wedding planning checklist

Event planning is a venture with many moving parts, and it’s important that every part comes together seamlessly. Whatever the occasion, you need to work with businesses you can trust, especially when it comes to catering equipment hire.

The best catering equipment hire company for your event will be out there – you just have to find it! That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you find your perfect catering equipment service and, ultimately, hold a flawless and unforgettable event.

Consider You Needs

catering equipment

Before you delve into the depths of Google, take some time to consider what it is you actually require from a catering equipment hire company. A high-quality service doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for your event – it all depends on a myriad of factors such as the date, size, length, location and nature of your event.

When Do You Need the Equipment?

In other words: when is your event? Are you planning far in advance, or do you need to hire catering equipment on short notice? Generally, the earlier you can plan for equipment hire the better, but as we all know, this isn’t always possible. If you do need equipment on short notice, it’s worth including this in your searches.

You should also consider the time of year you’re holding your event – for example, December is usually a very busy month for events due to Christmas, so it may be more difficult to find catering equipment for hire, especially on short notice. Other occasions with similar impacts include Easter and bank holiday weekends, with regular weekends vs weekdays having an impact as well.

How Long Will You Need The Equipment For?

This question seems simple, but we’re not just talking about how long your event is running for. You may need the equipment a few hours or even days before to allow for setup and food preparation. Add this to the length of the event itself, plus any clean-up and takedown time, and you’ll know how long you need the equipment for.

How Big Is The Venue, And How Big Is Your Event?

Some catering equipment hire companies specialise in supplying equipment for smaller events, whilst others specialise in larger events. If your event is on the larger side and you need a particularly high amount of furniture for hire, crockery for hire, cutlery for hire and so on, make sure you look for a hire company which has enough stock to fulfil your needs.

What Do The Venue And Catering Company Already Have?

catering equipment hire company

The last thing you want is to assume your venue has something and end up short. It’s even worse than ending up with duplicates – though that in itself isn’t ideal, especially if you’re trying to save money or space.

Your venue may already have a fully equipped kitchen, though make sure you know exactly what that includes, as it can be subjective. If you need more specialist catering equipment outside of the regular fridges, freezers and ovens, you may still need to hire them from a catering equipment hire service. If you’re hiring external caterers, you should also check what equipment they will be bringing with them.

As well as catering equipment, your venue may have a fully equipped bar, dining tables and chairs, and even glassware, crockery, linen and cutlery – so make sure you know exactly what they’ve got before you place an order with an equipment hire company.

What Equipment Do You Need?

catering equipment for hire

Consider all of the above to determine the equipment you need to hire. Research the recommended equipment for your type of event, and make sure you have all the catering equipment you need for your caterers to cook the planned menu. This may include things like deep fat fryers, bain maries and BBQs.

It’s worth looking at everything different hire companies have to offer, as there will likely be things you never even thought you’d need. Take a look at our function planner to see what else you may need for your event, and don’t be afraid to ask your chosen company for advice.

What is Your Budget?

Once you’ve decided what you need, figure out how much you’re both expecting and willing to spend. The cheapest service isn’t always the best, so having an idea of both your minimum and maximum budget for your catering equipment hire will support you in making an informed decision.

Do Your Research

research catering hire company

You should now be armed with a list of the equipment you need, including the amount, as well as details of when you need the equipment, how long you need it for, and how much of your overall event budget you’re willing to allocate to equipment hire. Now it’s time to dig into some research, with this information tucked in your pocket.

Asking for recommendations from your event venue or caterers is a great place to start, as they will likely have some insight as to the best catering equipment hire companies in your area. They may also have good relationships with these local companies, which will help to make the entire process as seamless as possible.

Outside of word-of-mouth recommendations, gain an idea of what’s available near you by searching keywords on your chosen search engine. If you need equipment on short notice, try adding this into your search – the same goes for if you’re looking for high quality equipment, specialist equipment, good value, huge volumes of equipment or long-term hire. It’s also worth looking for companies which are more local to you, as your equipment won’t need to travel as far to reach you.

Before you decide on a catering equipment hire company, make sure you read reviews from their clients. This will give you an idea of whether a company which talks the talk can also walk the walk.

Though different catering equipment hire companies will be better for certain occasions and requirements, there are a few attributes which are worth looking for during your research.

What makes a good catering equipment hire company?

Strong Experience

You need to be able to trust that your chosen company can provide a high-quality, efficient service. Look for companies with a proven track record of supporting events like yours and have years of experience in the industry. The more experienced the company, the less likely things are to go wrong on the day.

Large Range of Equipment

In planning your function, you’ll likely already be dealing with a variety of businesses, including the venue, catering company, entertainment providers and cleaning services. Rather than adding to your plate with several catering equipment hire companies, it’s much better to just hire from one by making sure the company has a huge range of equipment including everything you need.

Necessary Quantity of Equipment

This is particularly important for larger catered events which require enough furniture, cutlery, crockery, glassware and linen for every guest. You may also need more than the average amount of various pieces of kitchen equipment such as hot lamps, coffee machines and water boilers. Make sure the company you choose has enough for your event!

High-quality Equipment

Not only do you want to make sure you’re hiring top-of-the-line, modern equipment, but you also need to make sure the equipment is kept in good shape and thoroughly cleaned before each use. Don’t be afraid to ask how a company looks after their equipment, as the best ones will have strong quality assurance processes in place such as crockery and cutlery cleaning and furniture refurbishment facilities.

Excellent Customer Service

Planning and running an event is stressful enough, so you need an efficient, friendly service from your catering equipment hire company to alleviate some of that stress. First impressions matter, so things like quick replies to your initial enquiry and helpful conversations where staff go above and beyond to support your event planning should be a sign of good things to come. Find out how much onsite assistance the team is able to offer in case of problems with the equipment or where you may need support with set-up.

Read the Fine Print

The last stage of your search for the perfect catering equipment hire company should be to read the fine print and ask them any questions you have upfront before you make your final decision.

Look Out for Hidden Charges

Make sure you know if there are any charges for loss or breakages before you go through with your order. It’s important to know exactly what you’re liable for and, if you are, how the company will differentiate between damage and natural wear-and-tear.

Check for Insurance

With such large pieces of expensive equipment involved, it’s important that the catering equipment hire company you choose has Public Liability insurance. This should cover the pieces of equipment themselves as well as delivery and collection, and any issues that could arise with catering. Public Liability insurance of up to £10m is the standard you should look for.

Are They SafeHire Certified?SafeHire Certification

All SafeHire certified catering equipment hire companies must operate to the internationally recognised standard of quality. It will instantly tell you that the company you’re looking to hire from is committed to constant improvement within safety, health, quality and the environment and that their well-trained team provides a high standard of service. At Hospitality Event Hire, we are SafeHire certified.

How Often Do They PAT Test?

Every piece of electrical equipment should be PAT tested before each hire. PAT testing (Portable Appliance Testing) must be undertaken by a qualified person and involves a full inspection of appliances, ensuring they are safe to use.

Hiring equipment for an event

Get in Touch with Hospitality Event Hire

At Hospitality Event Hire, we work closely with our clients to provide high-quality, safety-assured catering equipment and furniture for events. To us, the process is so much more than just one simple transaction: we work hard to get to know you and your needs in order to deliver everything you expect and more.

We’re located on the South Coast of Dorset, just outside Wareham, making us the perfect local choice for catering equipment in Dorset, including catering equipment hire in Bournemouth, catering equipment hire in Poole and catering equipment hire in Southampton.

Our friendly and knowledgeable team is always happy to help, so pop us a call on 01202 612336 , email us at or fill out the contact request form on our website.

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Start building your quote today or get in touch if you have any questions about our extensive range of glassware,
furniture, catering equipment and much more.