Hiring a catering company for an event can be a daunting proposition. There is nothing more scary than thinking that your cater may not show up or will there be enough food or will the food taste good. How about the service? Will they be attentive, courteous and knowledgeable about the food? These are all valid questions but if you follow some of the easy guidelines below, you should be safe.
- Experience, Experience and Experience, nothing separates the good caters from the bad ones more than experience. There are so many things that affect the catering part for an event that only a seasoned catering company can and will be ready to handle.
- Location. Try to pick a catering company that is close to your event. When the unexpected happens it will be nice to know that their kitchen is only minutes away.
- Ask to sample the food but do expect to pay for the samples. Most reputable caterers will want you to taste the food to make sure it meets your expectations. A good caterer receives hundreds of request for samples so it is only fair that they get compensated. It typically takes a chef about four hours to prepare samples for you. A good caterer will deduct the sample fee once you have booked the event.
- Put everything in writing. Email can sometimes be a little impersonal but it is a great way to communicate when booking and preparing for an event. A paper trail is a great for all parties involved to check details and changes about the event.
- Read reviews, most good reputable catering companies will have great reviews.
- Ask for references. Nothing will easy your mind more than talking to a previous customer that has already dealt with the catering company. If a caterer refuses to let you talk to previous customers it’s time to look elsewhere.
- For larger and very involved events expect to pay a deposit of half the total to book the event and hold the date. The other half is usually due a week before the event. The day of the event you want to be able to enjoy your guests and leave the details to the seasoned caterer.