Planning a special day, your big day or any other event that requires out of this world catering services? Then these handy tips are going to get you the best results, no matter the occasion. Before narrowing down the list to your favourite catering companies, there are certain considerations when it comes to choosing the caterer that will deliver the desired results.
So what are the big questions when it comes to catering and the services these specialised companies deliver? While the list might seem endless, here are 10 all-important questions you should ask when choosing any caterer, whether you are looking for wedding catering services or just an amazing caterer for a special birthday party.
Choosing the perfect company involves many aspects, not just the food, and requires careful consideration for all your needs. First off and, hugely important, is learning more about the company and their experience in the industry.
1. How Many Events Have You Catered At And Which Was Your Favourite?
No matter the company, it is important to understand more about their experience and learn how many events they have catered for. If you are looking for services that include wedding catering, look for companies that have done this before.
While most websites will have the information, it is a great to way to see for yourself which events they loved. Speaking of much loved events, finding out which was a favourite helps understand if you are on the same page when it comes to yours, or it can even serve to inspire you.
2. What Services are Included?
Many catering companies offer a range of services outside of just a catering menu; these include the finer details of the event, and aspects such as waiters, baristas and specialised staff who can be on hand to help out and make the event something special. Services could also include set up and breakdown services.
3. What Dishes and Items Are You Known For?
As with understanding a company’s history and events, getting to know their specialities, dishes, signature style and overall catering menu, are important. You may have chosen the caterer based on these factors but you may also be surprised and decide to choose something different, once you hear about, and sample, certain items.
4. Where Do You Source Your Food?
Knowing where your food comes from is an important part of narrowing down your catering services list. Some companies may offer a premium range, or offering, alongside their other fare and you may only discover this when asking about the various sources.
The premium offerings may come at an extra cost but it may be something you’ll want to consider, even if it for a course, or two. Besides a premium offering, knowing that you can help support local farmers and vendors in the area, adds a special touch to the event and your menu.
5. What Are Your Procedures For Those With Dietary Restrictions and Food Allergies?
You may have a range of guests with certain dietary restrictions, including those being kosher, Halaal as well as certain food allergies and finding out whether the caterer can, and does, provide for these guests is key to ensuring all runs smoothly on the food side.
Most catering companies have kosher and Halaal options and also have options for vegetarians, while many have vegan and gluten free options for those with food allergies. It is also important to find out if there is any extra fee for the revised items, and to budget accordingly.
6. What Items Would You Suggest?
When it comes to party and wedding catering, remember to make use of the catering company’s expertise. This includes a thorough run down of your ideas and plans for the event, as well as what you would think would be best. Once this is done, asking their advice helps put things into place and adds a new perspective.
Aspects you may not have considered, from venue size and configuration, play a large role in catering services and options, and experienced caterers will know the ins and outs of many venues. Their advice on the offerings, set up and possible extras may just be invaluable and offer new insight into possibilities you hadn’t considered.
7. Are You Flexible With the Catering Menu?
While you may have decided on a range of menu items that you love, there may be one or two tweaks that you would like made to the catering menu. Most caterers are willing to listen and accommodate your changes, if it is in budget. When in doubt, it comes down to trusting the caterer and their years of experience.
8. How Does Set Up and Delivery Work?
Knowing how much time is needed for delivery and setting up is hugely important, as the logistics will have to be relayed to the venue and staff on site. It’ll also help you get an understanding of the details that are going into the setup of the catering service and convey it to the venue staff, as there may be services and options that the venue provides, depending on where you have it.
The delivery and set up process will depend on the intricacy of the menu, the amount of guests and additional services required, so it is key to discuss and understand it.
9. What is the Average Price Range and are Packages Available?
It is vital to ask and see if the catering companies you are considering have any packages on offer. This helps in streamlining your choices and may even mean you can be more inventive and add optional extras you weren’t considering.
Packages often include a set catering menu, items and a range of choices; all with set prices and with the possibility to be mixed and matched to find the perfect fit. These packages could also include specialised packages and rates, which allow for costs, service personnel and much more to be factored in.
10. Do You Provide a Cost Breakdown?
Arguably one of the most important questions, asking about the cost estimate is crucial in gaining insight and understanding of the company. This is crucial to see how it can fit into your event, and your budget.
Most caterers work on a per-head, or per guest, basis, so having a clear guest list is key when you meet with them. While there is no best time to ask about the cost estimate, it helps to wrap up with it, and to talk and go over the final figures, estimates and budget to ensure you are all on the same page. The figures and budget could also include breakdown costs, personnel costs and a range of other factors you may not take into account. It also helps in avoiding any on-the-day surprises.
When figuring all this out, it’s also vital to know when the catering company will need your final choices on all matters, so when you do decide, you’ll make the decision within the correct time frame.
It’s all about working together; with that and these questions you are set and ready for anything. All these questions will assist in helping to choose the best catering companies and making that special event, just that much more special. What are you waiting for? Find catering services on Junk Mail today! Do you offer services? Why not advertise on Junk Mail by placing your FREE AD now!