In any holidays, a host may tend to book a caterer especially for large celebration. Weddings, corporate events, parties and family gatherings, and any type of celebration calls for and may need a good caterer.
Here are some steps on choosing a good caterer:
Hearing positive reviews of a caterer by word of mouth is one indicator when looking for a good caterer. Check out your friends or acquaintances for recommendations of caterer’s they contracted and thought were excellent. Think about parties you have attended where everything’s “right” in terms of food, service and display. Find out who catered each event that you showed up for as a guest.
Schedule a food tasting.
It may seem as the fun part but your choices have direct impact on budget. Before thinking of the menu, check how you want your food to be served. Buffet or plated sit-down? Caterers needed to prepare 10% more food, just in case some guests comes back for seconds. Keep in mind, however, that this taste samples will be the very best product the caterers can produce. There’s also often a huge difference in quality between preparing a meal for 2 compared to 500.
Consider the caterer’s specialty.
Some caterers specialize in large scale events and they can provide staffing and equipment for such. They were experienced and can professionally handle large number of guests. Other caterers specialize in smaller intimate events, cocktail parties, or even just delivery of catered food. Remember to weigh the caterer’s ability and the party you’re hosting.
Consider the services you need.
Does the caterer’s price include staff or do you need to pay an extra hourly rate? Some caterers will only prepare and deliver you the food you ordered, but not to set it up. Feel free to ask the caterer if their staff comes from a temporary agency or if they are employees of the catering company. Staff that comes from a temporary agency can mean that the catering company doesn’t often handle large, staffed events.
Ask for references.
Request referrals of several recent events they catered. It is essential that you ask directly those event’s hosts who’d experienced their services. Take heed those low points as well so that you can come for options.
Select food quality.
Many caterers cut corners in food preparation by using frozen products. Fresh is always best and they’re charging you as though it were made fresh. Insist on only using a caterer that uses fresh food, not frozen. Check out those ingredients that might trigger allergies also. It can help your guests choose what to eat and not.
Licensed for the service.
Any business is subject to licensing and regulation by their local health department and catering companies are not in exemption. There will be records on any prior complaints, issues and inspections. This is usually considered public information. If the catering company you’re considering has had violations or complaints, it’s time to look elsewhere.
Ask for a quotation.
Asking to see the total price is the first step in hiring a caterer when in fact, it should be the last. If your caterer is dropping their price, might as well be assured they’re dropping their quality.
Read the contract.
Never hire a contractor without a firm contract in place. This protects your interests in any case the agreements were not followed. Once you’ve decided with your caterer and agreed upon a price, sign the contract after reading it through carefully.