We’re an event hire company that's been hiring catering equipment throughout Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, The Cotswolds, and the West Midlands for over 20 years so, we’ve got a pretty good idea what you need which is why we've created our event planning checklist.
There’s a lot that goes into planning an event. Whether it’s a simple gathering, a party, corporate function or indoor or outdoor wedding, there are lots of different elements to the event that need careful planning. Organising an event and not sure what catering equipment hire you need? Don’t worry - here’s our extensive event planning checklist.
What do you need to hire for your event catering?
No matter the nature of the event, you’re likely to need some of the following items and areas of event hire. We’ve listed the main ones and then gone into some detail to help you decide what you need and how much of each item you’ll require.
We’ve also linked to some other helpful blogs where possible, too.
You’ll need to hire some of the following for your event:
- Crockery Hire – plates, bowls, and more.
- Glass Hire – from champagne flutes to whiskey tumblers.
- Cutlery Hire – spoons, knives, forks, and even cake knives.
- Linen Hire – chair covers, napkins, and coloured chair sashes
- Furniture Hire – tables, chairs, bar stools, and cake tables!
- Kitchen Hire – full kitchen hire including hot cupboard, ovens, freezers, and urns.
Let’s take a look at them all in more detail…
Crockery Hire – plates, bowls, and more
Most events will centre around a meal, so you’ll need to consider something for the guests to dine from! There are a lot of options when it comes to crockery hire and we’ve covered them in detail in our crockery checklist blog here.
To give you an idea, here are some things to consider:
- Are you having two or three courses? – you’ll need starter, main, and dessert crockery - or just the two settings, depending on your answer.
- What are you having as starters? – Do you need soup bowls? Or something for pâté?
- What are you having for main course? Roast dinner on large dinner plates? Pasta in bowls? Will you serve the vegetables at the table? Or will it be plated up?
- What are you having for dessert? Cake, or something that requires a dessert bowl? Maybe you’re going for a cheese board instead?
- Will you be serving teas and coffee? And will you be serving them before and after the meal or just at the end? You may need to double up on your order.
- Is there an evening buffet? (This is important for weddings.) If so, you’ll need to cater with plates, cups, saucers, and more. Carefully go through your menu and consider all your options.
Cutlery Hire – spoons, knives, forks, and even cake knives
And now you’ll need to consider something to eat with! Your cutlery hire needs will, of course, all be driven by the choice of food that you’ve gone for, too.
- Starter orders – soup spoons or fish knives?
- Main course – steak knife needed? Or straight forward knife and fork?
- Dessert – cheese and biscuits requirements are different from a creme brulee!
- Cake? Don’t forget the cake stand and forks to serve!
- Evening buffet? Unless you’re going for the bacon sandwich route, you’ll need to order cutlery here, too.
Glass Hire – from champagne flutes to whiskey tumblers
Glass hire is another important factor that should be on your event planning checklist. The drinks at your event might not be simply tea and coffee and you could well be offering something a little more exciting. So, what are you offering?
List out your drinks and then work out which glasses you will need. You can find a full glass hire checklist here, but here are a few ideas to help you:
- Receptions drinks – Champagne or cocktails? Pimms or mulled wine? These all require very different vessels.
- Table wine – Are you serving red and white? Or maybe some rose as well? Consider catering with different glasses at each setting.
- Water glasses – Don’t forget the essentials. You’ll need water glasses for the thirst-quenching and you may need some water jugs, too.
- A toast? – Are you raising a toast with new glasses? Don’t forget to hire them!
- Bar drinks? – Evening party? Well, you’ll need cocktail glasses, pint glasses, more wine glasses, and some soft drink tumblers, too.
- Cocktails? – if you’re making a big thing of your cocktails then you might need some martini glasses or maybe some large primeur wine glasses for an Aperol spritz?
Kitchen Hire – full kitchen hire including hot cupboard, ovens, freezers, and urns
If you don’t have a fully functioning kitchen at your venue or if you need a little extra cooking equipment then it’s time to consider your kitchen hire in your event planning checklist.
If you're wondering should you buy or hire your catering equipment? Often, you’re better off hiring in a proper ring burner than hoping that the on-site oven is up to the job. Catering for a few people from a domestic oven is fine, but it will reach its limitations at a larger event.
Some areas to think about are:
- Production – ovens, hobs, urns, gas cylinders, pots, pans and plate stack! Full range here.
- Refrigeration – A well-equipped kitchen will need to keep raw food and cold items at the right temperature. A decent fridge is a Godsend. Full range here.
- Preparation – most event food is prepared to a point on-site so getting tables, plate stands, and even a kitchen sink may well be on the cards for you. Full range here.
- Holding – keeping things warm in the kitchen and on the tables could be needed. Check with your menu/caterer/client to determine what you need. Full range here.
- Food Serving – chaffing dishes for the buffet or a hot cupboard for the kitchen. Pay attention to how the food will be served here and consider all the options. Full range here.
- Beverage Equipment – Hot water is often needed so get a good urn or two hired and don’t forget the drinks trays and water jugs. Full range here.
Furniture Hire – At Plato, we even have the tables, chairs, bar stools, and cake tables!
Aside from the food and drinks, you’ll need a full array of furniture for them to sit at and wine and dine. The number of guests and then what they’re going to be doing at your event will be your guiding light to the furniture hire you require.
Tables – The size of your tables matter, as this will depend on how many people you can get around them. You can find a full guide here on our table cloth size guide and you can also download a tablecloth size guide PDF here.
As you’ll see, you can fit 12 people around a 7 ft round table, but a 7ft round table is larger than a 5ft round. Got a long and narrow space? You might need to opt for more 5ft rounds than the larger 7ft rounds, and merely use more of the room.
If this sounds too complicated we can help you work it out. We’ve been doing this for years!
Chairs – a simple headcount will give you your number here and then it’s just a decision on the types of chairs and whether or not you need to hire some chair sashes to go with them to match the theme or make the room more to your taste.
Don’t forget the bar and the outside seating, too!
Linen Hire – chair covers, napkins, and coloured chair sashes
Some areas to think about are:
- Table Linen
- Chair Covers
- Disposable Linen
- Kitchen Serving Linen
Maybe this list is a little longer than you anticipated. Don’t worry. We’d be happy to chat about your event and help you work out what event hire services you need!
Organising an event is hard enough. You don’t need any more hassle…
We’ll make the task of hiring catering equipment for your event more simple, and you’ll see why we always aim to give exceptional service.
Start your quote now by adding the items you need from the main areas of our site. To give you a little head start you can head to these areas first:
Add them to your quote and submit it, and we’ll be in touch very soon.
Don’t worry if you miss anything; that’s where we come in.
Need help with your event planning checklist? Just ask.