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.

Date

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.

Location

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:

Theme

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.

Budget

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.

Invitations

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.