Culinary Crafts has had the pleasure of catering some of Utah’s greatest events! Sometimes, we are called to produce events in venues that have been designed specifically for catering. Other times, we have to be creative and think outside of the box to host a wedding in, say, a field, on top of a mountain, in an empty office building and even at a rustic ranch! We love when our clients ask us to go new places! If you are going to host an event in a unique space, however, here are some things to consider:
Not only will you need to keep your guests hydrated, but water is needed for cooking and cleaning throughout the event. You’ll need to find out if there is a culinary water source, and if there isn’t, enough water must be brought in for the scale and scope of the event you are hosting.
Check to see if there are bathrooms on the premises, and if there are enough for the number of guests attending the event. If not, you can rent mobile restrooms to add some bathroom option which will be much appreciated! And don’t worry, you aren’t limited to those blue honey buckets you see on construction sites. There are companies who rent high end restrooms for weddings and events. Our favorite is Royal Restrooms, pictured above!
Parking and Directions
Is there enough parking for the guests to be able to drive themselves? Is the road to get to the venue easy to drive and navigate? Depending on how remote the area is, sometimes it makes sense to offer transportation for your guests. This also applies if there isn’t a ‘parking area’ that can be used by guests. One solution? You can arrange busses to pick up guests at a central location.
Are there locks or secured areas that we need to be aware of to get around the venue? Double check and find keys when needed — you wouldn’t want your food to be locked out!
No matter how you slice it, there will be trash left over from your event. You’ll need to consider how the trash will be collected and if you need to pack it out yourself.
If we are hosting an event, we will have lots of things to bring to make a delicious meal! We need an area to load in all of the food, equipment, dishware, etc. to make sure everything arrives on site and is accessible by the staff so they can get prepping.
Is there a space for us to set up a ‘Back of House’ and/or bussing area? This is the area where we prep the food, bus the dishes, cook the foods that are prepped on-site, etc. If there isn’t a space like this, often one can be created by renting a tent.
This ties to the previous note, but if you are cooking or grilling on-site, there needs to be space for a grill. If there isn’t a place already set aside for that kind of use, consider rearranging, or bringing something in. We’ve brought in tents for prepping food and made grill pits where needed. Keep in mind your venue, however. For example, grilling in dry brush is not a good idea. Neither is cooking food in a non-ventilated area, especially if smoke alarms are in place.
Stairs, Flooring, Grease
Are there lots of stairs for the prep area to the serving area? Are the floors super slippery? What about if there is a bit of grease that happens while cooking, will it damage the prep area? Serving the food must be done in a timely matter and we are moving as fast as we can, so lots of stairs and/or slippery floors need to be assessed to make sure everyone is safe during service. Often we will bring in a flooring piece to deter damage, however, if you are on cement or other porous floors, there will likely be stains. We often opt for a space for the back of house and bussing areas that are farther away and perhaps to avoid all of these problems.
Shade and Cooling
Summers in Utah can get to be miserably hot. Is there are a shaded area for our staff to set up under and your guests to seek refuge in from the heat? Or, if we are using a tent, is there an a/c option to keep the temperatures manageable? The safety of your guests and our staff is important to us and we want to make sure that no one is overheating or suffering from heat stroke – especially because the temperature in the sun can rise quickly and will rise even quicker in a prep kitchen.
Last but definitely not least, think about the weather. Of course, in Utah, you can never really guarantee weather patterns, but planning for all possibilities will make sure that you aren’t stressing out if you wake up to a downpour. You can rent a tent if it’s an open field or outdoor area, or have an alternate indoor space. Checking the weather reports can also help you choose what you’d like to do, but no matter what, make sure you allot a contingency into your budget! As a rule of thumb: if the 5 day forecast says 40% chance of rain or snow, you need to have a serious contingency plan. If it says 65% or higher, you’ll need to move indoors.
Although this seems overwhelming, hiring a team of professionals will make it easy. Culinary Crafts’s team of planners have tons of experience creating stellar events in all kinds of venues. We love unique spaces and are excited to help you with your one-of-a-kind event!