Self Catering Venue Hire Auckland

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Wedding receptions, birthday parties, office functions and every other type of event have one thing in common - food! Chances are, you'll come across the option of self catering, and if you do, SpacetoCo has heaps of Auckland venues that allow this. But before you go looking, we've put together some things to consider to make sure self catering is right for you and your event!

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When planning an event, whether it's a wedding, birthday party or one of your office's meetings or functions, a space is only one thing to tick off the list; another is what type of food to serve your guests! For those who are budget savvy or want their menus to be a little different from the norm, self-catering is a great option to consider. While it's not hard to find the perfect place from SpacetoCo's Auckland venues (because many allow self catering), the question still stands...will doing the food yourself actually be cheaper or right for your event? Here are some pros, cons, considerations and tips to help you decide whether to self cater your event!

Pros of Self Catering

  • It can be fun and make your function special - If you love cooking, then this option will give you a lot of joy, especially if you enlist family and friends to share that joy with! Also you can whip up stuff from family recipes or favourite food memories, making it extra special for your guests.

  • The options are endless - You are able to do away with rigid menus that external caterers offer; instead, you have the freedom to serve whatever you want at your event!

  • It can be cost-effective if planned well - You can definitely save a lot of money if you watch your budget like a hawk and look out for deals. With wedding catering costing about $60-100 per head, there's a potential to save thousands of dollars!

Cons of Self Catering

  • It takes a lot of work and time - DIY menus take a lot of planning, preparation and people power. It can also be stressful for you and for those helping out. While you and your loved ones could cater for an event that you don't need to be at (like a corporate function), you might not want to be stuck in the kitchen for private events where you and your family and friends are also hosts/guests.

  • It might actually be more expensive - If you don't plan well, you might actually pay more if you self cater your event. External caterers often have deals with specialty food suppliers, so you would have to find other means or places to buy food on the cheap. Also, don't forget the extra costs of cutlery, crockery, kitchen utensils etc.

If you've decided that the pros outweigh the cons, here are some things to consider to make self catering work for you:

What type of event are you having? - Planning menus is easier when you take into account the kind of event you are hosting, what time of year it will be held and when it is happening during the day (or night). If it is a birthday party, you could invite guests to bring food to share or make it a morning or afternoon tea to keep the costs low. If it's a summer event, you could make use of a BBQ and buy cheap cuts of meat. For example, Onepoto Domain Hall in Auckland's Northcote has a park nearby with a public BBQ that can be used. If your event is more involved like a wedding reception or a corporate function, you might have to be a little creative. Why not do a grazing table or even a breakfast serving seasonal food?

How many guests are you having, how much space do you have and what facilities do you need? - The perfect venue for your event also considers the number of people attending, as well as the amenities you have on site. Will you be having a birthday morning tea with a few people? Then a smaller venue with a kitchenette would suffice. Having a sit-down corporate dinner? A bigger venue as well as more space for food storage might be better - and don't forget, you often have to hire out crockery, cutlery and other tableware somewhere else! Make sure you also consider food safety; if there are certain things that need to be heated or cooled, that means needing a microwave/oven or more fridge space.

What are your alcohol needs? - Venues offer different options with serving and consuming alcohol. For example, St. Luke's Church and Community Centre in Auckland's Remuera allow BYO but no selling of alcohol, the Grey Lynn Community Hall allows alcohol consumption but only if you pay the extra cleaning cost, and the Marist Saints Rugby League Club don't allow BYO because they have their own bar and license. Other places like the 312 Hub in Onehunga and West Auckland's Encounter events hall don't allow alcohol on site! Keep all of this in mind when picking the perfect place for your event.

Tips for Self Catering Success

  • Know your guests and think like them - Chances are, you'll know the people on your guest list and what they like to eat/drink! Are some of them vegetarian, vegan or gluten free? Putting yourself in the shoes of your party-goers will help your menu making and budget keeping!

  • Get creative - Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like boundaries. Who says you can't have a pot luck wedding reception, a doughnut wall instead of a birthday cake or a company breakfast instead of a cocktail party? Not only will being creative potentially keep things cheaper, but it could give your guests an experience they'll never forget!

  • Mix it up - The beauty of these Auckland venues allowing external catering means that you can do part of the menu yourself and hire help for the other. For example, you could hire your favourite restaurant to cater the main meal and make the desserts yourself, or have your family and friends make meals for a buffet and hire a food/bar truck for the rest - the options are endless.

Not only is self catering possible, but it could be the most cost-effective and creative option for your event. If you consider all of these, plan well and think like your guests, nothing will stop you from self catering success!

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