As fall approaches, the temperatures will begin to dip and, as a result, most clients will opt to host their event inside. It may be hard to think about as you bake in the sun at your summer events, but rest assured we’ll be celebrating harvest season before you know it.
Indoor and outdoor events each carry their own perks, as well as their own obstacles — so it’s important to be mindful of them as we enter this transitionary season.
Indoor Event Perks
The perks of an indoor event typically counter the main obstacles of an outdoor event, with the most significant being weather.
“I would say the biggest pro to catering an indoor event is that weather is not an issue, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time creating a plan B in case it rains or worry about a windstorm taking out tables that have been set,” says Anthony Labatos of Footers Catering.
Lon Lane of Lon Lane’s Inspired Occasions agrees about the weather factor: “No rain, no wind to put out chaffers and cool off food, no worries about excessive heat. Oh, and no bugs! There are also better options for lighting indoors.”
Additionally, events that are inside are generally easier to manage power needs and venues are more likely to be set up and wired in the most efficient ways.
Indoor Event Challenges
There are obstacles with indoor events, as well — especially for caterers. Some venues can be small and feel crowded, which limits the routes from the kitchen to the service area. Outdoor events, on the other hand, tend to be more flexible with space.
“Indoor challenges include space limitations and lack of staging space,” says Lane. As he mentions, the kitchen space itself may be smaller than an outdoor one — but you must adapt and work with what you’re given.
Indoor venues also typically have stricter fire regulations, so you may be limited in certain styles of cooking that involve open flame.
“Grilling is one of the tough things we encounter when events move indoors,” shares Labatos. “If we’re not given an area outside to grill or if it’s too cold, then we will put grill marks on steaks in our facility, keep them rare in the middle, and then finish them in the oven when we get onsite.”
Lane adds: “You must also be mindful of smoke alarms and sprinkler systems if cooking at a buffet or doing flambé.”
Fortunately, none of these challenges are insurmountable. With some smart and creative thinking, you can find solutions that will make it simple to adapt your events to an inside setting.
“When the weather gets really cold (like below freezing), our propane tanks start to freeze,” explains Labatos. “It makes it difficult to cook on our trucks. We have learned to use portable heaters and ‘propane blankets’ to prevent that from happening.”
Indoor venues can provide a blank slate for countless beautiful fall and winter weddings, so be prepared for the challenges in place and take advantage of the many benefits of an inside celebration.