Catering Supplies Checklist

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When it comes to catering at an off-site location, planning ahead is essential to running a smooth catering service. From tableware and decor to cooking equipment and cleaning supplies, keeping track of the tools and equipment you need for each event helps you stay organized and guarantees all of your essentials are accounted for. To help streamline your event prep, we’ve created a catering supplies checklist to ensure every event is successful.


Depending on the type of event your customer chooses, depends on the style of dining to prepare for. An upscale dining service demands more items for each table setting with its proper flatware, multi-course plates, glassware, and table cloths. Casual dining services may require fewer items with simple dinner plates and drinking glasses or a buffet style with multiple food stations and mini plates. Whichever type of service your customer is going for, stock up on the right tableware to match the theme of each event.

  • Dinnerware
  • Glassware
  • Flatware
  • Napkins
  • Placemats
  • Serving Platters

Displays & Dispensers

If you’re looking for a way to showcase a variety of appetizers and desserts with style, creating food displays with serving sets and risers is the way to go. Guests are able to walk around a cocktail hour or corporate event while helping themselves to skewered appetizers or bite-sized tarts. Drink dispensers are a great way of creating large batches of infused waters or mixed cocktails for guests to easily refill their glasses and choose which beverage they would like.

  • Risers
  • Cone Stands
  • Pick Stands
  • Serving Sets
  • Cakestands
  • Pitchers
  • Drink Dispensers
  • Coffee Urns


Adding decorations that fit your guest’s theme is essential to completing the look and feel of the entire event. Name card holders and chalkboard signs are ideal for organizing seating arrangements or labeling meals while creating an aesthetically pleasing display. The decor adds ambiance to any setting so whether your customers request an upscale, modern look or a romantic, intimate affair be prepared with all of the best catering supplies to decorate any venue.

  • Name Card Holders
  • Clothespins
  • Chalkboard Signs
  • Candles & Candleholders
  • Centerpieces
  • Vases
  • Table Covers
  • Placemats


Utilizing catering disposables for your events allows you to easily serve drinks or food without having to worry about accidental breakage or post-event cleanup. From single-use cutlery to drinkware, disposable catering supplies eliminate the need for reloading dirty dishes and is cost-efficient because you’ll spare your guests of a dishwashing fee. Just because you’re using disposables doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on looks. Find disposables that are high-quality and fit the theme of each event to get the look of reusable tableware without the cleanup.

  • Plates
  • Picks
  • Cutlery
  • Napkins
  • Drinkware
  • Steam Table
  • Food Pans

Transport Supplies

Packing up your meals from your on-site kitchen to an off-site location is one of the most important aspects of preparing for a catering event. For your temperature-sensitive meals, insulated bags are a must for holding in the heat or cold to ensure your meals arrive intact and at their ideal temperature. Prevent leaks and spills with secure food containers and plastic wrap to lock in soups or sauces during transport. Properly packaging your ingredients guarantees they’ll stay just as fresh as when they left your kitchen.

  • Insulated Food Carrier
  • Food Storage Containers
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Ice Packs
  • Coolers
  • Crates
  • Carts

Cooking & Holding Equipment

Gathering catering supplies to cook at an off-site location is particularly challenging because you have to work with what the venue offers, no matter the condition. With every event, you must create your own kitchen setup in unfamiliar environments while still creating meals that meet you and your guest’s high expectations. To ensure your meals are perfectly prepared, you’ll need to ensure your chef station has all of the tools you need to saute, grill, or fry food.

  • Induction Cooktops
  • Portable Grills
  • Chafers & Sets
  • Chafer Fuel

Serving Equipment

You’ve got all of your meals ready to go and now it’s showtime. Stocking up on the right serving equipment to bring your intricately plated dishes from the kitchen to your guests is crucial to have a smooth service. Serving trays and tray stands are the perfect solutions to serving a large number of meals or drinks to guests. If your meal service is buffet style, gather a selection of serving utensils that are suitable for serving soups, salads, or pasta.

  • Serving Trays
  • Tray Stands
  • Serving Utensils
  • Server Aprons & Uniforms

Furniture & Seating

Create a full-service catering business by providing your customers with the option of renting tables and seating. It increases the chance of customers further working with you instead of searching for multiple other companies to complete their event. Opt for disposable table cloths for your food stations and arrange canopies or tents for outdoor events.

  • Folding Tables
  • Folding Chairs
  • Cocktail Tables
  • Canopies / Tents
  • Bars

Cleaning Supplies

Once an off-site catering event is over, prepare to throw out the trash and wipe down any cooking equipment with the proper catering cleaning supplies. Create hand washing stations for outdoor events or offer hand sanitizer dispensers for guests to use. Organize your waste with separate trash and recycling bins to streamline your post-event waste removal.

  • Trash Cans
  • Trash Bags
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Cleaning Towels
  • Disposable Gloves

Prepare For Success

Having all of your catering supplies on hand will not only lead you to run a smooth and successful catering service, but it will also prevent any possibilities of leaving out essential supplies while you’re at an off-site location. Use our catering checklist to monitor all of the supplies you need for each event and to keep track that all of your supplies have been completely packed before leaving a venue.

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