The Right Tools for the Trade

Posted by Ashley Caldarone
Buffet chafer set up

Whether just starting out or a veteran in the catering industry, buying large goods can be a daunting task. We have assembled a list of supplies and cost-saving insights to gather the elements needed to get a new venture running or an old refreshed.


The basic equipment components include oven, stove, refrigerator, freezer. What type will be right for you depends on the size of your kitchen and your business goals.

  • Countertop cooking and undercounter cooling devices work well for small ventures, as they allow for the use of all available space.
  • Combination equipment, such as an oven/range or refrigerator/freezer, fulfill the need to save room, but also allot further storage.
  • For larger endeavors, standalone options give you the most operational area, allowing more can be completed at once.
  • Countertop appliances are great for on-the-go and often come in a variety of configurations.


There are two main types of necessary smallwares - Kitchen Supplies and Guest Service. Getting these from a one-stop-shop retailer will save both time and money.

Kitchen Supplies

From pots and pans for cooking to shakers and jiggers for cocktails, there are a variety of tools to choose from. Your personal preference and style are key considerations when making this investment.

Tip: Stainless steel is great to transfer a dish between cooking methods, such as from stove top to broiling in the oven. While non-stick excels at more delicate foods that cling easily (for example, eggs or crepes).

Guest Service

Serving utensils and heating / warming devices are important for both buffet and sit-down catering. When possible, buy reusable parts, such as a fuel holder as opposed to disposable ethanol jars. Additional savings can also be brought to your beverage service by offering guests the ability to help themselves using self-serve carafes and pitchers.


People taste with their eyes long before the first bite. Plating is the final touch to your masterpiece and requires the perfect canvas. While many locations may provide dinnerware and glassware, coming to the site already primed with these items sets you apart from your competitors.


Serving on plates with a pop of color can balance your visual arrangement. Use a complementary palette for extra appeal.

Negative Space

Larger plates allow for embellishments and puts the emphasis on the food. Be careful when applying this technique as too much space may make your meal appear small and leave the customer unsatisfied.

Weddings. Cocktail Parties. Social Events.
The possibilities are endless once you have the proper tools and production set up.

Kintera - Get the Right Equipment for the Job
Culinary Essentials - All the Smallwares You’ll Need, In One Place
Premier Collections - Add the Flare of Presentation
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