I’m not going to traumatize you with horror stories of caterers gone rogue, but let’s just say that you need to thoroughly vet your caterer beyond the type and quality of food they offer. Our key tips below will help you find and book the ideal caterer for your event.
1. Does the caterer come equipped with an ample staff? Do you need them to provide a bartender as well?
2. Does the caterer provide excellent referrals? Be sure to ask for references that have worked similar spaces to where you are having your event. Some venues are notoriously tricky logistically, so if the caterer hasn’t worked a similar space before, his/her staff may not be experienced enough to handle the venue. This is more true for a new caterer that has just opened their doors. An experienced caterer can handle a new venue without an issue and should volunteer to come to the venue to review the space thoroughly if they are not familiar with it.
3. What other fees are involved beyond the food? Staffing, equipment, and service charges generally round out the total cost.
Be sure the caterer stays throughout the event to ensure total cleanup as well. A good caterer can also weigh on quantities regarding glassware and plates and silverware, too.
We had a situation with a caterer booked by a family member, and we were unfamiliar with this company. When the owner priced out staffing on the quote, I added another line item to the clients’ budget because I felt he needed more staffers, but he insisted he had plenty. Sure enough, the week of the wedding, he added additional staff, and the clients already had the line item in their budget and the expense was covered. Having a professional wedding consultant or planner reviewing your catering bids and double checking information can remove quite a bit of worry about your final decision.
Happy hunting and bon appetit!