Whether that event you are planning is a simple corporate affair such as a board meeting or a big bash such as your sister’s wedding, you will need to find a good caterer. From the banquet halls in Houston to the sweet candle-lit rooms in Seattle, good caterers are hard to find and harder to keep.
But since food is the glue that is pulling this event together, finding the right caterer for this event is a must. So, to help with the search we have put together a list of helpful tips to help you find the caterer of your dreams.
Focus the Search
The field is a big one, so you need to start your search by focusing on the kind of catering you need for this one event. Don’t be swayed by promises for big and splashy if that isn’t what you need. Start by asking around to see if anyone has used a caterer before that they liked.
If that doesn’t get you started you may want to talk to whoever manages the place where your event is taking place. They often have a list of recommended caterers that just might do the trick.
Visit in Person
If you want to know the calibre of the catering company, visit their kitchen in person. This will show you how organized they are, if they deal well under pressure and if they keep their kitchen clean and in order.
You may also want to check out an event they are doing if you have the time to do so. But their kitchen is the heart of their operation, so always check it out in person. A dirty kitchen is a big red flag, so pay attention to it.
Get Familiar with their Menu
While every caterer has their own speciality, that doesn’t mean they can’t prepare something off the menu. Still, it is best to simply stick to what they know best, so ask for a menu and if possible taste test what they make.
If you have your heart set on an All-American Buffet, then a caterer that specializes in Japanese food might not be a great choice. Pick one whose menu reflects your tastes for the event.
Do They Have the Staff?
You want to be sure that the catering company is staffed up and ready for you. This can mean that you need to take into account if this is a sit-down dinner that will require servers or if it is a buffet that means you will need carvers.
Talk about bar staff too, and find out if they can provide this as well. You may have an Uncle Joe who used to barkeep but it might be better to keep the wedding under control with professionals.
Be Honest About Cost
Sometimes we spend more then we should because we fall in love with one particular catering companies staff or food. But if you can’t afford them it makes no sense to even entertain the idea of using them. Be blunt and honest about what you can afford and keep to that budget.