Caterers today have more business opportunities than ever. To meet these opportunities, a good caterer must be agile enough to accommodate different requests. This means that they must be well-equipped to handle any demands as they arise—both from a culinary standpoint as well as an equipment standpoint. With such a wide selection available, it can be rather daunting to think about amassing the right equipment.
Luckily, we’ve identified 8 absolutely, positively, must-have catering essentials that will help a caterer in virtually any situation.
1. Camwear® Colander Pans This convenient set-up allows an operator to rinse, drain and store all in one pan. The colander simply lifts out of the food pan, allowing quick disposal of any liquids. These are great for washing and draining produce or for thawing out seafoods and meats so they don’t sit in a pool of ‘juice.’ They also have a variety of lid styles to complement the colander pans for safe holding.
2. Camwear Rounds or Camsquares® Food Storage Containers These are such a truly multi-purpose tool that they get our vote. The clear and durable material allows caterers to see contents at a glance. Graduations in quarts on the side allow for precise measurement and mixing of a variety of marinades and dressings and storage of fresh and dry ingredients alike. Recipes in bulk are a cinch to follow with these Rounds and Squares and scale up or down since these storage containers come in 7 different sizes. Cosmopolitan Catering in Sunnyvale, CA has a huge customer base of Indian and Chinese hi-tech workers in Silicon Valley that they need to cater to every day. See how Chef Patrick Green uses these Squares to adapt his ethnic recipes to make them easy for his staff to follow.
3. Food Storage Boxes Poly Boxes are such a great product for any caterer to own. They can be used at Receiving for transferring produce out of potentially bug-infested cartons before they reach your walk-in, or for storing freshly prepped produce. The 1826 15” deep boxes are also a very useful bulk holding box that you can use to marinate food in, such as the Indian Tandoori chicken and yogurt-spice mix that Chef Patrick likes to use them for.
Holding & Transporting
4. UPCSS160 For smaller menus requiring single pan deliveries, these top-loaders are a fantastic choice for drop-offs. Add some divider bars and transform this unit into a mini condiment bar for your pizza parties, toppings for an ice cream bar, or simply to use with smaller fractional pans. Set up a series of these top-loaders and serve right out of them—even do away with chafing dishes. An additional plus? These units stack and nest into each other so they save an additional 35% storage space.
5. UPC400 Nothing beats these ‘hot boxes,’ as the trade affectionately calls them. They are a must-have basic tool that will keep your food safely hot or cold, to be served hours later. Each can hold four 4” deep GN food pans so simply multiply them up for greater holding capacity. Its compact size is also a big plus for transporting in a van or smaller vehicle. As if these benefits weren’t already enough– in a pinch, these UPC400’s can even be turned upside down to be used as an ice chest.
6. 500LCD These beverage servers hold 5 gallons of hot or cold beverage safely for hours on end. Their straight edges allow them to easily stack on top of each other to save space during transport.
7. HWAPR: Handwash Accessory One of our favorite catering tools of all-times! This accessory straps on top of your beverage server to instantly transform it into a handwash station, dispensing soap and providing paper towels. Add a bucket to collect the water and you are ready to take on any off-site catering event or fair.
8. Round Pebbled Bowls These bowls come in 3 sizes and are so multi-functional that your operation would missing out without them. Use them as a quick mixing bowl, to hold salad or even to keep cold food nicely chilled on your display table. Use one of the smaller 15” or 18” bowls to hold cold food and nest inside the larger 23” bowl partially filled with ice. Your food will stay chilled, fresh and safe.
If your operation is missing any of these key tools, consider investing in them because every caterer should be prepared for any opportunity. These must-have tools are designed to keep food safe and make your operation so much simpler and more efficient.
For more info on these products, please visit www.cambro.com.