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. We all know how important food is! But what do you look for in an event caterer?

If this is your first time, read these tips:

Finding Prospects

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 selected a venue, you can ask the management for help.

Inspecting the Premises

This is highly crucial. Take a look at their kitchen before you book any catering service. Everything should be organized and the area clean, 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. At your meeting, mention any menu ideas you may want them to consider. They should welcome your inputs, or you can find yourself another prospect. If you or any of your guests has allergies to certain foods or other dietary restrictions, mention them as well.

Staffing

If you’re uncertain about the size of your staff, below is a quick guide:

> For buffets, you’ll be fine with two servers for 30 people. 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.

> If you’re having a sit-down meal, you will do with one server per table of eight, plus more servers for the drinks.

> For the bar, one staff per 50 guests is manageable, plus more bartenders for specialty drink stations you might want to have.

> For each group of six staff members, get one captain of service.

Testing the Menu

In most cases, professional caterers offer menu tasting for their potential clients. The whole world may find their food a bomb, but unless you think the same way, they’re not the best for you. The menu should be completely your choice, and of course, you have to like their food.

Cost

Don’t go for a caterer just because they charge cheap, but cost will always be important nevertheless. 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. That’s far from the surprise you’ll want.

As you can see, it will probably take a little time to look for a good caterer. However, you can trust that such time will be well-spent.

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