Tips for Choosing a Good Caterer

Whatever type of event you’re planning – a business conference, a wedding, a marketing expo, etc. – choosing a caterer will be an important decision. We all know how important food is! But what exactly should you look for in a caterer?

If this is your first time, read these tips:

Looking for Prospects

Being a newbie, you have to start from below. 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.

Visiting the Premises

This is crucial. Before booking any catering service, take a look around their kitchen. The area must be organized and sanitary, period. Otherwise, you’ll only end up risking your health 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 have to be open to your suggestions, or you can look elsewhere and find another caterer If you or any of your guests has allergies to certain foods or other dietary restrictions, mention them as well.

Staffing

If you’re uncertain about the size of your staff, below is a quick guide:

> Buffets are usually fine with two servers every 30 guests. If you have a larger group, you’ll need two or three more runners for restocking chafing stations and clearing dishes.

> Sit-down dinners usually need at least one server per table of eight, with more servers to take care of the drinks.

> For your bar staff, have at least one bartender for each fifty guests, and add a few more if you will be featuring specialty drink stations.

> For every six members of staff, have one captain of service.

Testing the Menu

In most cases, professional caterers offer menu tasting for their potential clients. Everyone may think their food is fantastic, but if it’s lame to you, there’s no need to feel obliged to hire them. The menu should be completely your choice, and of course, you have to like their food.

Cost

Don’t go for a caterer just because they charge cheap, but cost will always be important nevertheless. Be clear about your budget, and be sure that the quote you’re given already covers 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 conclude, you’ll have to spend some time searching for a good caterer. But rest assured it will be time well spent.

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