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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

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.

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.

Remember, SMS is known for its great North Carolina BBQ, beautiful banquet hall with reception site, and being able to cook fresh at your location with our mobile kitchens.