Its All About Taste Blog

<P ALIGN=Center>What is the difference between a ‘Restaurant that Caters’ and a Professional Caterer?<P ALIGN=Center>

What is the difference between a ‘Restaurant that Caters’ and a Professional Caterer?


Restaurant – Most restaurants that cater off-site events offer limited menu choices, such as strictly Mexican or strictly Italian food, so if you want Mexican and Italian you may need to contract with two different restaurants.  This can make your job much harder when planning an event.  Most cooks in restaurants are trained and specialize in the menu choices mainly on their own restaurant’s menu.

Professional Caterer – Uses industry professional chefs able to offer a nearly infinite variety for personalized menus.  They can create artistic buffets as well as crowd-pleasing chef-attended “action” food stations.  


Restaurants – Specialize in you coming to them. Cooks at restaurants that cater for off-site events typically prepare food in-house, move it into hot-boxes, and send it out with wait staff.  Hot boxes trap the heat, which can cause food to overcook and can also cause breaded items to become soggy during transport and holding times.  You rarely get the same quality you would enjoy ordering food fresh at the restaurant location.

Professional Caterer – Specializes in coming to your site.  Most caterers bring their equipment and talent to your event location.  Caterers will typically begin the preparation of their food at their commercial kitchen location, then have professional chefs complete preparation at your event site, resulting in fresher cuisine.

Equipment and Presentation

Restaurant – May provide limited equipment for your event such as disposable chafers, limited linens (usually white or checkered,) and may have limited resources to assist you with multiple facets of your event.


Professional Caterer – Most caterers employ event planners that can serve you as a “one-stop” shop.  They are equipped to assist you with all your event needs.  They can help with entertainment, centerpieces, specialty linens, rental equipment, seasoned employees, custom menus, valet parking, and many more event needs!


Helpful Hints

If you are planning a special event such as a wedding, corporate gathering, social event, or trying to impress your boss and/or clients, there are no “Do-Overs!”  Do your homework.   Ask for references.  Go see whomever you’re planning on hiring at an event in action if possible!  There certainly can be a huge difference between a “restaurant that caters” and a “professional caterer”.  We wish you all the best in planning your special event.

Top 6 Criteria to Consider When Choosing a Caterer

Top 6 Criteria to Consider When Choosing a Caterer

Top 6 Considerations in Choosing a Caterer
It is important to select a catering company who not only provides excellent food and service, but also pays attention to the multitude of details involved in your event.  Delivering on these details will ensure your guests are impressed with the overall presentation and flow of your event while leaving you free to relax and enjoy a memorable occasion. Having catered and assisted with the planning of thousands of events over many years, At Your Service Catering & Event Planning has found the following to be the “Top 6 Criterion to Consider When Choosing a Caterer.”

1.  Impeccable Taste
This phrase has a double meaning.  Stellar presentation paired with superior tasting cuisine made from the freshest and best products on the market is always a recipe for success.  A professional caterer has talented chefs leading a culinary team who can perform in any environment, displaying artistic skills and creative preparation techniques that will delight your guests’ senses.  Ask to see their portfolio.  Do they understand your vision and needs?  Do they have the proper equipment to deliver on your vision?  Ask about the most creative events they have put together and what makes them different from their competition.

2. Great Value
If you have a limited budget, tell your caterer about it.  Tell them how much you are able to spend, and ask if they can suggest the best options for you.  Although price is always going to be a factor, paying the lowest price does not always mean you are getting the best value!  Consider what is and IS NOT included in the bottom line.

3. Exceptional Service
Superior service should begin the moment you make contact with your caterer.  They should carefully listen to your ideas and work with you to create an event that matches your vision.  Employees should be responsive to your needs in both the planning stages and production of your special occasion.  The company should be well-organized, be willing to go above and beyond, and have at its core a desire to provide extraordinary and superior service.

4. Highest Level of Dependability
Do your research.  Develop a list of 3-5 potential catering companies gathered from speaking with friends.  A great caterer will always give you references for their customers with whom you may speak and get information about their reliability and quality.   Questions to ask the caterer include deposit requirements, the type of menu they would suggest for your budget, and if they readily assist with specific requirements.

5. Ability to Accommodate Individual Needs
Quality caterers recognize that every event is different.  Can they assist with special menu requirements such as vegetarian, vegan, Halal, or Kosher?  Do they understand staffing ratio needs for bartenders, wait staff, and chefs?  Can they provide specialty equipment and décor associated with diverse event themes?  There is much to consider when preparing for any special occasion.  You need a caterer who understands what your special needs are and is dedicated to making sure your event goes flawlessly!

6. Wealth of Experience
It is best to choose a professional event catering company who has a history of performing an impressive culinary show.  When you look back at your special wedding day, or event designed to impress your clients or boss, you will be glad you selected a caterer who has an extensive and broad range of experience and success and will leave a superb lasting impression.

AYS Catering launches New Brand and new Web site!

AYS Catering launches New Brand and new Web site!

At Your Service Catering & Event Planning is pleased to announce our new brand! Complete with an exciting, hip new logo and an interactive web site, we are thrilled to give our customers added value in uncovering important information about AYS and our complete catering services. Check out our highlight video!

AYS is pleased to announce that DK kosher certified catering is available by special request

AYS is pleased to announce that DK kosher certified catering is available by special request

AYS receives D Magazine’s Best of Big D Reader’s Choice Award

AYS receives D Magazine’s Best of Big D Reader’s Choice Award


AYS Catering and Event Planning is thrilled to have been awarded D Magazine’s Best of Big D Reader’s Choice Award!

Introducing: The Colonnade Executive Lounge – AYS is the Exclusive Onsite Caterer

Introducing: The Colonnade Executive Lounge – AYS is the Exclusive Onsite Caterer

The Colonnade Executive Lounge is located in the vibrant Far North Dallas area at the SW intersection of the Dallas North Tollway and Arapaho Road. Nearby hotels include the Addison Marriott, Westin Galleria, and the neighboring InterContinental Dallas. The Addison Airport is just west of the Colonnade Executive Lounge. The Colonnade Executive Lounge is located in the center of three glass towers, with features that include 70-foot high barrel-vaulted glass ceilings, over 20,000 square feet of exclusive event space, numerous seating areas, interior and exterior water fountains, beautiful landscaping, a private upscale lounge, abundant private parking, and more Much pride is taken in the architectural genius, outstanding and exquisite landscaping, water fountains, & other amenities that are featured throughout the venue. The Colonnade Atrium can provide the perfect background for any occasion accommodating 400-600 seated guests or standing receptions for up to 1,500 guests. We offer a beautiful setting for wedding receptions, corporate entertaining, product exhibits, fundraising galas, and numerous other special events.

But, don’t take our word for it. Take a quick video tour…