When you’re throwing a party, the first few things that come to mind are the theme, setup, and menu. If you don’t want to fuss about it too much, the best option is to hire a caterer to take care of everything. But if you’re worried that your event might turn out to be a disaster, you have to choose a good caterer.
Here are ways how you can find the right caterer:
1. Choose a caterer that fits your event
It’s important to have the centerpieces, venue style, and setup for your event to match well with each other, but, naturally, the quality of food should be your main priority when getting a caterer.
Depending on your event, choose a caterer that has specialty dishes that will fit well for your event. For example, if your event has a Italian theme, select a caterer that’s famous for their Italian cuisine. Take note of how they will arrange and present the food so they can fit well and even enhance your event’s chosen theme.
2. Determine your number of guests and budget
Another important factor you need to consider is determining the number of guests you’ll be having for your event. Not all caterers in your area would have the same skill sets in terms of handling logistics meant to serve a large number of guests. New caterers in the business might lack the experience of managing big events compared to the established ones.
Of course, your budget will mostly depend on the number of guests that you’ll be having. Moreover, the time of your event will also affect the budget that you have to set for your caterer. It is usually cheaper if your event will only cover snacks. On the other hand, lunch and dinner cost much more compared to snacks or breakfast since a plate should be one complete meal and, typically, more entrees should be included in the menu.
You also have to keep in mind that you don’t need to spend too much money on catering. Some caterers offer high-quality food and a nice setup that are still affordable.
3. Check their food options
Especially if you’ll be having a big event, you have to choose your menu carefully. You might want to select a caterer that offers not just a large selection of entrees but also provides other kinds of meals, such as appetizers and desserts.
You also need to consider if they can accommodate the special dietary requirements of some of your guests. Some of your guests might be vegetarians or allergic to specific food, such as dairy and gluten. Choose a caterer that can arrange for these kinds of requirements.
4. Don’t fall too much for the style
Sometimes, clients get easily attracted to caterers that provide extravagant styling for events like birthdays and weddings, and tend to put less focus on the quality of the food. You don’t have to fall for how good the caterer styles the venue. It’s all about delivering good food and quality service. Being in the food business, the dishes will be the one to give the caterer an excellent reputation, which goes hand in hand with the way they physically transform the event’s place.
5. Look for food tasting options
Choose a caterer that can arrange a meeting for you to personally try their menu options. Sometimes, you won’t be charged for any additional cost if you ask to sample your caterer’s food. As a standard practice, caterers usually provide their clients with this option even without the drawing up the contract yet.
It’s always best to have an idea of how your food will taste like during the event to avoid getting disappointed on the day itself, when all of your guests are served with badly catered food.
6. Ask for recommendations
You’ll have a higher chance of getting a good caterer if you ask for recommendations from your friends or family. Ask people who have had experience in throwing personal or even corporate events to give you an idea on which catering service you can avail. There’s a pretty good chance that they won’t be recommending the bad ones.
7. Explore your options
Don’t just settle for one caterer. As much as possible, try to contact three or four caterers and compare their offers. You can also research about their customer feedback to help you decide which one to choose. Again, select the caterer that provides the best dishes that are reasonable for their price.
Finding the right caterer will make your event a success. The main priority you have to consider is the quality of food offered by the caterer. You should also ensure that they can provide enough logistics, skill sets, and have the ample experience to be able to fulfill your needs as a client.