catering companies and partial service catering
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Looking for alternatives to traditional full-service catering? Our site offers ideas for making entertaining less expensive! Catering for parties and events doesn't necessarily mean that they have to be sit-down, formal affairs with full service.

Partial catering (or "partial-service catering"), incorporating catered food into an event from a caterer or a restaurant that caters, can be an inexpensive alternative to full service catering or doing all the cooking yourself.

We provide practical information about catering alternatives, from partial catering to inexpensive and fun potluck ideas. has advice and tips to help make everyday entertaining easy, enjoyable, and — most importantly — affordable. And if you decide to use a catering service for some or all of the party food, our Catering Directory lists local caterers and restaurants that cater by city and state.

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When you're having a special event of any size — a wedding reception for 100 people, a cocktail party for 50, a birthday barbeque for 20, or a potluck dinner for 10 — the hardest decision is who's going to make the party food.

Check out our Catering Alternatives section for information about using pre-cooked or pre-made food for parties, using only partially catered party food, and for handy recipe ideas if you decide to do your own cooking. Our Potluck section has information on hosting and planning a potluck dinner, including ideas for themed potlucks, recipes and more.

catering alternatives potluck ideas home catering can be easy


The trick to having a successful event is finding balance. Each option for event food has its own cost in money, time, and effort. With a little research and some creativity, you can have the party you want at a cost you can afford, and actually get to enjoy it, too!

Catering doesn't have to cost a fortune, and potlucks don't have to be boring!

learn about catering alternatives