If you have been tasked with ordering a large amount of food for a gathering, meeting, or party, it can be stressful trying to decide the best way to ensure hot, fresh and delicious food is provided to everyone involved. There are a few ways to order food for a large group: deciding what approach is appropriate comes down to timing, the number of people, and what type of food is required. Below are some of the considerations to keep in mind.
Catering Versus Menu Orders
Depending on the number of people to be served, many restaurants will offer the option to place a catering order or to order from the menu. For groups larger than 15, it is probably best to consider the catering menu, as orders may be fulfilled sooner and prove to be more economical. This may not always be the case for fast food, but considering all available options can help you to make the best choice.
Ordering Catering Delivery
To order catering delivery, make sure you’ve filled out the proper online or fax form and have sent it in with enough notice for the restaurant to fulfill your order. Some restaurants only need a few days’ notice, while others may need many weeks. No matter how you submit your order, make sure you receive a confirmation email and receipt with the food order, stating the day it is to be delivered.
The catering delivery driver will also need directions to the location. This is especially important if the location is in an expansive office park or other large facility. Having proper directions will ensure your food gets delivered on time.
Ordering Delivery From a Restaurant
The other option is ordering off the traditional menu from a restaurant. This will likely require notice of many hours (if not a few days), so that the restaurant can make sure it has the staff and food necessary to complete the order. It’s also important to consider the type of restaurant being ordered from. For a fine-dining restaurant, ordering 10 steaks will likely need a few days’ notice.
By contrast, casual or fast food restaurants can probably make 10 meals without a lot of notice. If you aren’t sure what amount of notice is needed, call the restaurant before placing a food delivery order online to make sure you give the staff enough time.
Ordering Take Out
Another option that may be easier for the restaurant and the recipients is to ask whether you can place a large order for takeout. Some restaurants may need less time to prepare a large takeout order if they don’t have to coordinate delivery as well. Again, call the restaurant a few days or weeks in advance (depending on the size of the order) and ask what works best. You may find that takeout is a much more affordable option since it doesn’t require delivery.
Whatever option you decide to go with, planning is crucial. Outline your budget and research options ahead of time to make sure the food will be there when it’s needed. If you order catering delivery regularly or know that more events are coming up, keep all your research, contact information, and pricing in a spreadsheet so you can refer to it in the future.