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Banquet Equipment Must-Buys from Chafing to Stirring

ACityDiscount's Ned Jung picks Top 10 Banquet checklist items for the season

We love parties. Especially end-of-year celebrations! Coupled with the right banquet equipment, it’s the perfect time to remember, rejoice and roast new and old friends, family members and co-workers… from holiday celebrations (spiced eggnog vs. pomegranate martinis) and graduations (Congrads! The real world awaits!) to Election Day (fingers crossed!), housewarmings, birthday parties and last-day-of-work milestones (Um, what’s your name again?).

Libations aside, what good is an end-of-year celebration with subpar food service? We know it’s a waste of a good dress and mostly-clean shirt.

As caterers in the food industry, let’s make sure your clients – businesses, social organizations and groups of families and friends – continue to chat, even brag about your epic presentation weeks, months after a night of mini quiche and crab cakes, sliders and eggnog. It starts with a banquet equipment checklist.

(Oh, wait. We thought of more end-of-year party celebrations: Fashion Week… Somebody is moving out of town… College football bowl game watch parties... And of course, you felt like a catered party. #shrugs)

Ned Jung
ACityDiscount's in-house caterer Ned Jung

Ned Jung is not only a salesperson with ACityDiscount, but he is also a classically-trained chef. Jung is a graduate of the world famous Culinary Institute of America and has been a professional in the culinary industry more than 26 years. And, he is also the owner of the only 100 percent green catering company in the Atlanta area. Pretty much everything you need to impress clients.

As Jung mentioned below, holiday banquet caterers must prepare in advance for every scenario possible. For the spoon that hits the floor must be replaced, and you’re usually not at your restaurant; your commercial kitchen may be miles away.

In other words, plan, plan ahead… Like way ahead. Check out ACityDiscount’s list of top banquet equipment items to make sure little Bobby and the co-worker whose name you never learned enjoy warm food, chilled beverages and moist treats!

1. Chaffing dish – Industry standard on any banquet supplies list

Ned says: "With smaller events, I use an oval version (6.5 Quart). If I’m catering a larger event, I’ll use square chaffing dishes because I can load the full or ½ hotel pans from the insulated food warmer without worrying about pouring food from square pans into a round one."

ACityDiscount recommends: Full Size Stackable Chafing Dish w/ Roll Top Lid by Browne

Related options (For fancier events):
8 Quart Manhattan Roll-Top Chafing Dish by Carlisle

2. Carving Station – Serve in Style

Ned says:  "Everyone loves freshly-carved meats - and nobody likes pre-cut, dried-out meat which losses flavor. That's why this carving station is the perfect visual attraction to dress up any catering or special event."

Carving Station 16" x 24" Board w/ Dual Aluminum Heat Lamps by Carlisle

Related options:
Countertop Buffet Carving Station by Vollrath

3. Food pan carrier – Simple is smarter for this banquet checklist item

Ned says: "You cook it... then set it in there. Can't get much easier than that. They're both heavy duty. The doors are heavy duty. They hold a heck of a lot; I can fit four sets of four-inch deep hotel pans in there, or I can fit eight half pans."

ACityDiscount recommends: Camcarrier 60 Quart Black Food Pan Carrier by Cambro

Related options:
Camcarrier Ultra Pan Insulated Food Pan Carrier - Black by Cambro

4. Cambro drink dispensers – 20 Gallons of coffee?

Ned says: "It holds hot and cold beverages, up to two and a half gallons… I’ve got two dispensers for coffee, one for decaf coffee and another four for sweet tea, unsweet tea, water and our signature lemonade… One event we did, we went through 20 gallons of coffee. Yes, 20 gallons. That was a lot of coffee."

ACityDiscount recommends: Black Camtainer 11.75 gal Beverage Dispenser by Cambro

5. Food Warmers – Portable, easy to setup away from serving area to keep food reserves warm

Ned says "This banquet equipment piece keeps culinary creations warm - or hot - for long periods of time, and at the right temperature. It's great for meats, fishes and vegetables."

ACityDiscount recommends: Cayenne Full-Size Rethermalizer Heat N Serve 1000W by Nemco

Related options:
Counter Top Food Warmer For Full Size 12" x 20" S/s Pan by Nemco
Freestanding 2 Bulb Infrared Fried Food Warmer Heat Lamp by Nemco

6. Butane burners – Great for small quantities of food, even outdoor events

Ned says: "It creates the perfect as-ordered station, from omelets or pasta station to pancakes and crepes."

ACityDiscount recommends: Portable Single Burner Butane Stove by Chef-Master

Accessories: Non-stick pans, Butane cans

7. Countertop dessert display table – Eye candy at end of the buffet line

Ned says: "It’s a great item for showcasing cakes and other desserts, allowing them to hold their moisture. Nobody likes dried-out treats."

ACityDiscount recommends: Acrylic Pastry Case 21in x 17.25in x 16.5in w/ 3 Trays by Update

8. Tabletop buffet displays – Display in style, thanks to this banquet equipment must-have

Ned says: "Put your ice in there and you’re good to go. It has a sneeze guard. All food is held in ice, so the temperature will hold… It’s perfect for events that are under four hours so the product does not reach any danger temperatures. Don't forget: safe food is just as important as tasty food, so guarentee your customers enjoy both with equipment which leads to safe food handling for employees and the safety of guests."

ACityDiscount recommends: 6 Ft Food Bar Portable Buffet 5 Pan w/ Sneeze Guard NSF by Cambro

9. Carts - Work smarter, not harder on your banquet checklist

Ned says: "Work smarter, not harder with this durable and versatile shelf cart. Your lower back will thank you."

ACityDiscount recommends: 3 Shelf Utility Cart Chrome with Casters by Focus

Related options:
18in x 36in Black Bus Cart by Carlisle

10. Indoor Signage – A Classy Touch

ACityDiscount recommends: Restaurant Teller Sign w/ Black Steel Pole & Base by ChefMaster

Ready to transform your banquet checklist into the ultimate catering experience? Stop by ACityDiscount and check out our showroom of banquet equipment. For your convenience, you can also order online or speak to Ned or one of our restaurant equipment specialists at (404) 752-6715.

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Gary Estwick writes about the foodservice industry and the equipment that keeps it running smooth – from deep fryers to pizza ovens. He’s a fan of chargrilled oysters, Nashville-style hot chicken, cool jazz, paintball and the TV show Quantum Leap (1989-93) – in that order... He’s written for the Miami Herald, New Orleans Advocate, Austin American-Stateman, Men’s Fitness and other publications. Gary is a native of New Orleans, and lives in Atlanta. Check out his ACityDiscount articles and videos. E-mail story ideas to And click here to join ACityDiscount's mailing list for more food stories, tips, tricks and foodservice equipment specials!

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