It’s a thought you may have conjured up yourself at some point: “Can I actually save money with catering services?” Anyone who’s ever been responsible for planning a gathering, from an intimate family party to a huge reunion knows the strife and stress of preparing entertainment, securing responses to invitations, and planning out meals and refreshments. At some point or other, everyone in that situation has given at least a passing thought to catering.
The thing is, there are some events that seem like they’re made for catering and some that seem like they’re not. It’s not common to think of outfitting most smaller events with catered solutions, while most larger events outpace the scope of some planners’ capabilities, and so catering becomes necessary.
For better or for worse, and despite where you stand on the value of catering, the question has an answer that is more often than not surprising. When you do your planning judiciously, it’s definitely possible to save money with catering – even with smaller gatherings. You just need to be prudent about it.
No More Last Minute Trips to Gather Ingredients
For event planners who choose not to cater their events, they’ll be tasked with providing refreshments and meals by other means. For some, this means buying ready-made meals (which is very expensive, in and of itself) and for others, it will entail cooking and serving at home or preparing the food ahead of time.
We don’t need to tell you how laborious and time-intensive cooking is, that’s self-evident. If you like cooking, that’s just part of the deal. It takes time to make things the right way, and there’s no getting away from that.
But for others, who choose to cook because they’re leery about spending money on catering, the process is stressful and, you guessed it, expensive. Forget about all of the stress of actually preparing the food and cooking the meal. Planning for the meal and then shopping for it is both time-consuming and actually expensive.
Sure, there’s an argument to be made that you can save money on food because ingredients are typically cheaper than the prepared, finished meal would be. However, much of the savings that are involved with unprepared ingredients come at the compromise of bulk. When you’re feeding a large crowd, that might actually be more economical, but not when you’re only hosting a small gathering. You’ll probably end up buying more than you need, so despite the fact that your unit cost per item will be lower, the overall cost will be higher.
On the one hand, you may actually end up spending more money on unprepared ingredients than you’d spend when you worked with a catering company in Philadelphia like Waterfront Gourmet – not to mention the fact that you won’t have to run around getting supplies, making multiple stops and possibly last-minute trips. Imagine that – you can take advantage of the best catering in Philadelphia and potentially save money!
No Need to Hire Additional Help
If you’re not convinced yet, remember that cooking a meal entails more than the expense of sourcing the ingredients. You know, you have to actually cook the meal. If it’s for a large event and you have managed to secure some tentative cost savings, you’re unlikely to be able to prepare the entire meal yourself.
Depending on the size of the event, you might need to hire a team to prepare food on-premises, which basically amounts to catering. If you have to do that, it’s going to incur a commensurate expense.
That’s only one scenario, however, and there are many other ways that you’ll lose time when you’re handling food preparation and cooking by yourself. Consider that you simply might not have space in your fridge or freezer for ingredients or prepared offerings, meaning that everything needs to be done on cue – which might be an actual impossibility.
Then, you might not be able to handle it yourself, which will require you to recruit additional help. While you might be able to gather some willing participants, this will take attendees away from the party, whatever the party is.
It goes without saying that when you resort to your resources for “catering near me” and enlist a little bit of help, you won’t need to do it all yourself or take anyone away from the festivities.
Customized Menu Offerings
Additionally, a cost factor to keep in mind is that you almost certainly cannot accommodate a large variety of dietary concerns and restrictions on a cost-effective basis. You can buy in bulk and save, but if you buy a lot of different things in bulk your costs savings will basically get tossed out the window.
When you set your mind on “catering services near me” and let Waterfront Gourmet handle the menu for you, all of that changes. As a professional Philadelphia catering company, we are able to scale with large demand and pass the savings along to you.
For example, although it’s difficult on an individual basis to create a cost-engineered menu with a variety of offerings including those intended to meet the needs of attendees with dietary restrictions, a caterer specializes in just that. Waterfront Gourmet will work with you to create a completely customized menu that includes but is not limited to the following:
- Breakfast catering: Waste no time looking for “breakfast catering near me,” Waterfront Gourmet has you covered. Whether you just need coffee for a quick gathering or want a full-service breakfast, we can help!
- Lunch catering: Everyone needs a good lunch; like breakfast, it’s one of the most important meals of the day and a huge pick-me-up. We create one-of-a-kind wraps, sandwiches, salads, and more for a lunch that will impress both you and your guests.
- Evening and dinner catering: Naturally, full-service dinners are the hallmark of good catering and we’re proud to offer some of the most unique twists on classic dishes!
- Corporate catering: Oftentimes, the real business is a great meal, and corporate dinners and lunches are often-high stakes. That’s why you should leave them to the professionals!
- Vegetarian and even vegan-friendly menu items: We’re able to leverage our abilities to create custom menus for your events, no matter when they are; we’re also able to provide vegetarian and even vegan-friendly options to ensure that everyone’s needs are met!
- Gluten-free menu items: Additionally, we can also create freshly prepared gluten-free menu items for gluten-sensitive individuals and others following gluten-free diets!
Wrapping all of those abilities into one is a chore and it requires the resources of a team. You can’t do it cost-effectively on your own, but with the help of the Philly catering provider, you can make it happen!
Freshly Prepared, Free Delivery
We have some more tricks up our sleeves that will save you money on your catered order. For example, a lot of caterers make an extra buck or two with exorbitant delivery fees, but you won’t catch Waterfront Gourmet making the same moves.
Actually, we’re all about serving you, and part of that means offering free delivery. We aim to give our customers the best possible experience; that’s part delicious food, part excellent customer service, and part free delivery. Depending on where you are in our area, you may be eligible for entirely free delivery. That means you could save on preparing the meal and not even have to pay a cent extra to get it delivered. Even shopping for ingredients costs gas!
By the way, we also prepare all meals freshly for delivery, regardless of whom you’re serving or when the event will occur. With a motto like “Always fresh, always awesome,” we’d hope you couldn’t expect anything else!
No More Cooking, Much Less Cleanup
Though it’s hard to measure in terms of dollar value, the efforts you’ll need to put into cooking and food prep for a crowd go far beyond making the nightly meal for a family. Cooking is only half of the battle. Then there’s the cleanup that comes afterward and sometimes takes longer than the cooking did in the first place!
For one thing, when you hire a caterer, you won’t need to worry about cooking at all (unless you choose to do so), and as far as clean up is concerned, that will pale in comparison to what it could have been. You might be tasked with cleaning up some dishes and cups but you won’t need to juggle cleaning up an entire kitchen or a sink full of pots and pans. The best-case scenario might just have you throwing out some disposable plates and cutlery.
Affordable Catering, not Cheap!
As you can see, there are several items that our catering services enable you to hit on that can save you money. That’s the beauty of affordable catering in Philadelphia, but just to put your mind at rest, we’d like to call some attention to the differences between affordable vs. cheap catering.
Affordable and cheap do not mean the same thing. Affordability maximizes the value you get from each dollar spent; cheapness just minimizes the dollar amount spent but doesn’t focus on quality. With affordability, you get a low price and high value; with cheapness, you get a low price and indeterminate quality. That’s the difference.
For example, our prices are low; that makes us affordable, but not cheap since we provide so much value with freshly prepared meals, delivered for free, after devising a special, custom menu for your event!
It’s not Just about Money Saved
Does this mean that you can save money by catering each and every event you are responsible for hosting, regardless of the circumstances? Not by any stretch. It just means the possibility is there for those who would explore it.
On top of that, it isn’t always about the money saved. Yes, you can save on costs when you cater wisely, especially with our Philadelphia waterfront catering, but sometimes catering saves you in other ways, too.
Consider the value of your time. When you get your family and friends together, you don’t necessarily want to spend the entire time in the kitchen, waiting on tables, and then eventually cleaning up. Your guests probably don’t want to, either. They want to see each other, and after a year like this, who can blame them?
You might be able to save money with catering for your next event, but you’ll also save time. You’ll save time with planning, preparation, cooking, cleaning, and serving. Since time is money, you can chalk that up to double the value!
What Events Do We Cater?
Just in case you were wondering, if you can envision the event, we can cater it for you. Here are some of the parties, events, and venues for which we offer catering:
- Birthday parties – none is too large or too small!
- Graduation parties
- Weddings, bridal showers, and receptions – think wedding catering!
- Family reunions
- Sports events like watch-parties
- Family barbecues
- Early morning gatherings – think breakfast catering!
- Holiday parties
- Corporate events and business meetings
- And much more – just call us to learn more!
This is just a small snapshot of some of the types of events we cater, but rest assured, we’ve catered many others!
It Starts with a Call!
You’ve never been closer to the most enjoyable catered experience of your life, and it all starts with a call. Check out our list of locations; we’re located along the Delaware River waterfront in Penn’s Landing, but we have two other locations in Philadelphia, PA, serving the Philadelphia area.
Simply get in touch with us at the location nearest you or nearest your upcoming function, and you’ll see just how easy the process is. You’ll get to work with a team member on a personal basis; we’ll figure out how many attendees you expect and what kinds of menu items you’d like to offer.
Call us up and we’ll get onto crafting a one-of-a-kind menu for an unforgettable event – we’re waiting to hear from you!