to treat our loved ones to something they might not otherwise have the opportunity to sample. But some occasions better lend themselves to allowing someone else to pick up the spatula and do the creating.

If you’ve ever hosted a large event for which you’ve done the cooking, you likely understand just how demanding a task that is and how it detracts from your ability to be a gracious and attentive host. Simply put, when you’re in the kitchen, you’re not able to mingle with your guests. You’ll be too busy making sure the hors d’oeuvres are on the platters, the wine uncorked, and the main course in the oven. You’ll be barking orders at your appointed helpers, fretting over a forgotten ingredient, and worrying that your guests won’t enjoy your selections.

Furthermore, cooking for a crowd can be tough in your home kitchen or on your backyard grill. It’s likely you don’t have sufficient space, the right equipment, and maybe even the time necessary to do the immense amount of both planning and cooking it takes to pull off the event of your dreams.

Conversely, when you opt for the services of a caterer, the stress disappears as do the expectations, and often, for a similar amount of money as you’d spend on a DIY party, you can let go of the food-related responsibilities and enjoy time with those whom you decided were important enough to invite to your event.

In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to offer a more diverse menu. Unless you’ve trained at Le Cordon Bleu, perfected advanced barbecue techniques, or can bake like a pro, chances are your options will be limited as to what you’ll be able to prepare and serve. By hiring a professional caterer, your menu can likely be more attuned to what you were envisioning for your once-in-a-lifetime event or special party.

Choosing the right caterer

Of course, once you’ve decided to relinquish the cooking responsibilities, the most important task becomes choosing a caterer that can handle the demands of your occasion or event.

In short, you’re looking for someone with a proven track record, with diverse offerings, and – most importantly – someone who is responsive to your wants and needs and who can guide you in a direction that’s best for your event and for your guests. Whether it’s a corporate breakfast, a family reunion barbecue, a gala wedding, or a memorial dinner, you want someone who understands the ins and outs of these types of gatherings and who can offer experience-driven opinions as to which direction you should proceed.

Many caterers have specialties, so if you have a particular theme or food type in mind, look for someone who excels in that area. Some tend to be “boutique” caterers that are best for intimate gatherings while others have tons of experience catering events for large numbers of people. Choose appropriately.

Flexibility is a great attribute for a caterer to possess. While most offer “sample menus” to get you started on the process of considering what you wish to offer, a great caterer is willing to sit down and talk to you about other options that might better fit your needs or fulfill your vision.

And then there’s the nitty-gritty. Be sure that you are provided with a detailed contract outlining everything that’s necessary to make your day go as smoothly as possible, including not only the menu but also items such as what kind of tableware will be provided, what time the caterer will arrive, and how cancellations will be handled if the need arises.

Most of all, don’t hesitate to ask for the opportunity to taste the food to be offered and also seek the names of parties that have already used the services of the caterer you’re considering. While online reviews can be helpful, it’s always a good idea to talk to satisfied parties via telephone to be sure you’re getting the real story from a real client.

Corporate BBQ Planning Tips

Corporate and company BBQs are an almost universal hit with employers and employees. And as caterers, even we admit it’s not just about the food, as vital as that is. “Event” is the indeed the key word. It’s an opportunity for your organization to show employee appreciation, strengthen workplace bonds, and boost morale.

BBQs can also be a time to mark a major milestone like a corporate anniversary. For example, when Tree Island Industries celebrated their 100th, Catering Visions was there, keeping the festivities tasty for a loyal crowd of 300. Whatever your company’s occasion, make it an event to remember. And we hope you’ll let us bring the food– and the BBQs!

Even though many people associate a BBQ with informality, you can definitely add some finesse to the event with something more than the standard, predictable menu choices. There’s no rule that says you’re limited to burgers, hot dogs and potato salad. Actually, there was such as rule, but we threw it out. Catering Visions can offer your employees a creative and even unconventional menu, even for the most informal BBQ.

6 Planning Tips for a Successful Company BBQ

Corporate and company BBQs are an almost universal hit with employers and employees. And as caterers, even we admit it’s not just about the food, as vital as that is. “Event” is the indeed the key word. It’s an opportunity for your organization to show employee appreciation, strengthen workplace bonds, and boost morale.

BBQs can also be a time to mark a major milestone like a corporate anniversary. For example, when Tree Island Industries celebrated their 100th, Catering Visions was there, keeping the festivities tasty for a loyal crowd of 300. Whatever your company’s occasion, make it an event to remember. And we hope you’ll let us bring the food– and the BBQs!

Even though many people associate a BBQ with informality, you can definitely add some finesse to the event with something more than the standard, predictable menu choices. There’s no rule that says you’re limited to burgers, hot dogs and potato salad. Actually, there was such as rule, but we threw it out. Catering Visions can offer your employees a creative and even unconventional menu, even for the most informal BBQ.

Scratching your head for new ideas for a company BBQ? Here are a few to help you get started.


Choosing the ideal date is one of the most important corporate BBQ planning steps. planning a BBQ. Think twice about choosing a date during peak vacation or on a long holiday weekend. Your employees value their family time on weekends and holidays. You’ll likely get better attendance if your event is on a weekday.


If you’ve been using the same park for umpteen years, consider holding your BBQ in a new spot. We’re sure you’ve noticed that Greater Vancouver has no shortage of great outdoor locations for crowds to gather. Stanley Park, Granville Island, Queen Elizabeth Park, and of course, beaches galore! But check the capacity of the venue and its regulations about BBQs. Make sure it’s an easily accessible spot with enough people and parking space to accommodate all your guests. Feel free draw on our experience and knowledge.

One the other hand, if you have a tried-and-true BBQ or picnic location that you’ve used year after year, don’t feel obliged to change it. But you can mix it up with a new and unique theme each year, which brings us to our next planning item:


Choose a unique theme and Incorporate it into the invitations and decor. If you choose Catering Visions for your next BBQ, we’ll be delighted to work with you to incorporate your theme into the food menu, too.


Create a realistic budget allowing for venue, food, games, entertainment, activities, and door prizes. If it’s a “laid back” corporate BBQ, it doesn’t mean it should be a “cheap” one. Keep your employees motivated and loyal by giving them an event to remember. And no need for the same menu year after year. Our affordable BBQ menu choices at Catering Visions include everything from keep-it-basic burgers and dogs to sizzlin’ sirloin and salmon.


Remember that you’re marketing this BBQ event to your employees. You’re telling them that they’re working for the best company or corporation on the planet. An invitation to a BBQ should reflect this. Think outside the box (especially if you’re a corporation that makes boxes). Create a theme. Set the mood. Whet their appetite. Make them really want to attend.

Consider extending the invitation to spouses, significant others, and children. Involving employees’ families can really reap some benefits in the way of loyalty and appreciation. And really, what are you telling your employees by not including families on the invitation?

Create a Social Media Buzz

While traditional invitations can be spiced up by incorporating your theme, consider trying something new. Create an event page on Facebook. Consider other social media platforms as well, but Facebook is especially effective at creating a buzz with the help of your own employees. If they’re sold on the theme, they’ll share the excitement and RSVP other employees.

Make your next corporate BBQ an event to remember.

Catering Visions has catered more large and small corporate BBQs at more locations throughout the Lower Mainland than we can shake a skewer at. Along with satisfying the appetites of small and mid-sized crowds, we’ve handled the needs of some large groups, too– like the 2500 to 3000 folks we’ve been serving year after year at CN Rail Family Days. We hope to help serve up a satisfying BBQ event to your company, too.

We trust these tips will make things a little easier for you as you plan your BBQ event. We’d love to help by making food part of your event as easy as 1-2-3. Or, more specifically Menu A-Menu B-Menu C, with add-ons and customization as your organization requires. Check our Corporate BBQ page for details on our menu choices. Our grills are ready when you are. Call us at 604-657-8373, or leave us a message on our contact page.