Written by Kon-Tiki Taco
Some people are awesome cooks and some are awesomely frugal. But there may be times when hiring professionals makes more sense – and could even save money.
In a world where we can hire services for almost everything in life, it’s refreshing to know that some people consider self-catering their own parties. In addition to saving money, it can mean offering some cherished family recipes and perhaps involve family and friends in the preparation, service and clean up – right?
Perhaps it does work out that way sometimes. Particularly in rural areas where there are such things as potluck weddings and family reunions, it might make sense. In cities and suburbs, the options that exist – for example purveyors of gourmet taco catering – which have efficient operations that makes them affordable, practical and delicious.
Still, if you are thinking about hosting your own party and doing the work itself you should use this checklist to make sure it is what you want to do:
Cash costs will be at least one-half of what a caterer would charge – If your caterer quotes a price of $40 per attendee, know that replicating the same exact menu with foods you purchase in a warehouse store will be $20 or more per attendee. Add to that any equipment rental, which may be necessary.
Know what works for your crowd – Tastes vary between generations, the sexes and individuals. Caterers know from experience what is most popular. In the case of taco cart caterers, they’ll likely know which kinds of guests prefer fish tacos and carnitas and who would like vegan and vegetarian tacos – and how much to bring of each.
Things that melt and require advance refrigeration – Whether it’s an ice-cream cake or make-ahead dishes that need to be kept cold, it will be necessary to have sufficient refrigeration and freezer space at the event venue.
Quantities, shortages and waste – Calculations need to be made as to how to prepare all food in time for efficient service while keeping dishes fresh and tasty. A party for 50 is ten times as demanding as a party for five. If quantities exceed your needs, you run the risk of waste – destroying the idea of DIY economics. Taco caterers will commit to a price regardless.
The value of hired staff – It’s great when friends and family offer to help with service and clean up. But will they have the demeanor and skills to deal with problem scenarios? Will they stay on task through the whole event?
The event will place other demands on the host – If you are the host, don’t forget there are other responsibilities beyond the food. Guests would prefer to talk to you – not see you harried and bussing tables.
When it’s all said and done, the costs for DIY party food may actually exceed the costs of hiring a taco caterer. Do the math.