Exploring the History of Catering

The History of Catering: How Did It All Start?

Whenever you think about a party, whether it’s a small gathering or a big event, food always comes to mind first. After all, good food is the star of the show at every party, and you need to make sure that every guest in your event is served with food that they’ll never forget. But how do you serve 50 or 100 people with the same quality of food at the same time? This is where catering comes in.
Catering is essentially a type of food service where a large amount of food is prepared and served together at an event. Caterers have been around for many years, and they make sure that every plate of food that’s served to guests are of the same quality. Catering food services are usually booked for events like birthdays and weddings, but it’s also used for business events or any other gathering where a lot of people need to be fed at the same time. But how exactly did catering food services start?

  • Catering dates back to Ancient China and Greece where people used to cook big batches of food to serve to guests in banquets. But it was the Greeks that made catering official by offering it as a service in inns and hostels, although it was only offered for kings and noblemen.
  • In the United States, people have already been doing food service for a long time. But it was in a ball in Philadelphia in 1778 that the first official catering event was held in the country. This celebration for the departure of British General William Howe was catered by Caesar Cranshell.
  • In the 1820s, catering became a full-fledged business mainly done by African Americans. Most of these caterers were also working as restaurant staff and waiters who wanted to start their own business.
  • It was Robert Bogle who was named “the originator of catering” and it was in 1880 that the word “caterer” was commonly used to refer to people who offered catering food services. It was also in those years that more black caterers in Philadelphia decided to merge their restaurants with their catering business.
  • Public catering became a way of life through the rationing system offered by the government during World War II. After the war, many entrepreneurs also started catering food services to keep their businesses afloat.
  • When the new millennium came, more women started to join the catering workforce and personal chef services as a form of catering also became more popular. Young individuals also started to help with food preparation and cleaning up activities as part of catering crews.

Since then, catering food services have evolved into an industry with many successful businesses around the world. Now, restaurants like Porto Falafel offers catering food services for large groups who want to enjoy the best eastern cuisine and a good time to celebrate the different milestones in their lives. Thanks to catering food services, keeping guests satisfied and full in an event is now made easy and hassle-free. If you’d like Porto Falafel to cater for your next event, need more information about our catering services, or would like to make a reservation, make sure to contact us today!


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