Catering businesses require a significant amount of planning between cooking, transporting, and serving foods. Without the right equipment and supplies, operators cannot best serve their client’s needs and produce great foods.  

Central put together a list of some of the most important equipment and supplies to considering when outfitting your catering business after it leaves your kitchen. Please note that this list is not all-inclusive, as every business model will vary. 

Please note that this list is not all-inclusive, as every business model will vary. However, these items are a great place to start when considering what is needed to operate your catering business. 

Catering Equipment 

So what equipment is used in catering? Let’s review some of the most commonly used items.

Holding Cabinets 

Keep foods at proper temperatures while transporting and waiting for mealtime. Heating cabinets are extremely versatile and are available in a multitude of sizes and styles. From undercounter, uninsulated units to full size, insulated units that do not need to be plugged in to continue heating the cabinet.  


Learn more about holding cabinets in Central’s Holding Cabinet Buying Guide.

Chafing dishes 

Chafing dishes are the centerpiece of a hot food buffet or catering event. Chafers utilize a water pan and a chafer fuel candle or electric source to keep food at proper temperatures while serving guests. Chafers are available in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate every kind of catering event. 

Learn more about Chafing Dishes in Central’s recent article.

Food pan carriers 

Food pan carriers are another great option for transporting and delivering food at proper temperatures, whether hot or cold foods. Carriers are available in a variety of sizes and styles.

Hot food tables and accessories 

Hot food tables provide a way for operators to serve hot foods and are great for catering locations where the meal is served in the operator’s facilities. Many models offer a cutting board on the operator side to cut and serve foods on the spot. Styles, configurations, and features vary greatly by model.

Catering carts 

Catering carts add versatility to your catering business, giving the option to rearrange set up while also quickly and smoothly serving guests. The carts are available in a wide range of materials and colors to fit the décor style of every operation.

Catering Supplies

Catering service trays 

Utilize catering service trays to organize food on buffet tables or for wait staff to serve appetizers. Catering service trays are available in a variety of construction materials, colors, and styles to meet the needs of every operation. 

Ice beverage bins 

Keep drinks cold and easily accessible at catered events with ice beverage bins. From tabletop to self-standing, plastic to metal, ice beverage bins are available in a wide variety of options.

Insulated beverage carriers 

Attractively offer cold or hot beverages with durable, insulated beverage carriers. The carriers are offered in several different colors and sizes.

Punch bowls 

Offering a fun punch for the event? Punch bowls allow operators to cleanly and beautifully display the drink with a wide bowl rim to easily serve to guests.

Tabletop and buffet displays 

The quickest way to create an attractive buffet with height and dimensions with by using a variety of tabletop and buffet displays. Use multiple styles and materials that complement each other create the perfect display layout.

Food and drink fountains 

Need a conversation starter and centerpiece for your display? A food and drink fountain is the way to go. From chocolate and cheese to champagne, these fountains will be a crowd favorite.

Buffet serving utensils 

Of course, no catered even is possible without the use of serving utensils. Tongs, slotted spoons, ladles, and more are available in a variety of sizes and styles. Find the serving utensils to best fit your operations. 

Again, this is not a complete list of everything that your catering business may not, but it a great place to start. For more information on running a catering business, visit our recent catering blogs: 

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