Styles of Catering Operations

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Styles of Catering Operations

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Explain Catering operations Discuss why foodservices businesses from fine. dining restaurants to delicatessens are incorporating catering services into their operations. Define ways in which catering services have been incorporated in foodservice operational styles. Discuss the categories of foodservice operations offering catering reviewed in this chapter.

Chapter Objectives

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The opportunities food service operations have to offer catering services are many and varied. Catering management in the first part of the twenty first century will continue to expand in both volume and diversity as the demand for ready-to-serve prepared food increases.

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The ability of food service operation to successfully offer catering service is affected by several factors, notably location, customer profile, facilities, and menu offerings along with or concept. These are some of the factors a business must consider before deciding which catering service to offer.

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Off-premise catering can be very successful for independent caterers and problematic for full-service restaurants. Equipment and resources are the factors that will often determine how well an operation can conduct off-premise caterings.

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The availability of catering services is limited only by the ability of food service operations to provide them. Whether in the executive dining room of a large corporation or at a garden wedding it is possible, for food service operators fro five-star hotels to delicatessens to provide high-quality food and service.

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Full service restaurants Hotel food and beverage facilities Catering halls Independent caterers Private clubs Contract food service companies Gourmet food shops and delicatessens

The categories of food service operations offering catering reviewed in this chapter are:

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Full-service restaurants have the opportunity to offer a variety of catering services. Discuss the six important factors that should be considered. Location Customer profile Restaurant style or concept Staffing capabilities Restaurant physical layout Cuisine and menu offerings

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The proximity of the restaurant, hotel, private club or catering service to office complexes and centralized business areas helps establish the focus of the catering service on business or social marketing efforts. Population density also affects the volume of anticipated catering business.


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The location of the facility plays a role in determining the type of catering services available. Storage facilities, expansion possibilities, and access to major transportation routes are factors important to catering-service production.

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The market profile should classify customers as business or social. The range of needs of each group can vary greatly. Hotel customers often use the location for a series of meetings and meals held over a two or three day meetings.

Customer Profile

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The theme or concept of the restaurant should be taken into consideration when planning a catering service. Off-premise catering services do not need to blend with facilities, but SHOULD be designed to function within the restaurant facilities.

Restaurant style or concept

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Facilities are a major factor in the ability of a restaurant to provide on-premise catering services. The ratio of catering functions to restaurant services that can be handled at a given time depends on the size and flexibility of the physical plant.

Physical Lay-out of facility

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In some cases, it maybe important to schedule on-premise catered events at times when the facility is ordinarily closed. Facilities, equipment and storage capacity will also impact a facilities ability to successfully and seamlessly cater an on-premise event.

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The primary cuisine and menu offerings of a restaurant constitute one of the most important considerations for on-premise catering. Off-premise catering services do not, however, need to be identical to those services offered at the full-service restaurant.

Cuisine and Menu offering

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On premise catering should offer menu items that duplicate the established menu as closely as possible in order to enhance production capabilities. Profitability and effective purchasing for catering functions requires that the ingredients for menu be the same as, or similar to, those on the restaurant menu.

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The hotel food and beverage department provides food-related guest services throughout a hotel, conference, or resort property.

Hotel food and Beverage facilities

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Food items for these combined foodservice areas are provided from a central kitchen, with the exception of large hotel facilities. Full service restaurant Coffee Shop Catering facilities Room service Recreational areas Lobby area bars Food market delicatessen

The seven hotel food service area:

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Catering affords the possibility for the greatest profit. Hotel catering services are usually classified as: Business Convention/ Conference Social

Hotel foodservice areas

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The Chicago Hilton, located in downtown Chicago, breaks down its annual catering business into the following percentages: Business/ Conference/ Convention = 65% Social = 35%

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The primary catering market for a hotel is based on three factors: Location Hotel facilities Customer profile

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A catering hall is a facility dedicated to private parties with an on-site production kitchen and staff. The major factors that influence the market for a catering hall are: Style or concept Facilities Customer profile

3. Catering Halls

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Independent caterers are private businesses offering catering services to the public. These businesses operate with or without permanent facilities of their own in which to hold functions.

4. Independent Caterers

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The key to successfully providing catering services to a number functions simultaneously is the duplication of as many of the menu items as possible in order to minimize kitchen production.

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Private clubs offer a self-contained facility that operates both full-service dining rooms and private function space along with a variety of food and beverage outlets. There are two primary types of private clubs which offer catering amenities: Business clubs (often in a down town CBD) Country clubs

5. Private Clubs

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Private clubs that offer catering amenities are broken down into two general classifications: Business clubs ( generally in down town , Central Business District- CBD) Country clubs A club’s ability to accept off-premise catering function business is controlled by the same laws and regulations as the solicitation of non-member business.

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Contract food service company provide institutions such as hospital and schools, as well as businesses, with in-house meals programs designed to meet specific needs. The contract food service segment of the food service industry has been steadily growing since the late 1980s.

6. Contract food service

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Gourmet food shops offer take-out food service along with gourmet food products. Many of these products are used as ingredients in the preparation of the food line. The trend for home-replacement food is significant to this type of operation.

7. Gourmet food shops and delicatessens

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When customers want something beyond fast-food for a take-home meal, they turn to establishments that can provide meals that they would like to have prepared for themselves.

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Some of the services that catering businesses can offer to both private and corporate customers include: Off-premise catering services Packaged take-out food services Beverage services Entertainment services Business meeting services Conference and convention services Contract food service services

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Off-premise catering can be very successful monetarily for independent caterers. How ever several problems must be anticipated regarding the off-premise facilities in which the final production and service for functions takes place.

Off-premise catering benefits

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In order to service off-premise functions, however, a separate wait staff needs to be scheduled. In addition at least the member of kitchen production staff will be assigned to the function and therefore will be unavailable to the restaurant kitchen for the time period involved for the off-premise function.

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Equipment as well as food will need to be transported both to and from the off-premise function location. Subcontractors may be necessary for equipment such as tables, chairs, dishes, glass ware, linens, dance floors, and tents.

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