Catering is an important aspect to many different types of events, whether it be a casual party you’re planning for, or maybe even a wedding. In order to find the right catering service, and get the vibe you are going for, there are a few questions you should ask yourself. There are also questions you should make sure to ask the catering business before you hire them. Let us help you get headed in the right direction.
What Style Are You Going For?
Before selecting a catering provider, it may be best to take a moment to consider what style you are going for. Do you want everything to be gourmet, or are you going for a more casual, overall vibe? For a wedding, you may want to think about using shrimp or lobster if you are a fan of seafood. Or, if you are looking for a ‘homey’ feel, you may want to reach for something that you commonly ate at home as a kid, especially if many of your guests are going to be those who grew up with you. That would be a great conversation starter. Just because you’re hiring caterers does not necessarily mean you have to stick to what they have to offer. Like to cook or know someone who enjoys making new creations? Why not incorporate some of your personal touches to the event, by adding something that no one else could ever recreate; giving your guests’ taste buds a treat?
Once you know what type of foods you are looking for, you’ll be able to better narrow down your options. For example, if you want to be conscious of common food allergies, make sure the caterer can accommodate for that. Consider asking for options that are low fat, low calorie or even vegetarian to make sure everyone has something to reach for, no matter what their normal diet may be.
Does Experience Matter?
Experience in the catering business is very critical, especially if you are hiring a caterer for a special event, such as your wedding. On a big day like that, you have enough stress, and worrying about whether or not the food is going to come out right shouldn’t need to be on your radar. However, if you are hiring a caterer for an event such as a child’s birthday party, experience may not be as important to you. It all depends on what you’re going for. Don’t be shy about sitting down your potential caterers (we advise interviewing at least a handful, especially if you’ve never hired one before so you can get a good feel for your many options). Ask them how they generally display their food and bounce ideas back and forth with them. A lot of the time, they are more than happy to work with you and try something new. Who knows, the vision you have of the big day may be something they’ve never considered thus far in their career, so it could be a creative learning experience for both of you. Don’t forget to discuss how food will be served. Do you want your guests to walk up and select the food of their choosing or would you prefer to have them order at their tables, as they would in a restaurant?
Don’t Forget to Consider Price
While you may feel as though you’re getting a great deal, this may not be the case. Especially if you have never hired a professional for such an event before, it’s important to shop around and get a good feel for the general price range. Mention your budget right off the bat, so you aren’t wasting your time, or theirs. Always ask about hidden fees. There are some venues that are actually going to require you to have a caterer that is on their specified list. If you decide to go with a different business, there can often be a fee. However, sometimes this can be waived. If the fee is applied, it can be as high at 20% of the cost of the venue, so keep that in mind when choosing a location.
We cannot stress enough just how important it is to plan your event well in advance. Things happen that are outside of our control and the last thing you want to do is end up rushing at the last minute to find a new venue or have your caterer need to reschedule because they realized they overbooked for the day. Always verify that the company you select has a permit so you know your food will be handled properly. If the food is prepared at a catering building and not at your venue, it never hurts to visit the location to verify everything looks up to par. Of course, checking with the BBB and reading customer reviews never hurts.
Paul Jones is a food critic and has a good knowledge of different food styles and tastes. He says that people in Perth prefer hiring professional Wedding Buffet Catering Service for a wedding as they have proper experience.