Keep your cool
If you’re hosting functions inside, controlling the temperature in the dining room and the kitchen is critical.
While most commercial kitchens have separate temperature control zones, if you’re hosting in a private house or function room,you may need extra fans or cooling units in the kitchen so your staff are comfortable and your customers aren’t freezing.
If the function is outdoors, you’ll be at the mercy of the elements and keeping food cold can be more challenging so it’s worth being prepared for the worst. Place thermometer alarms in refrigerators so you know if the temperature does drop too low; also, position raw meat on lower shelves so they don’t contaminate other products if the refrigeration fails. Keeping insulated containers and ice on hand will give you back up in case you need it.
Another danger in the heat is power outages. Investing in a small generator can put your mind at ease and ensure your customers remain unaware if you do experience an electricity outage during the event.
Keep the nasties away
With hot weather comes a host of bugs that come to feast on your food and guests. Mosquitoes flock to standing pools of water, so make sure any flowerpots, rain gutters or ice features are well-drained.
Well-positioned fans will help you keep the temperature down and make it more difficult for flying creatures to come close to your food. Well-designed fans could even become a decorating feature.
Repellents are the best way to keep insects away but chemicals can be quite harsh. Natural scents like lemon eucalyptus, lavender and cinnamon can keep insects at bay and enhance the atmosphere. A discreetly placed insect zapper is effective as long as the snap, crackle, pop is away from your guest’s ears.
Make sure it’s safe
Extra equipment like fans, insect zappers and refrigerators can make your function space a maze of cords and wires. To make sure your customers and staff are safe, keep cords out of tripping range or firmly secured flush to the ground.
Another danger in summertime is the risk of bacteria. Keeping food chilled until it’s ready to serve sounds easy, but may require a bit more planning than usual. If you’re hosting the function in a new environment,
make sure that your menu plan matches the refrigeration space available. Plan carefully so you can hire extra refrigeration units to store cold platters or tubs of ice cream if needed.
Keep costs under control
To cope with rising temperatures, the costs of your function can increase. From air conditioning to refrigeration and public holiday rates, costs can quickly get out of control.
Curb cooling costs long-term by getting air conditioners maintained each year and installing air curtains to let air in while keeping pests away. For other costs, it’s a matter of good planning and balance. Look at serving foods that require less refrigeration - think cakes and tarts over ice cream and panna cotta.
Serving costs can be reduced by designing a menu that allows guests to help themselves. Tapas plates, grazing platters and barbecued meats can require less wait staff and are winners with guests. While it may feel overwhelming, hosting summer functions doesn’t need to be. With a bit of extra planning, you can hold a fantastic function without blowing your budget.