Key Differences Between Business Catering And Event Catering

10 December 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Caterers often specialize in a specific kind of catering. General caterers cater for everything, whereas specialty caterers focus on one type of event or specialty area and provide several different menu options. Business catering is a special kind of catering, as is event catering. However, both of these caterers are quite different. Here are their key differences.

Small vs. Large Group

Business catering often sets up lunches for board room meetings, chairperson conferences and small group trainings (e.g., twenty people or less). As such, the fare is often sandwiches, soup and/or simply constructed meals. The focus is on feeding small groups instead of the large groups at special events. 

With event catering, the caterer knows that he/she will be feeding a very large group of people. The fare is often a little more upscale than just sandwiches, and an entire buffet table with chafing dishes and serving ware is set up to feed everyone. While either type of caterer could probably serve any size group, specialty caterers tend to stick with what they can manage and know best, which is cooking for a few people or cooking for an army.

Simple Boxed Lunch vs. Elegant Dining

Business caterers often stick to "simple boxed lunch" fare--items that can be made quickly and easily and may even be made to order when food allergies or personal tastes take precedence. There are no hard and fast rules about the food, which allows business caterers a little more flexibility with customizing the food. However, they rarely go upscale and offer roasted chicken, steak tips, or smoked salmon unless the business luncheon is in a private club.

Event caterers deal with major party events on a regular basis. They offer three to six main course options, several side options and desserts. You can pick and choose what you like to be served at your wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, birthday party, etc. Event caterers may also offer "by the plate" pricing when choosing a very expensive main dish or "by the pound" when offering something inexpensive like chicken.


Business caterers are very reasonable and affordable, especially when you are not serving several dozen people. Usually the price is "per person" or "per number of items requested" so that you know in advance what the total cost will be exactly to feed everyone at the meeting or training. Event caterers charge "by the plate," "by the pound" or estimate charges for the total amount of food and hours worked on an itemized statement. There are any number of factors that could cause the price for an event caterer to fluctuate, and when planning a major event, that is expected. However, you do not want that kind of price fluctuation for a business meeting or training. That is where the business caterer comes in very handy. Contact a local company, like La Fiesta Restaurant or a similar location, for more information.