When planning an event, sometimes it can be such a hassle when you don’t have any idea about where to start especially when it comes to providing refreshments. In your mind, the easy thing to do would be to hire a caterer depending on the event type to handle the job, and even that can be a struggle if you don’t know catering etiquette prior to booking.
So, first thing first,
…what is a caterer?
A caterer is a person or company providing food and drink at a social event or gathering. So, in other words, if you didn’t cook it, or someone else cook it for you and provided it means it was catered. Catering services can range from many different things such as cooking, serving, and cleaning up. Depending on the company you can get help with taking coats, passing out of hors d’oeuvres, bartending, décor, fruit displays, and fountains. Be sure to discuss what specific services will be required when hiring arrangements are made. Whatever the duties may consist of, make sure they are all clearly spelled out in a contract between both parties.
Here are some tips on working with caterers:
Five tips for selecting and hiring a caterer
- Get a Referral. Ask for names of recommended caterers from friends or coworkers. Depending on the venue, always ask about a preferred vendor list. Some venues only require you to use caterers that are already on their list. If a venue allows you to bring an outside caterer, ask about the criteria. Most require all outside caterers to be licensed & insured.
- Find Out What is Included. Ask if the caterer designs centerpieces and, if so, does he/she offer choices? Does the caterer provide china, silverware, and glasses? Are gratuities included in the total price? What are the overtime costs?
- Get it in Writing. Make sure that everything you need to be done is detailed in the catering contract and is matched by a price.
- Sample the Goods. Have potential caterers prepare two or three different items from their menu for you to taste test before you make a final decision. Some might require a fee for tastings to cover food costs.
- Stick to Your Budget. Don’t buy unnecessary services. Some things you can go without, so don’t let anyone talk you into something that you really don’t want. Consider what’s expensive and inexpensive. For Example, Fruit displays & candy tables are expensive and are not needed at your event if you have a small budget. Remember you can still have a nice wedding or event without going over budget.