Party Equipment Rental Makes Sense
From rolling pig roasters to crystal champagne goblets
– renting is often the best way!
Party equipment rental works. Don’t have it? Can’t buy it? RENT IT! It’s
the simple truth: You will often save money and time if you rent what you don’t
We’re pros, and we rent stuff all the time. We’ll
tell you what you need, where to get it,
what to buy and what to rent.
You’re doing all this because you want to save money, right? So dollars make the decisions. Renting often makes sense.
Where to Rent? There is usually more than one rental company to choose from. They have specials, they can make deals, you can negotiate, and planning is everything. The more notice you can give, the better off you’ll be. Check your phone book, ask around and look on-line.
Get the best rental rates: A winning strategy is to find a rental company large enough to supply nearly everything you’ll need, get a quote from them that includes an arrangement for them to deliver and pick up everything in their own vehicle. Then walk out their door with their quote in your hand, go back a week later and negotiate. They give us 30% off, why shouldn’t they give that to you?
What to rent? Here’s some ideas about common rentals:
Dishes, Glassware, Silverware: Many styles to choose from. Tell them how many guests and what you're serving - they will help you with quantities. Ask if you can not be charged for unwrapped items, and be clear about who’s doing the washing. Be sure to shop around – rental shops vary greatly in pricing. And – compare to buying good quality disposable at Party Shops and party sections of shopping clubs and grocery stores.
Linens: Tableclothes, napkins, table skirts (skirts clip onto a table’s edge and cover it’s legs,) clean-up towels and lots more – all color coordinated if you like. Get the store's help with quantities, and ask about their stain policy. We carry a bottle of “stain spray” and hit a stain as soon as we clear the tables.
How Much Tableware and Linens?
The rental company will ask you how many people you’re serving and what your menu is. From that, they will tell you what you need to rent for your party. Renting is different from buying: If you’re buying disposable products, we recommend that you buy twice as many plates, knives, forks, spoons, cups and napkins as you have guests, always planning around you menu. You may or may not one wind up with some things extra, but these will be put to good use in the future. This isn’t your last party, is it?
But renting is different: Our rental rule is to plan around your menu, and add 25%. Let's say you’re serving appetizers, dinner, then a dessert – you might need 6in. plates for the appetizers, 10in. plates for the dinner and 5in. plates for the dessert. Knives, forks and spoons? Is your appetizer a finger food? Does your dinner need a spoon? Is the dessert forkable? (that’s what we mean by planning around your menu.) Calculate the tableware your guests will need, and add 25%.
The 25% rule applies to water glasses and table wine glasses, but not to the Bar. Plan on a clean bar glass for each cocktail, beer or wine, and/or soft-drink served.
The 25% rule applies to table covers, but not to napkins, where we like to have more napkins available. We always get just enough table-skirts.
Tables and chairs: Check your venue first – they might have something for you there. Fire companies, churches and such may loan them to you, even if your party is somewhere else. Rectangular tables are often 96” x 30”. They seat 10 adults comfortably. Round table, 60” in diameter, seating 7 or 8. Chairs come padded or plain, plastic or metal.
Don’t forget to get enough tables to serve and prepare food, including an area for beverages and desserts. Be sure to get an extra table or two, and chairs. Delivery – unless you have transportation yourself, make plans for delivery and pickup. Be certain to understand the penalties if there are delays/problems.
How Many Tables and Chairs?
When we do a cater for 100 people, we use either 10 rectangular tables or 14 round tables just for the guests to sit. Then we add three rectangular tables for a food buffet, one or two for salads and desserts and one to help out in the kitchen or as an extra. So, totals for 100 people = 16 rectangular tables, or, 14 round tables and 6 rectangular tables. Chairs for 100 people? We would get at least 120.
Tip: If you’re doing a stand-up buffet, you can significantly reduce the numbers of tables that you’ll need. However people still do need a place to sit. We always have a couple of tables and chairs setup for those who don’t want to stand up at the stand-up…
Food Warmers: Both chafing dishes and food warmers can be bought or rented. We call the cheap, wire kind a "Kitchen Chafing Dish," (because we keep them in the kitchen.) They come from Party Supply shops and shopping clubs, sold individually or as a kit. The nice looking, polished kind can be bought (Google them up and see,) or rented. You’ll need sterno fuel to go with either, and both use the disposable aluminum pans 10”x12¾”x2½” or the 20”x12¾”x2½” included in most of our recipes. Carefully read about chafing dishes to see how to use them and plan for how many you’ll need.
Cooking Tools: After you read through our section, you’ll probably need a thing or two. Before you rent, check out the discount sections at your Party Shop, shopping club, grocery, etc. Remember, you may only use that ‘long stirring spoon’ once or twice.
Serving Items: Everything from punch bowls to serving trays are available – but check at the Party Store, shopping club or online before you rent. You may want to buy some of these items, have them for the future, or sell them on Ebay later on.
Pots and Pans: Especially the big ones, but they often have specialty ones too. Don't forget Sheet Pans: A full sheet pan is an 18”x26” with 1” high sides. A “half” sheet pan is 18”x13”x1”. The large sheet pans won’t fit into most home ovens, fridges, etc., but the Half Pan will. We use them for lots of things, baking, stacking, to put under other things to carry or cook, and even to serve (with a couple of doilies.) You can rent them, and the Speed Racks that hold 40+ of them.
Plants: Rental stores often have connections with local greenhouses, so you can rent plants. Or, you can go directly to the greenhouses, or a florist and ask what’s available.
Vehicles: Check out our transportation section, knowing that you can rent lots of vehicle types. We always rent vehicles, never owned a truck.
Shop around. There’s a lot of money in the business, so compare. Often the products from one company to another are very similar if not the same. Shop for price.
Know what you want. Rental companies count on you being unprepared. The smarter you sound, the better you’ll do. Know before you go.
Read the fine print. A great deal will go South if don’t know what you’re signing. Pay attention to deadlines, fees, cleaning charges and damage.
Delivery? We recommend it, otherwise plan on renting a truck and needing a couple of guys to get things from there to here, and back. Dishes and glassware, for example, are not easy to handle, even in the provided racks.
Rental Insurance? Yes, it’s pricey, but, are you feeling lucky? We’ve had our share of breakage and “mia” (everybody loves a souvenir) over the years. Remember, it’s not yours. FYI: we’ve had our greatest loses doing outdoor events, picnics and such.
Got a question about Renting? We've probably been there and cooked that - so ask! (it's free):
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