Picking a Caterer for Your Event
Regardless of the type of event you’re organizing, whether it’s a business expo, a fundraiser, a business workshop or a wedding, you need to pick a good caterer. We all know how important food is! But what are the things you have to consider when choosing a caterer?
If this is your first, heed the following tips:
Because you’re a newbie, you’ll have to start from scratch. That means getting recommendations from friends and relatives, and checking out online reviews. If you have booked a venue, ask the management for a little help.
Inspecting the Premises
This is crucial. Take a look at their kitchen before you book any catering service. Everything should be organized and the area clean, period. Otherwise, you will be risking your safety and that of your guests.
Reviewing the Menu
Not all catering services are right for all kinds of events, and of course, you’ll want to hire one that is a match to your needs. At your meeting, mention any menu ideas you may want them to consider. They should be open to your inputs, or you can look for another prospect. If you or any of your guests has allergies to certain foods or other dietary restrictions, mention them as well.
If you’re not sure about the number of people you need in your staff, here’s a cheat sheet:
> Buffets are usually fine with two servers every 30 guests. A bigger group will require two or three more runners to clear dishes and restock chafing stations.
> For a sit-down meal, one server per table of eight is good enough, but do add more servers for the drinks service.
>If you have a bar, it should be okay to have one bartender for every 50 guests, plus more bartenders if you want to add specialty drink stations.
> A captain of service should be available for every six staff members.
All professional caterers offer menu tasting for their customers. 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 must be your choice totally, and of course, it’s important that you like their food.
You must never pick a caterer because they’re cheap, but cost remains to be an important consideration in any case. Be direct about how much you plan to spend, and make sure the quote already includes everything. 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. But rest assured it will be time well spent.