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Stay Successful as a Caterer in a Tight Economy

Updated on February 11, 2009

Staying Competitive

Staying competitive in todays economy can be difficult for anyone, caterers just like everyone else need to lower budgets to stay competitive.  Jim Lee, head of Jim Lee Events, a Dallas Catering company offered his insight throughout the article on where it makes sense to cut costs.

Forget Beef Tenderloin

Sirloin or other kinds of beef can replace Tenderloin the long-standing standard beef of choice. Use these cheaper alternatives as a replacement, sirloin served with a portabello demi glace has a wonderful taste and is a lot easier on the budget. Need a different option? Try making a cabernet & garlic roasted beef brisket. Both of these are great alternates to the costlier beef tenderloin.

Don’t Cut Staff

Don’t skimp on your staff unpleasant servers, make for unpleasant parties. Guests need to feel as if the servers are happy to be serving them, overworking your employees will make them less likely to give the outward appearance of happiness. Do yourself a huge favor and bring the right amount of employees so that they can do their job without being overworked or stressed.

Serve Shrimp

Shrimp skewers popularity is on the rise again, serve these with multiple dipping sauces. Multiple sauces, especially ones that are fondue-esque, will give the partygoers several options for flavor. Grill the shrimp, you can add flavor to them during the grilling process or just choose to leave that up to the sauces offered with them. An idea from Jim Lee Events in Puerto Vallarta, is to stuff shrimp with cheese and then wrap them in bacon before finishing them off by flaming them with Kahlua; they are offered with a delicious and rich white pepper sauce. One last thing to think about is whether or not to serve a shrimp that is spicy, depending on your guests this can be a great option. An easy way to do this if you are unsure guests preference is to have a spicy sauce as one of the possible choices.


Pick one specialty drink to serve instead of trying to stock a full bar of liquors, when you combine this with some different beer and wine selections you will find this is more than enough. This will save you the headache of being stuck behind a bar or having to staff one. A great drink available at Jim Lee’s Starlight Room is the “Cosmojio”, made with white rum, simple syrup, lime juice, and a single mint leaf for garnish, this drink is very refreshing. The Starlight Room serves theirs in a martini glass, while the exact mixture is not available some similar drink recipes come close to replicating the flavor and can be found onine.

Use Bite Size Desserts

Messy Guests are unhappy guests, make it easy on them by serving smaller bite size desserts. Bite size desserts make it easier for guests to stay neat and clean, and are usually easier to prepare than their larger versions. Some options are key lime cheesecake bites, pistachio bailey’s white chocolate truffles, and amaretto brownie bites or anything else you find that is bite size. Make sure to offer several desserts with differing flavors in order to appeal to all the guests differing tastes.

Stay Competitive

Use these ideas to make your party a success while keeping your budget low so that you can be a successful caterer in the current economy. A special thanks goes out to Jim Lee of Jim Lee Events, a Dallas catering company.



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