Choosing the best type of catering can be overwhelming, particularly with new clients who are trying to save money for other unforeseen outcomes of their event. It is important to understand the different types of catering as they differ in terms of pricing, planning and ordering procedures. Catering can be classified into two major categories, which are indoor and outdoor catering. The decision to choose between the two may vary depending on individual preferences and budgets. This article looks at the major differences between indoor and outdoor catering to help you decide what you should consider for your next event.
What is Indoor Catering?
Indoor catering takes place in confined places like restaurants, halls, hotels, and convention centers. In this setup, caterers are well-acquainted with everything they may need and usually prepare food from an existing or customized kitchen within the premises. Indoor catering can only serve a certain amount of people based on the available capacity and the room temperature is regulated using air units or ventilation systems present in the building.
What is Outdoor Catering?
Outdoor catering involves traveling to the physical location of the event far from the restaurant or premises. It usually takes place in a remote place where foods and drinks are made available through transportation from one area to another. In this setup, caterers have to customize their kitchen and dining area. Unlike indoor catering, outdoor catering is controlled entirely by natural elements as it takes place in an open area probably sheltered by tents.
Major Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Catering
Indoor catering takes place within a building or premises while outdoor catering takes place at a remote place far from the restaurants or convention centers. In indoor catering, you do not have to worry about the temperature of your food during storage, as they are readily available when needed. Furthermore, foods can remain frozen in a refrigerator that is already available within the premises reducing the chances of decay. On the other hand, outdoor catering may require special equipment to keep food at required temperatures until they arrive at the location of the event.
Outdoor catering can accommodate a large number of guests, as walls, unlike indoor catering, do not confine it. This gives you the freedom to invite as many guests as you want, depending on your event. Indoor catering is limited to the size of the hall or venue, which means you, can only accommodate a certain number of guests. With outdoor catering, you do not have to worry about the capacity of your venue but the number of guests who will be attending the occasion.
- Temperature Fluctuations
Indoor catering takes place within the premises or a building. The air units or ventilation systems that have already been installed can mitigate the fluctuations in temperature. With outdoor catering, you do not have any control over the temperature as it is determined by natural elements such as rain, wind, snow, or sun.
- Cost and Convenience
An indoor catered event can be costly since you have to pay for the rental space and other features that have already been provided for you such as heating and cooling systems, water, and cooking area. You can save money on the rental space by hiring outdoor catering services. However, this does not mean that outdoor catering is less costly than indoor catering, but can be convenient and affordable in the long run depending on your budget and number of guests you expect to attend. The only benefit is that with outdoor catering, you can control your logistics such as the number of food stations to set up, tables and chairs to hire, and whether to have servers or not.
- Overall Experience
While indoor catering can contribute significantly to guest experience, its success is influenced by several factors such as the ambiance, freedom of movement and socialization, selected theme, and general set up of the event. However, if you want to blend your event theme with what your catering services have to offer then outdoor catering can be your ideal choice. Since it takes place in an open area away from confined spaces, guests have the freedom to interact with each other and move about freely during certain breaks of the event.
The decision to choose between indoor and outdoor catering all comes down to individual preferences and the way you intend to host your event. It is important to weigh their benefits and downsides to determine what will work best for your upcoming event. Regardless of the choice you make, always remember to plan earlier and have a budget estimate to ensure everything is done according to your expectations.