5 Tips for Choosing the Best Caterer

Corporate catering company

You are in charge of planning an event. You must choose the location, the theme of the event, and most importantly, the menu. Guests tend to look forward to and remember one thing at events, the food that was served. That is why catering can be so expensive and the best caterers sell out quickly. The type and quality of food at an event really makes or breaks the event. When planning an event that will serve food, keep the following things in mind when planning the menu with the caterer.

Research and ask for referrals with selecting good caterers. Good caterers make good impressions. They leave their customers satisfied and willing to make recommendations. When researching possible caterers for your event, ask them for recommendations. A caterer that is established and provides great service should be able to provide you with a list of satisfied previous customers. Ask your friends and co workers for recommendations of good caterers they have used previously.

Carefully plan your menu with the selected caterer. Your selected caterer should be able to provide you with recommended menu options, but the final menu decision will come down to you. Work with your caterer on creating a menu that fits the type of event you are planning. Event menus will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of event, the time of the event, and the time of year of the event.

For example, wedding events that take place in the evening are likely to have more upscale dining menus, including steaks, fishes, and appetizers. However, corporate menus that take place during the work day are likely to be filled with luncheon foods, such as sandwiches, salads, and bagels. The best event planner or caterer will be able to provide suggestions based on the specific details of your event.

Go over the contract with your caterer. You might assume that the full extent of the caterer contract is that they provide you with the meal suggested. However, there are actually many more details involved in this process. Good caterers will provide you with a contract that specifically lays out every aspect of the deal. You will need to decide on a lot of aspects of the catering relationship before signing the contract.

For example, in nearly all cases when you hire a caterer, you do not get to keep the leftovers. You only get what you paid for and what your guests ate, unless you have prearranged something differently in the contract. If you desire to keep the leftovers, you should have this specifically laid out in the contract and you should have previously discussed this with the caterer that you chose. Good caterers are often willing to work with their clients on adjusting to their specific needs.

Figure out the specifics of the event day. Another important discussion with the caterer is who will provide the needed essentials, such as the utensils, plates, napkins, and condiments. These are all items that your guests will need to enjoy their meals and the specific of who provides should be laid out in the contract and discussed ahead of time. A caterer may also be in charge of some decorations, table arrangements, and food presentation.

Inquire who will accompany your caterer. Some catering companies are full service. The best wedding menus prices include the setup, the serving, and the cleanup of the meal. A dinner catering menu can be a lot of work, so having an all inclusive package can be helpful. A caterer has to manage a staff of cooks, servers, cleaners, and dishwashers, while ensuring their team is aware of their schedules, place settings, serving customs, and food safety regulations. Ensure that your caterer is aware of these expectations and will be bringing a team for a full service catering job.

Planning any event requires a lot of decision making. One of the most important decisions, as an event planner is who will provide the catering for the event. There are a lot of minor details involved with the catering process. Good caterers will lay everything out in the contract and the contract should be thoroughly discussed before hiring a caterer for your next event.

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Francis Pitt

Francis Pitt has made a name for himself in farm-to-table organics, working at restaurants in Portland, Seattle and Burlington, Vermont. While he has a taste for the extreme, most of his restaurant’s top sellers are much more down-to-earth, regularly featuring mushrooms gathered from the slopes of the Cascades, and fresh wild-caught seafood from the Oregon coast. Inspired by trends in Portland, his latest restaurant offers the ultimate chef’s table: dinner begins in the morning at his island collective farm, and 4 lucky guests every week get to follow the food, literally, from the field to the plate! Francis is a firm believer that you are what you eat — do you really want to be a chemistry set?