The Life of Long-Haul Location Caterers
Anyone involved in food preparation and service will tell you that catering for an event is a stressful job. Long-haul location caterers, though, are a breed apart. On top of the standard food prep skills, they need stamina, great communication, and a mountainous sense of humour as they feed cast and crew for what could be weeks or months.
Film or TV Locations are Unique
As anyone who’s worked on location will know, it’s like a tightly run ship where every second is costed. TV and film catering is all about getting the crew fed nutritiously and efficiently so that they can be back on set precisely when they’re needed. Experienced location caterers won’t just make this happen like clockwork, day after day; they’ll make it look effortless and fun as well!
There may be many things out of our control on location, but the kitchen isn’t one of them. We are a veteran of catering for film sets so we have a fleet of vehicles that are specifically designed, built, and maintained to ensure that our clients have the best possible location catering experience wherever they’re shooting.
The Catering Schedule
Film catering on location means long days with the crew needing regular servings of tasty food to keep them going. Here’s what most days look like for the Rose Catering team:
Location caterers are used to early starts. We need to be on site and ready to serve breakfast for when the first members of the crew arrive. At one time this meant hearty ‘Full English’ but now the range of requirements is much greater. There’s always a hot breakfast for meat eaters and vegetarians, as well as fruit, a range of breakfast breads, yoghurt and, of course, plenty of freshly brewed coffee.
Breakfast can be staggered over 2-3 hours, dependent on the size of the production. Once everyone is fed, we clear up and start prepping and cooking lunch. For the crew, lunch is an important milestone in the day; it’s something everybody looks forward to. We make sure that there’s a good range of specials on offer, so that it doesn’t become ‘routine’, as well as hot, tasty favourites and a selection of cold platters.
Dependent on the schedule, we could be clearing up and prepping for the next day, relocating, or – if there’s a night shoot – getting the next meal ready. If the day is long, we’ll also make sure that there are snacks available to keep the crew going.
“We’ve been very impressed with the standard of our delicious meals over the last 8 months. Thank you. Hope our paths cross again.”
PRODUCTION MANAGER, 2021
We Wouldn’t Want it Any Other Way
Location caterers need to be tough, healthy, and energetic to get through a long shoot. Very often it’s not until we’re packed up and travelling back home that we realise just how exhausted we all are. It’s the same for everyone involved on location, though, and we wouldn’t be doing this work if we didn’t find huge satisfaction in it.
Rose Catering has been feeding film crews for more than 3 decades now – and it’s a way of life that we love.