What You Can (And Should!) Expect From A Luau Caterer

Hankering after a trip to Hawaii but cannot afford the $10,000 price tag for two? Or maybe you just really miss the fun and food of a Hawaiian vacation you took a while ago? Whatever the case, you can find and hire a luau caterer that can recreate the tastes and mouthwatering delights of our fiftieth state. When you do find a luau caterer, here is what you can, and should, expect of him/her.

Menus and Menu Options

Without a doubt, the centerpiece of any luau is the spit-roasted pig with the apple or pineapple in its mouth. In addition to the pig roast, there are many other traditional side dishes that you can have with your pig. Your caterer should know how to make every one of these dishes, and offer them on the menu. If you do not see a dish which you have eaten and enjoyed or want others to experience at your party, ask the caterer about it. If he/she does not make it or offer it, you might want to try a different caterer, especially if that dish is a deal-breaker. If your caterer is at least willing to try and make the dish and let you sample it before the party, then you can make a special request for it. Most caterers have not heard of EVERY food item or dish, and they are often willing to accommodate your wants and needs.


The caterer absolutely should bring his/her own equipment to the luau. How else can you roast a pig the proper Hawaiian way? A professional caterer always has his or her own equipment for cooking, keeping food hot, and serving food in a pleasing way. Ask to see the equipment your caterer expects to use and bring with him/her on the day of your luau before you hire him/her. If he/she does not have all the necessary equipment, ask him/her if he/she intends to acquire it in time for the party. If he/she has all the correct equipment, hire him/her on the spot!

Prep Plans

Any caterer worth his/her salt has "prep plans." These are plans made in advance of every event he/she caters that dictate when everything needs to be started, cooked, and prepped to cook so that all of the food is ready at the exact time the guests are expecting to eat. Prep plans should be ready about a week out to give the caterer time to get all of the food and ingredients together for the event. He/she should be willing to show you the prep plan and explain it to you within five days of your luau.