Finding the perfect caterer is an essential part of any large-scale event. Weddings, parties and family gatherings occur at all times when the services of a caterer may be required. Anyone can start their own catering business. Here’s how to choose a good caterer so that the food in your event is memorable for all the right reasons. And appreciate all that.
Hear words of recommendation
No amount of advertising can replace a good recommendation from someone you know and trust. If a friend or acquaintance had a great caterer for their wedding, this is a caterer you should talk to for your next big event. Conversely, he should be cautioned for this by paying attention to bad reviews as well.
Consider the specialty of the caterer
Some caterers specialize in large-scale events and have the equipment and expertise to handle large numbers of guests. Other caterers specialize in small intimate events, cocktail parties or even the distribution of catered meals. Beware of the caterer who claims to be able to do all of this, chances are they don’t get a specialty on any of it.
Consider what services you need
Some caterers will only prepare and deliver the food you have ordered, and may even go as far as to set it. Others can provide fully trained wait staff and support personnel. If you need a formal program, you need a catering company to handle your needs, if you need service. Feel free to ask the caterer if their staff comes from a temporary agency or if they are employees of the catering company. A wait staff coming from a temporary agency may mean that the catering company often does not handle large, staffed events.
Ask for details
When handing over the same company to handle food for your event it is essential that you ask for references. Just don’t ask them to assign names, instead ask for details of several recent incidents to ask for their details.
Inquiries about food freshness
Many caterers cut corners in preparation for food using frozen products. Fresh is always the best and they are charging you as if it was made fresh. Insist on using only a caterer that uses fresh food.
Call local health department
Most catering companies are subject to licensing and regulation by their local health department, and will have records on any prior complaints, issues and inspections. It is generally considered public information. If the catering company you are considering hiring has details of violations or complaints, then it is time to look elsewhere.
Know the price
Very often, seeing the value of the bottom line is the first step in hiring a caterer when in reality it should be the last. Food for the wedding can be more than 50 percent of the cost of the entire wedding, which you have to pay. If your caterer is dropping their price, then you should be aware that they are dropping the quality of food as well as its quality.
Read the contract
Never hire a contractor without a firm contract in place. If the caterer does not follow through it protects your interests. Once you decide on your caterer and agree on a price, read it carefully and sign the contract.