Picking a Caterer for Your Event
Whatever type of event you’re planning – a business conference, a wedding, a marketing expo, etc. – choosing a caterer will be an important decision. The food is always important! But what do you look for in an event caterer?
If you’re a new to all this, here are tips that can help:
As a neophyte, you’ll have to begin from the bottom. That means getting recommendations from friends and relatives, and checking out online reviews. If you have booked a venue, ask the management for a little help.
Visiting the Premises
This is a critical consideration. Take a look at their kitchen before you book any catering service. The area must be organized and sanitary, period. Otherwise, you’ll only be putting your health and that of your guests in danger.
Reviewing the Menu
Not all caterers are appropriate for all events, and definitely, you’ll want to choose one that aligns with your needs. If you have ideas about the menu that you would like them to hear about, mention them during your meeting. They should welcome your inputs, or you can find yourself another prospect. If you or any of your guests has dietary restrictions, such as food allergies, make it a point to tell the caterer.
If you’re uncertain about the size of your staff, below is a quick guide:
> Buffets are usually fine with two servers every 30 guests. If you have a bigger guest list, be ready with two or three more runners who will take care of used dishes and chafing stations.
> Sit-down dinners usually need at least one server per table of eight, with more servers to take care of the drinks.
>If you have a bar, it should be okay to have one bartender for every 50 guests, plus more bartenders if you want to add specialty drink stations.
> For every six members of staff, have one captain of service.
All professional caterers offer menu tasting for their customers. The whole world may find their food a bomb, but unless you think the same way, they’re not the best for you. Choosing the menu is personal to you, and certainly, you have to like their food.
You must never pick a caterer because they’re cheap, but cost remains to be an important consideration in any case. Be straightforward about your budget, and make sure the quote you receive already includes everything, from set-up to staffing. Finally, as about any hidden additional fees before you sign the contract. You don’t want that kind of surprise.
As you can see, it will probably take a little time to look for a good caterer. But rest assured it will be time well spent.