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Can You Rent Catering Equipment?

by Devra Gartenstein

Catering equipment can be expensive. When you are a caterer just getting started or are simply catering food for your own party, an equipment rental company can provide you with most of what you need. Renting equipment is cheaper than buying it, so equipment rental saves you money in the short term. However, if you plan to cater large gatherings regularly, consider investing in your own equipment to save expenses.

Equipment Rental Terms

Rental companies provide contracts outlining rental terms. Contract terms specify the length of time you keep the equipment, and how you are expected to return it. For example, some catering rental companies wash dishes and allow you to return them dirty, while other companies require you to return the dishes clean. Rental contracts also sometimes provide the option of having catering equipment delivered, although you must pay for the convenience.

Reserving Rental Catering Equipment

A catering equipment company may have exactly what you need on hand when you walk through the door, but there is no guarantee unless you reserve the equipment in advance. To reserve catering equipment, visit the rental facility in person, or make a reservation online or over the phone. Visiting the facility in person provides the added benefit of being able to see the items in advance. This is especially important with items such as plates and tablecloths, which may require aesthetic decisions.

Making Deposits

Like car rental companies, catering equipment rental companies require you to make deposits to cover the risk of damage or theft. Deposit amounts depend on quantities and types of items. You can use a check of cash for a deposit, or you can leave a credit card number.

Returning Catering Rental Equipment

When you return the catering equipment you have rented, the rental company's employees check in the items you bring, counting small ware such as forks and dishes, and inspecting larger pieces of equipment for obvious signs of damage. Your order will be checked according to the terms outlined in your contract. For example, if you agreed to return rental dishes rinsed, the person checking them in makes sure you have complied.

About the Author

Devra Gartenstein has owned and run a variety of food businesses for more than 20 years. She has published two cookbooks: "The Accidental Vegan" and "Local Bounty." Gartenstein holds Master of Arts degrees in philosophy and English literature.

Photo Credits

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