Catering 101 – 10 Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Caterer
Planning the menu for your catering event is extremely important. Whether it’s an elaborate wedding reception, a casual corporate Christmas party, or a small client appreciation reception, food can turn your event into a smashing success or a total disaster.
Choosing the right catering company for your function is a key element in your event planning process. A knowledgeable and experience caterer can make your life a lot easier, so it’s worth the effort finding a catering company with which you can rely on, enjoy working with, and trust.
1. Have a budget
Before you start looking for a caterer, you need to define your budget. As in any other industry, catering companies come in all shapes and forms and cater to different markets. You don’t want to waste your time on a catering company that you won’t be able to afford. Nor do you want to settle for a neighborhood take-out, if you have the budget for something a bit more sophisticated.
2. Do your research
The catering business is extremely competitive. There are tons of catering companies, each having their own specialty. Take some time to search through the caterers in your area to find the ones that you think might work for your event. Look through their websites, menus, and prices. Usually you can get a feel of what the company is all about. Ask your friends, family members, colleagues – there’s a good chance that someone in your social network used a catering company in the past and might have some recommendations for you. There’s nothing better than a referral from someone you know and trust.
3. Compare apples to apples
Different catering companies set their prices differently. Some tend to have a basic price displayed and all “bells and whistles” will be extra. Others will operate on a more inclusive basis. When you do your research make sure that you compare apples to apples. Don’t be fooled by low prices. If it sounds too good to be true – it usually is. Make sure that you compare the food of the same quality, the same portion sizes and similar inclusions in the price.
4. Schedule a consultation
Any respected catering company should offer you a complimentary consultation to discuss your particular needs and requirements. This is a good opportunity to get an idea of the company and people you will be dealing with. You will get a feeling of the level of knowledge and expertise they provide and how comfortable you are dealing with them.
5. Sample the food
It is sort of obvious – before spending $20,000 on your wedding reception, you want to make sure that the food is exactly what you expect. Different catering companies might have different policies 薄餅外賣 when it comes to food tastings. Some caterers will charge you a nominal fee to eliminate people who are not serious, others will do it for free.
6. Ask for references
There’s nothing wrong about asking a catering company for references. It might also be a good idea to read through the customer testimonials – and not just on the company website but in other sources as well. In this day and age, where social media defines the rules of how we conduct business, organizations can’t hide anything anymore. So, do you home work, read about the caterer you consider doing business with.
7. Understand terms and conditions
When reviewing a contract, make sure you read and understand terms and conditions. There are 3 main qu