Thursday, October 10, 2019

Creating a Winter Theme For Your Next Catered Event

plates and table arrangements at a winter themed dinner party
The winter months provide the opportunity to be a little more creative when it comes time to plan your next catered event. Here’s a look at some tips on how to create a unique winter theme for your next corporate event, holiday party or wedding reception. 

Winter Wonderland

The winter months bring snow to everyone’s mind and creating a winter wonderland theme would include more than just white décor. The menu could also include white wine and food selections could even stay with that theme. Fish, crab and lobster are just a few examples of the way you can incorporate the winter wonderland theme into your menu.

Rustic Theme

Nothing says homey like a country setting with a lot of rustic charm. Warm, earthy tones could decorate your next event while the menu could be set up to warm the soul on a cold winter day. Hearty mashed potatoes combined with a carving station would help to provide that rustic feel. Warm drinks would also add to this, types such as warm apple cider, with or without spiced rum. This rustic theme as become all the more popular with wedding venues and even corporate events.

Red Wine Tasting

Red wine is warm and inviting, and a particularly good fit for the winter months. Offering a selection of different types of red wine along with cocktailed hors d'oeuvres is a good start. Pairing the wines with different dishes is also an elegant setting for any winter party. With all that wine, it would also be a good idea to serve a hearty main course as well. An oak-inspired décor would also pair well with this theme.

deep red rose sit frozen within a ice sculpture which sits on a catering table

Ice Theme

Bringing the winter theme inside can be done tactfully with decorative ice sculptures as a showpiece. That will make for a cool setting and could be complemented with a lot of cold dishes that would precede the main course. Cold seafood appetizers will maintain that theme while soups and chilled salads would also add a nice touch. Cool blue colors that are dimly let can enhance the overall mood and a variety of frozen desserts can finish the night off.

If you are looking for a unique catered event during the winter months, contact SMS Catering Charlotte. The best catering Charlotte has to offer is available to enhance your next wedding reception or corporate event. SMS Catering Services also provides a spacious banquet hall Charlotte that can put an exclamation point on your next special occasion.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Casual Catering Ideas

grilled chicken wings
Hosting a catered event does not have to include an elaborate display, nor does it have to cost you a fortune. More and more corporate catering events, family parties and wedding receptions are going with a more casual theme. Here is a look at some casual catering ideas for your next event.

Bar-B-Q Theme

This is particularly popular during summer months as guests can dress more comfortably. The menu can also include typical Charlotte BBQ catering selections, which are generally lower in cost. Desserts could also be cheaper by offering smores, which guests can make themselves with a simple campfire.

Accommodate Outdoor Fun

To keep an outdoor catered event fun for your guests, purchase flip-flops for all in attendance. This way, guests can kick off their uncomfortable shoes and let loose outside. Outdoor settings should be more relaxed and what better way to relax than with comfortable footwear.

catering buffet line, stack of clean plates

Buffet Style

No matter what kind of food you choose for your event, offering buffet style will create a more casual atmosphere. This takes away the formality of having to sit for a dinner that is served in courses.

Hawaiian Theme

The mere mention of a Hawaiian theme takes away any formality. A pig roast is a great addition to a Hawaiian theme and guests can even be encouraged to dress in Hawaiian shirts. This is typically better suited for the outdoors, but can also be a refreshing indoor change in the winter months.

Clam Bake

This is a unique summer experience like no other. Clam bakes do not even require formal dinnerware. This is not only a relaxed and comfortable setting, but it is a great conversation piece even after the party has concluded. The décor can also be very informal and cost efficient.

Tapas Menu

A tapas menu brings out a lot of small plates, which are often shared. It also provides people with a less formalized dining experience. There is a lot more time for interacting without having the pressure to sit down through various courses of a meal.

SMS Catering Services can accommodate all types of catered events and even provides a spacious banquet hall for those looking for a venue as well. No matter what kind of style or theme you choose, the team at SMS Catering Services will work to make your event a success. For the best casual catering Charlotte has to offer, contact today.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Tips for Planning a Winter Wedding

Not every wedding has to take place in the spring or summer. Beautiful and memorable winter weddings provide just the right touch for some couples. However, there are some important points to remember when you are planning a winter wedding. SMS Catering Services CLT shares some important pointers to keep in mind.


The winter months could mean unexpected bouts of bad weather, which could make transportation a bit more difficult. Things can be made a whole lot easier when the ceremony and reception are close by. If you can find a banquet hall that is capable of holding a reception and ceremony, then that serves as a perfect solution. Remember that even a short drive from church to reception during the winter months can present problems.

Coat Checks

The chill of winter will force your guests to arrive wearing some sort of coat. That means you need to have some way of storing those coats throughout the reception. Many prestigious wedding venues will provide a coat check service, but it is still something you should consider in the planning stages.

Shorter Days

There are fewer hours of daylight in the winter, which means at some point, your reception is going to lapse into the darkness. This is important to remember when planning your photo hour and photo locations. The amount of natural light could be limited. Shorter days could impact the overall theme of your wedding as well. Candles also serve to create a romantic scene in the winter months.


It is always a good idea to check with your florist long before the wedding date because not every type of flower will be available during the winter season. This is important, especially when deciding upon a color scheme for your wedding party.

Travel Time

It is no secret that winter weather can make travel more difficult. Take that into consideration when selecting a date and time for your wedding. If you are looking to have a Friday night wedding, rush hour drive times can be brutal in some areas. Make plans ahead to deal with the potential elements of nature and the problems it could cause on the roadways.

SMS Catering Services hosts and caters wedding receptions through every season of the year. With a complete catering menu and a spacious banquet hall, everything you need for your winter wedding is available in one spot. SMS Catering Services has everything you need to make your wedding a very special occasion.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Important Questions You Might Not Have Asked Your Caterer

There are obvious questions that need to be asked when selecting a caterer for your next event, whether it be an anniversary, wedding or corporate party. However, there are plenty of important questions you might not have thought to ask your caterer. That is why we have complied this informative list of frequently forgotten questions that every party and event coordinator should ask a caterer.

What is the timetable for service?

Caterers will establish an itinerary for your event, but it is important to know just how long service will take. You should know just how long it will take from the time the first and last entrées are served. You should also know the exact down time between courses.

What is the leftover policy?

There is usually a good amount of food at a catered event and it’s very rare that all of it is eaten in its entirety. Paying for the food should give the client the right to take the rest of it home and it is definitely a topic that should be discussed.

What is the cost of tables and chairs?
Believe it or not, some catering venues will charge to use their tables and chairs. There are even upgrades when it comes to these items. Make sure you know exactly what you are paying for.

Can I control the thermostat?

When choosing a caterer that provides a venue, including banquet hall, having access to the thermostat is a major plus, especially when it comes to weddings and formal events. Being able to keep a room cool also helps when dealing with larger groups of people.

What is the sound quality?
Weddings have deejays and corporate events often include guest speakers or presentations. That brings about the need for a higher quality of sound. If your caterer is providing a banquet hall, ask about the acoustics, the sound system and any other aspects that have to do with the audio.

What is your alcohol policy and fees?
This will help pinpoint how much you are going to spend. Some caterers charge by consumption while others charge per person. Some charge a corkage fee for alcohol brought in by the client. There are also caterers that serve wine with dinner and others that limit the amount of time alcohol is served. Ask for a full rundown of the alcohol policy and fees.

SMS Catering Services can answer every customer question while providing quality service for all types of events. Whether you need a catered event at a banquet hall or catering brought straight to you, SMS Catering Services in Charlotte is standing by with a solution that works.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

How to Find the Right Caterer

Catered events do not just happen. There is a lot that goes into planning a wedding, corporate event, anniversary, or birthday party. There is also a great deal that goes into choosing the right caterer. Here’s a list of what to look for when it comes time to find the right caterer for your next event.

NC event catering services, party caterer Charlotte

The Right Experience

Not all catering services are the same. That means that not every caterer is equipped to handle specific events. For example, a caterer service that hosts a lot of weddings may not be the right type of caterer to handle your corporate event. Check out what kind of events different caterers have done in the past and go with one that has experience in handling your particular theme.

The Right Taste

At any kind of catered event, there is going to be an ample amount of food that is served. The only way to test that food is to taste it. Most reputable caterers will permit some kind of tasting as an example of what the client can expect. So venture out and let your taste buds be the judge of the catering menus.

The Right Service

One of the requisite parts of any catered event is being served. Caterers should have certain standards when it comes to service. Ask about these standards and never forget to ask about how much staff will be working during the event. It is a must to make sure every guest is accounted for at a catered event.

Captain C.B. Sully Sullenberger at The Miracle on the Hudson - Flight 1549 Homecoming Event

The Right Leader

Find out who is in charge of running the events within each catering service. The best food will be all for naught if the nightly itinerary does not run smoothly. Meeting the event coordinator, the person who will be overseeing everything, is a must. Feeling comfortable with that person goes a long way towards a successful event.

The Right Price

Budget is a primary concern when it comes to any event. There is no sense meeting with a caterer you cannot afford. So before doing any type of investigating, make sure that the catering price is right for you.

SMS Catering Services Charlotte hosts all kinds of events in its own banquet hall as well as providing off site catering services. There is an abundance of options for customers to choose from. SMS Catering Charlotte  can make your next event one to remember.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Nuances of Planning a Catered Corporate Event

Catering Charlotte corporate events comes with its own set of nuances. It is not like an ordinary get-together or a 25th wedding anniversary. Therefore, it is imperative to find a caterer who can meet all the demands that come with catering a corporate event. Here’s a look at some of the nuances of planning a catered corporate event.

Menus With Options

The point of a corporate event is to try and appease all those in attendance. That fact is important to remember when planning a catering menu. Regardless of the theme, there should be plenty of options for everyone. For example, when serving dinners, there should always be a vegetarian dish. And when breakfast is the choice meal, be sure to include a wide variety.

The Importance of Formality

Many corporate events are formal ones. This is where it helps to hire a caterer that is well versed in that type of setting. Those particular caterers are usually well aware of how important things like appearance, service and high standards of food are to the overall event. For formal events, it is recommended to go with a caterer who has done similar events in the past.


Businesses operate on a daily schedule, so a corporate event should follow the same regimen. There should be a time allotted for such things as a cocktail hour, meet and greet, presentations, or guest speakers. The demands of that itinerary should be able to be met by the catering service. The time of the event may also play a part in deciding whether or not a wet bar would be provided.

Finger Food

At corporate events, there is always a lot of mingling going on. Serving hor d'oeuvres provides guests with a chance to mingle and still get some food. Choosing to serve some type of butlered finger food is a good way to create a lot of networking.

Service Attire

Most corporate events require business attire for its guests. The attire of the service staff should also reflect the event, which means staff members should be dressed accordingly. Having service staff dressed in a formal manner will contribute to the overall mood of the event.

SMS Catering Services handles corporate events for all occasions. Regardless of the theme, the SMS staff will work to ensure a successful event. For the best corporate catering Charlotte has to offer, contact the experienced team of professionals at SMS Catering Services.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Watch Out! For These Wedding Venue Fees

Planning a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience filled with excitement. Part of that process is selecting the wedding venue in Charlotte that is right for you. When that time comes, here are some hidden fees to watch out for.

Overtime Fees

Many wedding receptions extend past the designated time they are supposed to end. In these instances, it is usually at the request of the bride and groom. However, that does not mean the newlyweds will always know what the final cost will be. When selecting a wedding venue, be sure to ask about every overtime charge just in case you make a last-minute decision to extend your wedding reception.

Total Taxes

Many wedding venues will quote you a price, but your final bill winds up being higher than that quote. Why is that? Most times, it is because they did not include the taxes. When spending thousands of dollars, taxes can add up in a hurry. This can bring your total to more than what you might have expected to pay. Be sure to get all the fine details about your wedding catering services to avoid unwanted fees.

Early Entry

A lot of times, wedding vendors will need to get access to the venue before the actual ceremony or reception begins. In some cases, wedding venues could make the claim that early entry prevents them from having another event and could charge you accordingly. Find out for certain what time your vendors can have access without any additional charge.

Cake-Cutting Fees

The whole concept of a venue charging you a fee to cut a cake seems rather absurd. But it is a tactic used when the wedding cake is not purchased from the wedding venue’s pastry kitchen. It is almost a way to penalize you for not ordering directly from their catering menu.

Corkage Fees

Wedding venues usually make a good deal of money on the sale of wine. But if you are supplying the wine, that is a lot less money in their pockets. To compensate, some wedding venues will add a corkage fee. This means the venue will charge you for each bottle you bring that is consumed at the venue. This could wind up negating a lot of what you would save by supplying your own wine.

When it comes time to select your wedding venue, SMS Catering Services North Carolina has everything you need all in one place. With a spacious banquet hall and the best catering Charlotte has to offer, SMS Catering Services has everything you need to make your wedding day one that is truly memorable.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

How to Select the Right Wedding Venue for You

Weddings are more than just one-time events. There is a lengthy selection and planning process that goes along with it. That includes choosing the right Charlotte wedding venues. Here are some helpful tips couples can use to select the right venue for their wedding.

catered wedding, wedding reception sign

Make a Checklist

When it comes to start looking at wedding venues, go into each visit prepared. It’s a good idea for couples to put together a checklist of everything they want on their wedding day. Many times, couples get caught up in the moment when visiting wedding venues and they start to consider options that do not coincide with their original plans. Be exact when making your checklist and keep it handy when touring a venue.

See the Season

Most couples are not looking to get married right away, which means each venue will probably look a little different when your big day comes around. Make sure the seasonal fit is the right one. If you are visiting an outdoor wedding venue in the fall, it is going to have a different look in the spring.

Ask the Vendors

For most weddings, couples will hire a photographer, DJ, florist and other kinds of vendors. Don’t hesitate to ask each of them their thoughts on the different wedding venues you are considering. Chances are that those vendors have been to each venue and can offer an objective opinion.

Map the Route

Guests are going to need to get to your wedding, so it is important to consider the drive time and traffic patterns to a particular venue. Friday night weddings can be difficult for commuters and traffic could cause them to miss the ceremony altogether. Being mindful of the navigation process can make the process of choosing a venue a lot easier.

Record Info

Taking notes, snapping pictures and asking questions is an essential part of choosing the right venue. Don’t hesitate to say whatever is on your mind and don’t be shy when it comes to taking photos. Collecting as much information as possible is extremely helpful. It is also a valuable way to compare different venues against one another.

SMS Catering Services NC has a vast amount of experience hosting all types of weddings. Equipped with a spacious Charlotte banquet hall, ceremonies and receptions can be done at the same site. When it comes time to search for the best Charlotte wedding venues, look no further than SMS Catering Services.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Casual Corporate Event Ideas

Not every corporate affair or event has to be a formal one. There are plenty of occasions that call for a more casual setting and may even allow you to leave the black tie at home. Here’s a look at some more casual ideas for your next corporate gathering.

These affairs may not necessarily be in the mold of traditional picnics. They are held outdoors and often include festivities and attractions such as group sports and fun competitions. Attire is often expected to be sporty and casual, but not too revealing or formal.

These types of functions provide a backyard type of feel. Food choices can range from BBQ pork to hamburgers and hot dogs…. or our famous NC Style BBQ Catering! This can create a different kind of company experience as corporate walls are often broken down by the simplicity and informality that comes with a backyard barbecue.

SMS Catering Hawaiian Menu: whole roast pig & bbq pork butts

Pig Roasts
A pig roast is more than just providing a different type of cuisine, it provides a laid back atmosphere where people can mingle without any kind of office pressure. There can also be a Hawaiian theme to accompany a pig roast, which opens the pallet of food options up to some of the more exotic varieties of dishes and cuisines.

A company gathering for brunch combines the elements of breakfast and lunch, just as it combines the elements of business and casual. These types of events often go off without pretentiousness and create a more relaxed and casual feel. They are also recommended to be held on off days.

catered business luncheon or brunchSeasonal Events
Holiday-themed parties can have a more casual element as evidenced by the menu. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your co-workers and serve a corned beef and cabbage feature dish. The month of October is a perfect time to celebrate German heritage with an Oktoberfest menu. Of course, October holds another great holiday, Halloween. Have a costume party of just have fun! Drinks optional, of course.

Super Bowl Parties
There could be a tailgate theme to your casual corporate Super Bowl party which centers on the game of football. The use of party trays and buffet trays are an excellent way to create a casual atmosphere at your company Super Bowl party and the big game helps give everyone a way to connect.
SMS Catering provides catering services for all kinds of corporate events. If you are looking for a more casual setting, we have an abundance of alternatives that will make for a memorable experience with either your colleagues or your family. Let us make your next event something special by calling SMS catering services, located in Charlotte, NC.

Monday, January 14, 2019

How to Choose the Right Wedding Caterer

Searching for a wedding caterer should not be a chore that is taken lightly. Your special day should unfold exactly how you envisioned and hiring the right caterer could go a long way towards turning that vision into reality. To ensure that everything goes smoothly, try out these helpful hints when making your decision.

bouquet of flowers at a banquet hall wedding venue

See for yourself

Don’t just take the caterer’s word for it. Drop by an event to see how things look with your own eyes. The best way to gauge just how a catering company operates is to see them in action. Tastings only shows you so much, but an actual event tells the real story.

Read reviews

Any reputable catering company is going to have a good amount of previous customers, some of whom are going to share their thoughts. Customer reviews will give you a firsthand account of how their event turned out, search online and ask the company if they have any references from recent events.

Photos, Photos, Photos

Caterers will offer potential clients a variety of options when it comes to decorating the wedding venue. Ask to see pictures of past events as you will want to match descriptions with actual images. That includes everything from table settings to the overall décor to the wedding menu.

Server to guest ratio

To ensure your big day goes smoothly, you will need an ample amount of wait staff to serve your guests. Be sure to get exact numbers on exactly how many servers there will be at your event so you can be sure everyone is covered.

elegant table setting for wedding catering in NC

Level of involvement

Some catering services put out the food and that is pretty much the extent of their duties. Other caterers will take on a role more congruent with that of a wedding planner. You need to know how much you can expect out of your caterer on your wedding day.

Final head count

You don’t want to overpay for your wedding so you need to know the cutoff date for adding or subtracting guests. When you are paying a per plate cost, those numbers could add up rather quickly and you will want some leeway when adjusting your final head count.

SMS Catering Services NC covers all the basics and provides working solutions to all customer questions and concerns. Every wedding is a top priority to SMS Catering. Equipped with a fully-trained and perfectly mannered staff that will attend to all of your wedding reception needs, you can do it all with one call to SMS.


Friday, December 14, 2018

The Essentials for Catering a Corporate Event

There is a long list of things to do for anyone planning a catered corporate event. It is unlike other catered events and should require attention to specific details. There are many areas to cover when catering a corporate event and if they are all followed, you have a much greater potential for success.
An important thing to know during any catered event is that a full guest is a happy guest. It’s better to order a little too much food than to risk presenting just barely enough to feed the entire audience adequately. Take this into consideration when placing your catered food order.

Guest lists are another important area to cover. Will this be a corporate event for only managers, executives or other employees? The answer to that question could have an impact on what kind of food and entertainment is ordered and how it is presented.

Catering services, corporate event, local banquet hall.
Catering services provided for corporate event at a banquet hall.
In the process of coming up with a guest list, there should also be considerations made for any dietary restrictions. With so many food allergies, there should be alternative options as well as vegetarian dishes for those who do not or can not eat certain things. There are a growing number of people with dietary restrictions so you should plan accordingly.

Entertainment is also a very important part of any kind of catered event. After all, eating can only take up so much time. There is often a need to capture people’s attention. Hiring a DJ, live act, guest speaker or any other kind of entertainment could be helped with some input from a well-networked, full-service caterer. Experienced caterers will be able to recommend reputable local entertainment services you can trust.

Knowing your budget is something that should be determined before you begin searching for a caterer. This will eliminate some catering services in the event that there are strict budgetary concessions to make. A good way to determine your budget is to start a spreadsheet that includes cost estimates and a list of all the services you will need.

Catering attire should also be addressed. Corporate events are essentially a more formal occasion, which requires a more formal dress code for the catering staff. Find out what kind of attire your catering staff will be wearing.

Transportation is an extra option to consider as well, particularly if there is going to be alcohol served at a corporate event. The last thing you want to do is send someone off to drive home after having a little too much to drink. Limousines, buses and shuttles are widely available for these kind of events.

Each catering company will likely have a specialty area. Find out each one’s specialty and try to match it with the needs of your audience. It also helps to search their online reviews as well as visit their websites for pictures of past events.

When it comes time to find a corporate catering service in Charlotte, NC, look to the professionals at SMS Catering Service. We can provide the highest quality services from top to bottom. For the very best corporate catered events Charlotte has to offer, trust the team of professionals who have been getting it right for over 40 years.

Additional Resource:

Monday, November 12, 2018

Not-so Ordinary Things to Consider When Choosing A Wedding Caterer

When it comes to planning a wedding, there can be a nearly overwhelming amount of tasks to organize and figure out. Exactly who will cater your special event may seem rather simple, but there is a lot to consider. Here are some not-so ordinary topics that should be breached when deciding on who will cater your most special evening.


Every caterer should have all the appropriate licensing. Liability licensing should be something every bride and groom asks a potential catering service to furnish. Although unlikely, you will want to make sure things are covered should an unforeseen accident take place.

wedding venue, wedding catering services, catering in Charlotte
Outdoor wedding venue and catering station.

Vendor Meals

Whomever you hire for your wedding entertainment will want to eat. Some caterers provide this while others charge for it. Find out if there will be a vendor food setup or if there are additional options available and if they incur any additional fees.

Food Ingredients

It may not be a typical question, but it is an important one nonetheless. Where does the chef buy his ingredients? Local farmer’s markets, quality butchers or is there a stock of frozen items. You will want to know what goes into making up your dishes. Also, if you guests have any dietary restrictions of food allergies, you will want to make sure the proper diet can be presented for your catering menu.

Hidden Fees

Okay, this may be a little more ordinary but it is still of grave importance. There are catering services which include fees for staffing and linen rental. Learn exactly what will be charged and what will not. Getting a list of any extra charges is highly recommended to help you maintain your budget for the occasion.

Leftover Policy

Chances are there will be food leftover, but what is to come of it? Should the caterer not allow you to take the remaining food home, then you should only be charged for the food your guests ate. It is definitely worth questioning what will happen to that food and if it is possible to have it wrapped up and taken home.

Potential Changes in Cost

No one wants to think of having to cancel their wedding, but it can unfortunately be a possibility. Know what the cancellation costs will amount to and how much goes into any overtime costs. Also bring up the subject of potential increases in food costs. Make sure you know whether or not rising food costs will affect what you have to pay when your special date arrives.

Food Sampling

Most wedding catering services will allow you to sample their food beforehand. Take advantage of these opportunities to sample all of the different menu items available. Many caterers have days set aside where many couples will visit all at once for a large sample tasting.

Written Estimates

An event coordinator can quote you any price over the phone. That is why it is important to get any estimates in writing. Don’t hesitate to include anything and everything in that estimate. Know exactly what is to be expected of both you and your caterer.

If you are looking for wedding catering in Charlotte, SMS Catering Services can exquisitely accommodate all of your needs. We provide off-site catering as well as one of the best banquet halls in Charlotte. Make your wedding a truly memorable event for a lifetime with the best catering Charlotte has to offer.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Does Your Venue Spell Success For Your Event?

If you have taken on the responsibility of organizing a large event or gathering of any kind, you already know there is more to it than just planning a simple schedule for guests and attendees to follow. Professional event planners understand that many considerations come into play for an event to become a success. One of the very critical factors to ensuring this – and definitely a significant element to any happening – is your venue.

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Where you decide to hold your gathering – formal or informal, big or small – plays a key role in how the event will turn out. Here are a few important considerations to take into account when selecting your location:

  • Setting the mood. The destination for your event has almost everything to do with the mood you want to achieve. A formal affair would often necessitate an indoor venue, such that people are seated during meetings or conferences, or moving around comfortably such as in cocktail parties. Non-formal or casual events with family and friends may be held indoors or out in an open area, such as gardens and private grounds. You can achieve any desired setting in ease and luxury with our exceptional banquet hall rental and outside reception area services.

  • To accommodate all your guests. The way wedding ceremonies and reception parties are held vary extensively these days. They can be formal or casual, big or small, and exclusive to friends and family or welcoming hundreds of attendees. Whatever the size of your gathering, choose the venue where there is room for everyone; you don’t want a place too small and uncomfortable for your guests.

  • To ensure comfort and accessibility. Professional event planners know there is a trick to finding the right place for every kind of celebration, get-together or meeting: it should be somewhere guests won’t have a hard time trying to locate. There are exceptions to this, however, for some unconventional wedding or birthday events. Generally speaking, you want to unburden most of your registrants and attendees of having to research the location or drive hundreds of miles for it. Make sure there is ample parking space; we have 8 ½ acres of room available with plenty of parking at SMS Catering.

  • To provide additional services. For the event to be executed as planned, the location should be ideal. This can be made possible with the help of added services that come with renting the venue. Full-service providers like SMS Catering in Charlotte NC can handle these requirements and assist event planning for both indoor or outdoor weddings, complete with decor and facilities to ensure outstanding experiences. Give your guests something to rave about, let SMS take on the work for your next event.

The Perfect Wedding Venue with SMS Catering

It can be incredibly time-consuming to plan a flawless event such as a wedding; not to mention it can be just as nerve-wracking to try to keep costs at a minimum. With SMS Catering Services, Charlotte’s trusted team of event caterers, organizing your wedding can be a breeze. The full-service events team offers an elegant banquet hall with extra amenities including a large on-site atrium, extended lawn space for outdoor activities, large covered patio area and our glorious water fountain. This spot is equally ideal for hosting all sorts of private parties and corporate functions for any number of guests. When your sorting through your options for wedding venues in Charlotte NC think SMS!

Start your event the right way by choosing a reliable full-service provider to address all your needs and more; Learn about SMS Catering by visiting


Monday, September 17, 2018

How to Plan a Corporate Holiday Party

Holiday parties are an enjoyable way for companies to end the year. But planning one of these corporate events does not just happen overnight. There are many details to consider when it comes time to plan a corporate holiday party; a potentially overwhelming task when considered amongst all of the other things that you love and which keep you and your family busy during the festive season. Let us ease your planning burdens by allowing us to suggest some useful tips to help you prepare for a success.

Plan in Advance

The month of December is usually jam packed for most people as there are parties, family functions and other types of activities that consume a good deal of their time. Decide on a date long before the start of the holiday season and find a banquet hall that has an opening on that date. Many banquet halls book months in advance, so the earlier the better.

Pick the Right Venue

Estimating your number of guests will help decide on a place to hold your holiday party. You don’t want a huge hall that will look empty with a limited number of guests while you also don’t want to have to try and push a large group of people into a small space. Location is also an important factor as you don’t want your guests to have to travel too far out of the way.

Choose a Theme

Theme does not necessarily mean your guests need to dress up in costumes. Themes could be as simple as business casual as far as a dress code is concerned. However, there are decorations to consider for a holiday party. Attempt to go with a theme that applies to everyone as you do not want to alienate any of your guests. Also, make sure to gather enough volunteers to assist with the decorating process as it could be a bit time consuming.

Make an Agenda

The party will need to have a beginning, a middle and an end. That can happen much easier with the creation of an agenda that includes guest arrival, cocktail hour, food service, keynote speakers, gift exchange and any other type of activities you would like to include.

Recognition of Guests

Most holiday parties are all about appreciation, so at some point, it would be a good idea to recognize company employees. That can include individual awards, group rewards or some words of gratitude spoken by a company executive.

SMS Catering specializes in hosting and catering all kinds of corporate events, including holiday parties and functions. Take the worry out of your holiday season and give the gift of fun to your co-workers with the help of SMS Catering Services in Charlotte NC. Our friendly and experienced staff is here to help you every step of the way from planning and entertaining to food, games, presentations and so much more! Contact the professional team at SMS Catering Services today.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Your Caterer Does Matter: Making the Choice You’ll Never Regret

Your caterer does matter, food, ingredients, catering

To say that planning an event is a daunting task would be an understatement. Weddings, conferences, corporate parties, birthday parties and school reunions should be a satisfying experience for every guest. Finding the right service to help you manage your event can take you from a endlessly stressed-out planning nightmare to a blissfully reassured evening.
The Secret Ingredients of a Superb Catering Service
There are so many caterers out there who will promise you the moon and the stars, so you can never be too careful when picking the right provider for your event. These factors can be extremely important when trying to determine which catering service to consider and which ones to walk away from:
  • A multitude of menu options. Choose a catering service that, no matter what time of night or day, can provide you with the appropriate types of courses, desserts, hors d'oeuvres or cocktail food. Your guests may have some special food requirements so be sure that your caterer has the right solutions for all of your special requests.
  • The right venue. Most caterers can take their food to your event but there are full-service Charlotte caterers like SMS Catering Services who don’t just stop there; they also give you the perfect venue to hold yours! If you need to host a large crowd for a conference, ceremony, private party or wedding, ask about their luxurious and spacious banquet hall rental options.
  • Wedding caterer, Charlotte catering, catering charlotte nc, wedding, wedding venue, wedding caterer, special event, venueA reputation for service excellence. What guests say about your event should matter to you. In the same way, be mindful about how others perceive your selected caterer to be. Check for reviews, recognitions and awards earned.
Two things an event can never be without: Superb food and a fantastic venue. Make sure you make the right choice for your next event in or around the Charlotte NC area by choosing SMS Catering Services. For more than 40 years, SMS has provided the best in catering Charlotte, NC residents have experienced. 


Monday, July 23, 2018

BBQ Catering a Perfect Choice for the Summer Season

Corporate events and family gatherings do not always need to have a formal theme. Those events can be just as successful with a more casual theme that complements the season. Summertime is the perfect time to consider BBQ catering for any upcoming event. Even with Summer quickly coming to an end, there is still time to end the season right with Charlotte North Carolina BBQ catering.

The summer months provide warmer temperatures and the perfect opportunity to host an event outdoors. A Bar-B-Q menu seems to fit the outdoor theme as it creates a casual atmosphere where guests can be a little more lax. It also allows for a more casual type of dress as people generally attend barbecues while wearing their summer attire. This makes for more comfortability among your guests.

Another good thing is that pretty much anyone can host a barbecue. And with a BBQ catering company, hosting is made very easy. That leaves plenty of time for socializing and networking among the guests and host. The guests will not be bogged down with the time-consuming process of a more formal type of sit-down dinner.

BBQ caterers also have the capability of coming to your venue with their own equipment. There’s no need to worry about any type of preparations on your part. Companies like SMS Catering Services in Charlotte North Carolina are fully prepared with a custom grill and smoker cooking trailer and catering trucks to make everything all the more convenient. Just reserve a place where the caterer can cook and the rest of the day is yours to enjoy as you see fit.

The food selection at a BBQ catered event is also more exciting than a typical catering menu. There are endless options to what BBQ caterers can put on the grill. The fresh smokiness off the grill will also provide a tantalizing aroma to set the mood. And there are plenty of vegetarian alternatives for guests who do not eat meat.

BBQ catering is a unique option that could make your event stand out from the multitude of other summer events and parties. Even summer weddings with a more casual theme can benefit immensely from BBQ catering. Couples looking to save some money on their wedding catering should look into Bar-B-Q as the theme for their menu as it could be a more affordable option.

SMS catering Services offers BBQ catering for all types of events. Our chef can put together a top-quality catering menu that will have your guests talking about the event long after it’s finished. Contact SMS Catering Service today and book your next function with an exciting BBQ theme. We can also provide a location for your event as we have a spacious banquet hall and some of the best wedding venues in Charlotte North Carolina.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Should You Hire A Wedding Planner When Renting Banquet Hall For Your Wedding?

There are so many details that come with planning a wedding that so much can get overlooked. That is why a lot of couples hire a wedding planner leading up to their big day. However, that can be a costly expense added to an otherwise sizeable bill.

Renting out a banquet hall in Charlotte, which also supplies catering, will provide you with someone who is in charge of the event. That is the person you can come to with any issues. They are not the exact same as a wedding planner, but still help out immensely.

Wedding planners generally have the authority to select vendors and even negotiate prices with them. They often take care of booking the entertainment for your special day.

Banquet halls that specialize in hosting weddings are equipped with a staff that is familiar with local vendors and can serve the same purpose as a wedding planner. But if you simply rent a banquet hall that does not provide catering services, you will be left to deal with the task of hiring vendors and working out the details on your own.

Keep in mind that hiring a wedding planner means that you will have to relinquish some control. This is not always an easy thing for brides to do. Unless you and your wedding planner are on the same page about everything, you can probably expect some type of friction. Wedding planners also tend to charge a service fee on top of their bill, which can be rather pricey.

It is also important to note that a wedding planner is going to be part of your life for a certain amount of time. If the planner’s personality has the capability of clashing with yours, then it could bring about some unnecessary drama. That does not mean all wedding planners will present problems, but that continual correspondence is something to consider.

Large-scale and elaborate weddings generally require a wedding planner as some are just too much for couples to plan on their own. However, renting a banquet hall that also provides catering means that someone from that staff will be there to help you along the way. And that help will not come with the lofty price tag most wedding planners charge for their services.

When it comes time to find a banquet hall for your wedding reception, SMS Catering Services in Charlotte NC has everything you need to make your day a special one. Along with great food SMS Catering Services can provide you the perfect place for an indoor or outdoor wedding, plus a list of the best party and wedding services from DJs to wedding planner. There is no need to search through countless Charlotte wedding venues any longer.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Unique Corporate Catering Ideas During the Workday

Corporate Catering comes with a wide variety of choices as it can be an exciting break in the monotony of a workday. The next time you find yourself planning a corporate event, consider the following options to spice things up a bit. SMS Catering Services of North Carolina shares some fun tips for your next corporate event needing catering.

The Healthy Continental Breakfast

There is no reason a continental breakfast has to include doughnuts and bagels loaded with cream cheese. There are also several ways to brighten up a continental breakfast, one being with a vibrant fresh fruit selection. Yogurt parfait, sliced cucumbers and fresh juice could add to the overall healthy selection and brightness of this morning-time corporate break.

Gourmet Salads

When salads come to mind, many people think of a traditional salad and picture the basics. However, a corporate event can now feature a top-of-the-line salad bar with all kinds of unique menu items. Fresh cheeses, smoked salmon, grilled shrimp and dried fruits are just a few of the items that can elevate a specialty salad bar. The addition of some cooked proteins will allow everyone to eat their fill.

A Trip to The Bar

Hosting a corporate event with a food bar that lets you build your own meal can be a refreshing change. The type of bar could range from such things as a taco bar, fajita bar or potato bar. A dessert bar can also be a fun afternoon twist. Adding your own toppings also allows each individual to personalize their meal. The possibilities can extend far and wide while this type of setup allows time for networking as well.

Indoor Picnic

Corporate workers are not always able to get outside on a nice summer day. But corporate events can bring the outdoors inside with an indoor picnic. Picnic baskets could include whatever menu items you want as the theme allows for a good deal of flexibility when it comes to food selection.


A tapas menu includes a variety of snacks and appetizers that follow one another. There are plenty of ways to elevate a tapas menu, which could include grilled prawns, crab empanadas and serrano ham fritters. There is the option of keeping it more traditional or making the tapas menu items a little more mainstream.

SMS Catering Services can accommodate all types of corporate events, both small and large. When it comes time to hire a catering service in Charlotte, contact the team of experienced professionals at SMS Catering Services as we can make your next event a memorable one.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

SMS Catering Rose from Humble Beginnings to Become Charlotte’s Biggest Caterer

SMS Catering Services’ unique history dates back to 1971 when Bob Freeman started the company as a small side business. Freeman started off grilling his food at political rallies and fundraisers for then-congressman Jim Martin. There may have been something to Freeman’s secret recipes as Martin went on to run for governor. That prompted Freeman to pursue a full-time career behind the grill. Now, 45 years later, the Freeman family owns the oldest and biggest catering company in Charlotte.

SMS Catering Services started from humble beginnings as Freeman embraced the role of a self-made entrepreneur. In 1997, Freeman was joined by his son. It was then that Robert Freeman III became a full-time general manager after earning a Master’s Degree. Combining his business acumen with the foundation his father had already built, SMS Catering began to soar to new heights.

The Freeman father and son tandem have always been innovative and even invented a cordless food warmer, which has come in handy over the years and allowed SMS to serve warm food on Charlotte’s coldest days. The idea for that device came to life during a fish fry for more than 1,000 people on one unseasonably, cool day. The Freemans turned to their intuitiveness and came up with a new product that helped them continue their guarantee of satisfaction.

SMS actually stands for ‘Service Means Satisfaction.’ That rings true at every catered event, especially when SMS was able to serve 6,500 people at the NCAA Tournament in Charlotte in just an hour’s time. SMS Catering Services NC has also come to the aid of the community, having recently served repair crews all over the area when violent storms knocked out power.

The Freeman family has expanded the business, which led to the development of the current SMS Catering venue, a nine-acre facility that features a top-of-the-line banquet hall.

SMS Catering is also known for its authentic North Carolina barbeque as the Freeman family has perfected its own recipe that has satisfied residents for decades. SMS catered events continue to include wedding receptions, corporate events, retreats, reunions, anniversaries and many other kinds of other special events.

SMS Catering Services is available to host all types of events and it can also bring its catering service direct to the client. With more than 45 years of experience, SMS Catering has become a staple in the Charlotte community that was built on the pillars of integrity, quality and family.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Important Things to Remember When Choosing a Caterer

Choosing a caterer for your next event is a process that should not be taken lightly. When the time comes to start searching for a caterer, here are some important points to remember from SMS Catering Services in Charlotte.

Size is Important

You want your caterer to be able to handle the demands of your event. Certain catering companies are only equipped to deal with so many people. Make sure the caterer you choose has experience with events of the same size as your party. Also, be sure that the venue or banquet hall you choose is capable of accommodating the amount of people on your guest list.

Style of Service

Choosing a menu is one part of the process, but choosing a style of service is just as important since it sets the tone for your event. A more elegant event would include a properly attired wait staff delivering each course. A more casual event might include a buffet and a more intimate party could include family style dishes. Remember that the style of service also plays a big part in your overall price.

Who is the Chef

Before signing a contract with any catering company, it is wise to meet its chef. Since that is the person who will be in charge of all the food, it’s important to feel comfortable with them. Many catering services will provide a tasting beforehand so you can get an actual taste of what will be served. Many times, an event's catering menu is only as good as the person in charge of the kitchen.

Details Matter

When you meet with a prospective caterer, pay close attention to how many questions they ask. For your event to be a success, you need to have every detail covered. A quality caterer will invest a lot of interest in your event. That means quick response to your emails and phone calls. They will also spend more time learning about your event than trying to book your event. Less questions means less interest and that could ultimately lead to less satisfaction.

Serving Dishes

It’s very common to ask about the food at a catered event, but many people neglect to ask what that food will be served on. Ask about the choices of dinnerware and glasses. The more options that are available, the more versatile your event could be.

SMS Catering Services can handle all types of events, including wedding receptions, corporate events and more. For the best catering Charlotte has to offer, contact the team of professionals at SMS Catering Services today.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Tips on Pairing Wine with Your Catering Menu

Many catered events come with the inclusion of wine and choosing the right kind can make a wealth of difference. If you are planning a wedding reception or any other kind of formal event, here are some considerations to make when selecting your wines for the night from SMS Catering Services Charlotte.

Complement the Season

Winter months generally call for menus that are comprised of richer, thicker selections. That usually means there is plenty of spice to go around. This would call for the taste of a bold red wine to help enhance all of those flavors. Summer menus are often a lot lighter, which generally calls for lighter white wines that are not as heavy.

Consider the Sauce

Many times, pairing a wine successfully comes from complementing the sauce. Heavier meals generally call for a lighter red or white wine, such as a Pinot Noir or a Chardonnay. Meat dishes usually come with a heavier sauce which pairs better with heavier red wines like a Merlot.

Be Wary With Reds

Remember that not everyone is a red wine aficionado. Some dishes work very well with heavier reds, although the heavier reds are not a necessity to make it work. You can get away with using a medium-bodied red wine that may be a little more mainstream. Don’t get too fancy with your red wines and the majority of guests will thank you for it.

Stick With the Theme

There are plenty of wines that will fit the theme of your event. For example, an Italian wedding should include plenty of Italian wines. High end corporate events could consider using more revered French wines. Outdoor events may want to lean towards lighter wines. Coming up with a theme extends to the décor, menu items and also the choice of wine.

Mind Your Budget

Many weddings and corporate events come with limitless drinks which means a lot of guests will drink their share. Spending too much on wine might not practical from a budgetary standpoint. If you are intent on using some fine wines, one option is to relegate them to dinner service and go with a more affordable brand the rest of the evening.

SMS Catering Services is available to enhance all your private parties, weddings and corporate events. Equipped with a spacious banquet hall and top notch catering menu, your next Charlotte function can be a success with the help of SMS Catering Services.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Important Things to Remember When Planning Your Wedding Menu

Planning a menu for a wedding takes more than just simple choices. There are even important things to consider beyond he food tasting. Here is a look at some important things to keep in mind when it is time to plan out your wedding menu with SMS Catering Services of Charlotte NC.

There Will Be Special Orders

There are usually a few vegetarians at every wedding and there may also be some guests who have food allergies and special dietary restrictions. Plan to have at least a few special orders and make sure you go over those alternative options with your caterer.

Don’t Wait Too Long

Hiring wedding catering services is a detailed process and if you wait too long, your options will be limited when it comes to quality. Most reputable caterers are booked far in advance and some will not even consider catering a wedding reception on short notice.

Source of Food Is Important

Any old caterer can prepare a salmon dinner, but that does not mean it will be the freshest catch of the day. Look deeper into each caterer’s ingredients and inquire about the source of their food. A reputable caterer will be able to rattle off those details immediately and tell you everything you want to know.

Presentation Matters

It may be easy for you to decide on menu items, but don’t neglect to ask what the presentation of those food items will look like. You should be able to see how the food is presented on a plate, as well as what kind of plates and serving dishes will be used on each table.

Control the Portions

You don’t have to overdo it with food in order to make your wedding a memorable one. However, shorting guests on food and leaving them hungry will be a memory that stays with them for years. Make sure that your portions are not too dainty and all your guests are able to eat their fill.

You Can’t Please Everyone

No matter how hard you try, you will not be able to please everyone at your wedding with the food selection. Trying to do that is just going to leave you exasperated. Select the catering menu items you feel strongly about and leave it at that. You already have enough to worry about.

SMS Catering Services goes over every detail when it comes to wedding venue planning, corporate events and other kind of functions. Guests can be assured everything will be just as they want it, which will make for a special occasion to remember. Contact SMS Catering Services today for the best catering Charlotte has to offer.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Ways to Save on Your Catered Wedding

Weddings are often more expensive than many couples presume. Unexpected costs can escalate in a hurry, causing the overall price to soar. That is why it helps to save money whenever you can in the wedding planning process. Here are some tips on how to minimize your wedding catering bill.

Choose Your Seafood Wisely

When it comes to selecting seafood appetizers for your catering menu, remember that there is a difference in prices. Shrimp and scallops are going to be priced significantly higher than mussels and clams. Opting for the latter will still allow you to offer your guests seafood without spending too much money. Also, seafood that is in season will be priced cheaper, which could allow you to get a discount on a seafood item for your main course.

Limit Your Stations

During the cocktail and dinner hour, there will be the options of adding different stations, such as a vegetable crudité or raw bar. There is usually so much food served at weddings that a lot of food at those extra stations goes untouched. Limit the add-on stations that could be quite costly.

Hand-Pass hors d'oeuvres

Have the wait staff pass out hors d'oeuvres during the cocktail hour instead of just placing them out for self-serve. This will reduce the amount of appetizers that are served, thus limiting what you have to spend on the cocktail hour.


There is the option of choosing family-style dinner entrees which are served to each table and passed around. This can drastically reduce your overall food costs. And if you are set on serving dinner courses, don’t go overboard as a salad course and main course are usually more than enough after a hearty cocktail hour.

Buy Drinks Responsibly

Making liquor available to your guests at the bar will boost your overall bill. If you are set on offering liquor, go with mid-shelf liquors instead of top-shelf liquors as there will be a noticeable difference in price.

Stay Simple With Sweets

When buying a wedding cake, remember that three tiers are cheaper than five tiers. Any gourmet type of filling is also going to cost more. Keep the filling simple. By this point in the evening, many people are already full, so bite-size desserts are not a bad idea as well.

SMS Catering Services caters all kinds of wedding receptions for all kinds of budgets. Also equipped with a spacious banquet hall, SMS Catering Services can create the perfect setting for your wedding reception.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

‘Watch parties’ fill with cheers and boos as supporters gather

By Cristina Bolling and Theoden Janes

Charlotte, N.C. - Over plates of chicken wings, mounds of pulled pork and $2 drafts, Republican and Democratic party supporters gathered to cheer and boo along with election results Tuesday night.

At Slate pool hall in South End, where the Democrats gathered, a handful of candidates showed up early in the evening. N.C. Senate incumbent Jeff Jackson chatted with supporters and played ping-pong with his stepson. U.S. Rep. Alma Adams sat in a chair as friends gathered around her.

The hundreds of partygoers represented a huge mix of Charlotte’s Democratic base: well-dressed young professionals as well as decades-long veteran party supporters and many weary from spending 12 hours or more at polling places encouraging voters to choose their candidate.

Republican congressional candidate Leon Threatt greets supporters during an election viewing party Tuesday at SMS Catering Services in Charlotte. David T. Foster III

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J. Alan Goddard ordered a mixed drink and celebrated the first election in which he was able to openly voice his political views, because until now he has been in active duty military. He campaigned for Jackson all day Tuesday.

As a gay man, Goddard said, “for me, in my day-to-day life, it’s what’s happening at the state and local level that affects me most.”

Goddard said one of his roles while serving in Afghanistan was ensuring a free democratic election.

“The fact that we can vote without fear of reprisal,” Goddard said, “that’s everything.”

The first bit of bad news rippled through the Mecklenburg County Republican Party’s “Victory Celebration” just before 8:30 on Tuesday night, as a local news station called the 12th Congressional District race in favor of Democrat Alma Adams.

But even though the results looked lopsided, her challenger, Leon Threatt, seemed to take a cue from his party’s top-of-the-ticket candidate a few minutes after the report.

“It’s still early,” he said, in spite of reports that Adams had 70 percent of the vote. “I don’t think the numbers are in sufficient for her to call the race, so we’ll see how it goes.”

A minute or two after that, the three flat-panel TVs on the walls and the giant projection screen on the stage inside SMS Catering’s event space in Plaza Midwood was switched to Fox News; and a minute or two after that, a cheer went up as a graphic showed Donald Trump with an ever-so-slight edge over Hillary Clinton in Florida.

“We’re gonna switch back and forth,” said SMS owner Rob Freeman, “because the local stations will tell us how the House and the Senate races are, and give a better update on the governor’s race. But in general, Fox News, that’s what they all want.”

Freeman co-founded the Mecklenburg County Young Republicans club, but he also co-founded the National Barbecue Association in 1988 – so what was on the menu for the party on Tuesday night?

Enough pulled pork (cooked over the course of almost 18 hours) to feed about 200 people, along with ketchup-based sauce for Western Carolina-style-loving folks and vinegar-based sauce for those who prefer the flavor of the right-hand side of the state.

Both choices, though, were red. Which, of course, was the color of choice for the night.

“We will see a great win for Mr. Trump,” Threatt said, “as well as Governor McCrory, and I’m quite encouraged that our nation, our state and I believe even the 12th is gonna come out on top of this thing. Like I said, I’m not ready to give up yet.”

This story was originally published by The Charlotte Observer: