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Marquee catering: How to get it right

April 23, 2019

Marquee catering, our tips for getting it right!

Marquee catering is easy to get right – but that means it can be easy to get wrong too! When planning your marquee event make sure that you don’t overlook the catering area.

Marquee Catering Area

An experienced marquee company, such as Inside Outside, will take the stress out of organising your event; ensuring your marquee catering area is correctly set up. This isn’t the case with all marquee suppliers – some will leave much of the planning to you and your caterer.

Be sure to check out exactly what your marquee supplier will handle; and just in case you need them. Here are our tips for getting your marquee catering area just right:

The caterers tent

Make sure that your marquee has a dedicated caterer’s tent. Ideally this should be attached to the main marquee and will have both in and out doors for the serving staff to use. A good marquee company will create baffle screens so that you and your guests won’t need to see into the functional kitchen area.

Check that the catering tent is large enough for your catering company. Top tier marquee companies like Inside Outside understand catering requirements and will ensure that your catering team has enough space for everything that they need to do.

Power supply

Inside Outside will always speak to your catering company to check what kitchen equipment they are using and whether they have any additional power requirements.

If the marquee is running on a generator you’ll need to know whether the caterer is using  a refrigerated van. If they are, and if it needs an electrical supply, then you’ll need an additional generator in order to keep it powered.

A good marquee company will ask the caters all the right questions – including how many sockets they need and where they would like them situated. Not all marquee suppliers are so vigilant; If you’re working to a budget your marquee company might expect you to do the groundwork here, so check before you sign on the dotted line.

Heating

If holding your marquee event in the colder months, you’ll need to make sure that your caterers area is heated. Not just because you want to look after your kitchen staff (of course you do!) but also because a cold kitchen area equals cold food.

Lighting

Don’t forget to make sure that your catering area is well lit. It’s important that the kitchen staff can see what they are doing. This applies to the areas external to the catering tent too; your catering team is going to need to go back and forth from the tent to their vehicles and to the bins.

At the end of the evening, as you and your guests wend your way home, the catering staff will be cleaning up and packing away– they’ll need to be able to see what they are doing.

Inside Outside provide external lighting to the catering area as standard. This isn’t the case with all marquee suppliers, so check your quote carefully and be sure to add external lighting if it isn’t already included.

Flooring

Firstly, make sure that your marquee supplier lays some form of flooring to the catering area! It sounds obvious, but with this being a functional area it’s often overlooked. Some marquee suppliers see it as an area where they can cut corners and reduce their quote in order to win a job.

Do you really want your caterers standing on a muddy floor? Your serving staff traipsing grass through your beautifully decorated marquee? And what about health and safety?

Inside Outside use special non slip catering matting in their catering areas. Safety is crucial in these spaces so we wouldn’t suggest compromising here.

And while we’re on the subject of safety; Inside Outside always supply Fire extinguishers to the catering area – Free of charge.

Kitchen furniture

Your catering company will usually supply all of the kitchen equipment and will have included this in their quotation to you. However, the marquee company often supplies trestle tables for the catering area. Check with your catering company and your marquee supplier to make sure that one of them has this covered.

…and don’t forget leg extenders. Inside Outside always check with the catering company to see if they need their trestle tables to be a little taller than standard. If they do, then Inside Outside supply leg extenders. It’s the small details that are often overlooked.

Marquee access

Easy to forget when planning your event, vehicular access for suppliers is crucial to the smooth running of the day.

If your catering company can’t get their vehicles close enough then you’re likely to have problems. The same goes for furniture suppliers, many of whom will only deliver to the driveway if access isn’t straightforward.

If it’s easily accessible, then suppliers will usually be flexible and drop everything off at the marquee site. If the marquee isn’t easily accessible then you’ll probably find yourself lugging heavy furniture about on the day of your event.

Inside Outside are vigilant when it comes to access and will coordinate delivery and marquee build schedules with your suppliers. The Inside Outside team will even help with furniture and equipment layout.

Not all marquee companies take this approach. If you’re not working with Inside Outside, make sure you keep on top of it to avoid nasty surprises in the lead up to your event.

Want to find out more?

We’re more than happy to offer advice guidance on creating the perfect marquee for your event. We won’t compromise on safety or quality and will always make sure that the small details are taken care.

For a no obligation quotation, call 01372 459485 or email the team, sales@inside-outside.co.uk

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