Helpful Tips in Choosing the Caterer for Your Event
Planning a successful event is not the easiest task. There is a lot that can go right, but a lot that can go wrong as well – and for an individual, this can be overwhelming. A caterer can help you plan an event successfully. Here are some tips to guide in how to choose a caterer for your next event.
One of the best ways to get quality service is through referrals from friends and family. When a friend refers you to a particular caterer, you are sure that someone close to you has dealt with that particular caterer and has been satisfied. The chances that you will get fulfilling catering services from such a caterer are very high. It is, therefore, a good thing to ask around from friends and colleagues that have held successful events before to see if they can refer you to a trusted caterer around you. (You will not hear “Figs and Honey” in commercials, on the radio, or see our name on billboards. Much of our business is from referrals – which speaks highly of the satisfaction of our customers!)
It is important to check whether the caterer has been licensed (Figs and Honey is a licensed catering company.) This is a precaution against any failure to deliver on the agreement that has been entered with the caterer. The length of time a caterer has been in business is also a good measure of whether they will provide the service you require.
Know your Location
Before choosing a caterer and trusting him or her with your event, it is best to know their location. This is to gauge their proximity to you and whether they have held any previous events in your area. If you have not chosen a venue, ask your caterer about any venues where they are preferred caterers.
Know Your Budget
Let your caterer know your budget when you begin the process of creating your event. You may have a hamburger budget, but a filet mignon vision for your event. It is best to know what you can afford ahead of time. It will save time and frustration during the planning process. The budget agreed upon should include everything that you expect the caterer to provide, be it tables and chairs, linens, event furniture or an appliance.
Schedule a tasting
A tasting ensures that the food you picture in your mind is the same food that the caterer will plate for your guests. If your menu needs to be vegetarian, you do not want a catering company that describes its food as “southern comfort” (i.e. all vegetables cooked with meat). This short exercise goes a long way in ensuring that the caterer is doing things as you had instructed and that he or she is focusing on the satisfaction of your guests.
Preview their portfolio
Nothing speaks volumes about an event organizer like previous events that he or she has planned. Running through photos of previous events that the caterer provides gives you an idea on what you can expect from that caterer. Facebook pictures can be viewed, or you can request that pictures be emailed to you
Review the contract
Like any other formal business agreement, you will enter into a contract with the caterer. It is important that if the contract is being drafted by the caterer and his or her team, you take time to go through it to understand it well. If you have no previous experience of reading through contracts, it is advisable that you get a legal professional such as a lawyer to help you go through the contact and point out any issues that need to be addressed before going into it.
The checklist above is a simple guide on how you can choose a good caterer and make your event one that will not be forgotten. A good caterer, given the right support, will go out of the way to give you a one of a kind event.