It is not uncommon for events to fall through because of the catering service. Yes, a cold buffet and inadequate food… are enough to make your wedding reception, your birthday party, or even your corporate cocktail party not as successful as expected. Indeed, the caterer is the keystone of any event, which is why his choice must be made carefully to be safe from certain inconveniences that could harm your investment. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of our best tips for choosing a caterer.
1. Choose a caterer according to the type of event and its needs
We might as well warn you that not all catering services are suitable for all events. Therefore, if you want your caterer to adapt perfectly to your request, you must first define the type of event you are organizing as well as your precise needs. For example, if you want to organize a wedding party, start by determining the number of guests and the budget allocated per person.
Also, determine the catering option you like. Do you want breakfast, a break during the day, etc.? Do you want a sit-down meal or/and a buffet (self-service)? According to these elements, you can already have a first clue to orient your choice. Be aware that an event is usually spoiled when the menu does not correspond to the values of the event.
2. Narrow the field of action
Once this step has been completed, you can begin to contact the various service providers you know. But there are a myriad of companies specializing in catering services; this can make the search difficult, especially if you are a novice in the field of event planning. So it would be worth narrowing your focus by relying primarily on word of mouth. This is the best form of advertising. You can also use the Internet by consulting forums, blogs, websites, or the Yellow Pages. Don’t forget to look at online reviews. This will allow you to weed out unsuitable caterers.
3. Check out the quotes
During your search, ask for quotes from several service providers that seem interesting and meet your criteria (culinary theme, location, rates…). Then, compare them. But be careful! Don’t systematically choose the lowest-priced quotes. Otherwise, you may end up with a service far below their expectations. You should contact each of them directly and ask them a detailed question. Ask the caterers the number of receptions they organize during the year, the limitation of service hours, etc.
Also, check their references. Thanks to the Internet, you could easily get any information about any potential catering company. Also, analyze their business proposal. The latter will give you an idea of the quality of services. Do not hesitate to ask the caterer about the origin of the products or the way of cooking. Also, a test lunch can be organized in order to taste the different starters, main courses, and desserts. This will help you make your choice.
4. Choosing a caterer according to different diets.
As you know, an event can bring hundreds or even thousands of people together. As a result, diets may vary from one guest to another. A good caterer must be able to satisfy most guests while paying attention to allergies and intolerances. All caterers are different and offer different services. It is therefore essential to find out exactly what is included in the service offered. Indeed, some caterers will be able to add waiters during the service, furniture such as buffet tables and dishes, or even the possibility to travel in the whole region.
Sometimes, the caterers have partnerships with companies renting crockery and can propose to you that in more in their formula. Once again, you will have to choose according to what you want for your wedding. Moreover, the price of the services will guide you. Don’t forget to ask the caterer if there are any extras, for example, for the dishes or for additional guests at the cocktail party.
5. Ask for a tasting
The tasting is an essential step in the choice of a caterer in the sense that it allows you to have an idea of the quality, the quantity, and the flavors of the proposed dishes. It is a basic offer that any high-end caterer proposes. It is the opportunity to taste the menu that is supposed to be served on the day. Finally, it is recommended to provide the caterer with specific specifications that will indicate the guidelines to follow when designing the menu and its various pieces.
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