Tip of the Week
Selecting the Right Caterer
Experienced caterers can be a tremendous assistance whether you are planning a large event or intimate celebration.
Hosting a successful event takes plenty of forethought, as well as a supportive team of professionals. A good caterer is essential for creating a memorable occasion. Not only will a caterer bring great food, they will also give you information and advice about making your event a success. They will tell you what types of food work best at a given event and the quantities required for your guests.
Caterers will create impressive, delectable dishes with a high sense of professionalism. They can also tell you about other resources, including professionals, who can turn your event into a magical occasion.
Choosing the right caterer means you will have time to enjoy your party. Here are some tips to consider when looking for a high quality caterer:
Before speaking to a prospective caterer, note everything you know about your event. Details might include date, time, location, number of guests and budget. If you have a theme, be sure to let them know what you’re looking for. Also, tell the caterer if this is a formal affair. such as a business party, or something more relaxed.
You can also suggest certain types of foods. It might help to tell the caterer about the venue decor, so she can focus on what will match the surroundings.
Begin asking your social network for recommendations. Friends, family, and even colleagues may have used a caterer in the past. Check the phone book and the Internet for local caterers.
Your local newspaper will likely have advertisements from local caterers. This is also a good resource to find coupons and special deals.
After you have compiled a list of possibilities, schedule a meeting and prepare your questions. In particular, ask about delivery, time frames and budget.
The caterer might have ideas about your event. Listen with an open mind. Since these professionals are in the event business, they will likely draw from past experiences.
It is always a good idea to ask for client references. You should receive a list of names and contact information. Don’t be shy. Call these references to inquire about the company’s work. Sometimes, a caterer has a book of food and dessert pictures. Look at their work. Be sure it pleases you.
The local health department will have a health rating for the caterer. A positive record demonstrates their commitment to safe food handling practices. It is also an excellent indicator of the caterer’s overall quality.
Be sure to communicate clearly about timelines and scheduling. Caterers who have packed schedules are a risky proposition. Use a company that can spend time and effort on your event.
The caterer should allow you to sample the food. In fact, it is common for caterers to bring selections from their menu to an initial interview. If they don’t offer you samples, request them prior to paying deposits or advancing funds. It is only fair that you know what you are purchasing.
You can also ask for a list of their events that you might be able to attend before you make your decision. This will give you a great opportunity to see how they interact with the party goers as well as see the food presentation and taste the food.
Some caterers specialize in elaborately themed parties. These companies will offer suggestions on food that will complement your celebration. Other caterers have expertise in crafting menus that are customized to your guest list.
Caterers who can help you with the entire planning process of your meal from hors d’oeuvres to dessert are well worth the money. They can guide you through the whole process with professionalism, confidence and even a sense of humor. Because you have thoughtfully chosen your caterer, your special occasion will be a rousing success.