If you’ve ever attended a gallery opening, bridal shower, book signing, rehearsal dinner or even a bar mitzvah, you’ve probably had a catering experience. When you attend an elegantly appointed wedding reception or a plated fund-raiser with food as tasty, if not tastier than the local dining hot-spots, you almost definitely have a catering team to thank.

Catering seems pretty straightforward and simple: You cook some food and serve it, right? That is the basic idea, but there’s more to it. A whole lot more.

Often you will encounter people who have special dietary needs, such as vegetarians. Or, perhaps you want the entire event to have a health-centered focus. What if the event will host many children? Dig in, we’ve got great tips for you and your caterer!