What’s the Difference Between Full Service and Traditional Catering?

a buffet table full of food from a special catering company

What’s the Difference Between Full Service and Traditional Catering?

A crucial decision you have to make when organizing an event is selecting the right catering service. The food and beverages can make or break an event, so it is in your best interest to find a catering service that meets your needs and expectations. Continue reading to learn about the differences between full-service and traditional catering services.

Full-Service Catering

Full-service catering often has comprehensive packages, which can include everything from menu planning, food preparation, and delivery to set-up, service, and clean-up when you do catering on site. Many of these catering companies also offer tableware and linen rentals, staff service, bar service, and decorations.

Full-service catering companies can give you a more hassle-free experience by taking care of all aspects of the event, allowing you to focus on your guests and be able to enjoy the event. This type of catering also ensures that the event is executed flawlessly from start to finish. Some examples of full-service catering companies in LA County include Command Performance Catering Group, Contemporary Catering, and Tres LA Catering.

Traditional Catering

Traditional catering covers the food preparation, delivery, and set-up aspects of an event. This type of food catering may or may not include staff service, depending on the catering company.

Opting for traditional food catering is ideal for smaller events and those looking for a budget-friendly option. Places that do traditional catering in LA County include Catering by Lundy’s, Taco Man Catering, and Mendocino Farms.

Comparison of Full-Service and Traditional Catering

Full-service catering is more expensive than traditional catering due to the services included in their catering packages. These food catering services often include tableware and linen rentals, staff service (including setting up and cleaning up at the event), bar service, and decorations. Additionally, full-service catering companies typically have more menu options than traditional catering companies. There are pros and cons to both types of food catering services, but it all comes down to your needs for your special event.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Catering Service

If you need food catering for an event, figure out your budget and find a catering service that fits within that budget. You should also choose a catering service that can accommodate different dietary restrictions or food allergies. Another factor is the venue and its policies because some event venues have limitations on outside catering or alcohol service. Researching the catering company’s customer reviews and reputation will also help you ensure they are reputable and reliable.


Choosing the most suitable places that offer catering plays a significant role in any successful event. This article covered the services offered, benefits, and factors to consider with food catering services. Remember that full-service food catering is much more comprehensive than traditional catering. You have to consider your event type, budget, dietary restrictions, and venue restrictions before you nail down the details of your food catering. Lastly, look carefully at customer reviews to get a feel for the reputation of each of the catering companies.

At Command Performance Catering, we provide full-service catering for a wide range of events in LA County. Our experienced team offers menu planning, food preparation, bar service, decorations, and staffing to ensure a flawless event from start to finish. Contact us today to learn more about our catering packages.