An estimated 30% increase in Gauteng year-end functions went to outside catering services in the final quarter of 2016. Corporate entities who decided to have a variety of gatherings with catering – did so on their premises coupled with a fun team-build or similar light collective entertainment. Either external venues were found to be too expensive and hard work to plan or 30% of corporate organisations in particular cut budgets with their year-end gatherings.

The rise of outside caterers with several unknown names begs the question as to whether there should not be a list of ‘registered’ external caterers as to their abilities, standards and indeed hygiene adherence. It is a fact that dependent on the menu, a caterer who can adequately cater for a maximum of 50 would be hard-pushed if the function acceded anything over 100 individuals.

Similarly, a caterer of the 1000 plus proportions is unlikely to provide the seriously personal touch of a 50 capacity caterer.  It’s all a question of kitchen capabilities and qualified personnel on the one hand and attention to detail for the lower capacities on the other.

Perhaps the FEDHASAs of this world have a caterer’s register – if so it would be useful to know, together with the various criteria in each case.  If not, an appropriate member association should consider investigating into this important, growing sector of the catering world as the economy and fresh ideas for a variety of gatherings is unlikely to alter in 2017 and beyond.