Things To Keep In Mind While Looking For A Caterer
Besides venue, food and drink consume more than one-third of your wedding budget. Therefore, hiring a caterer demands a lot of research and comparative study. Make sure you consider all the following points while looking for the right caterer who will perfectly match your requirements as well as your style and sophistication. Remember, at the end of the day, if there is anything in the wedding that people remember and talk about the most, then it is the food.
Determine your budget
There is no room for doubt that it is the most important thing to do before looking for a caterer. Often times, people search for caterers and contact them who they later on find way too expensive than their estimate. To avoid such kind of situation, decide on your budget first. It will narrow down your search and help you hire the best one according to your pocket.
Do your homework well
There are so many catering companies in the market, each with unique speciality and service. So, look around, do your research, and pick the one that suits your requirements, style and budget. Go through the websites of the caterers and check their menus and prices, or contact them to correspond over phone. You can also ask for recommendations from your friends and relatives if they have recently worked with any. There’s nothing better than a referral from someone who you know and trust.
Do a comparative study
Never heard the saying, “too good to be true”? Do not get allured by the catering companies who offer you an unimaginable lower rate than other caterers in town. While there are some who offer you an inclusive price (food, drink, banquet table decor etc.), there are others who offer a lower rate with fine printed terms and conditions. Go through the website of each caterer and compare them with one another.
Schedule a meeting
Meet the caterers in person and discuss your needs and requirements. This will give you an opportunity to assess their level of knowledge and how comfortable you are in dealing with them.
Ask for a sample
We understand that it’s always not possible to get what exactly you want, but in this case, it is extremely important. Make sure that the food is exactly what you expect. Ask for the tasting policy when you correspond with the caterer. Also, ask them whether they charge for it or do it for free.
Read through the terms & conditions
Read through the contract carefully and make sure you understand each and every terms and condition written in it. In case you find any dispute in the contract, contact the caterer immediately.
Ask, ask and ask more
The more you ask, the more you know about them. Here is a list of questions that you must shoot while hiring a caterer for your D-Day.
- Are you available on my wedding date?
- How long have you been in the industry?
- Do you have a license for alcohol?
- Have you ever worked in my wedding venue before? If not, would you like to take a look at it?
- Will you provide a banquet manager who will coordinate the meal service and look after the overall event?
- Do you have specialization in any particular cuisine?
- Knowing my wedding style, the number of invitees and the budget, is there any special dish you are going to offer?
- Do I have to choose from your preset menu or should you create a custom menu for my wedding?
- What services are included in your package?
- Where do you source the ingredients from?
- Will you decorate the service station and buffet tables? If yes, what kind of decoration do you do? Can I see the portfolio if you have any?
- Can you accommodate dietary restrictions in the menu such as vegan, nut free and sugar free?
- Can you arrange for separate food for children?
- Do you provide a wedding cake? Do you charge extra for it or it comes within the package?
- Do you provide alcohol beverages? Which brand do you serve?
- Do you charge a corkage fee if we bring our own wine or champagne?
- How long will you serve the alcohol?
- Will your staff serve the drinks? Will you charge extra for it?
- How many servers will your provide? How will they be dressed?
- If the event continues longer than the scheduled time will you charge extra?
- What is your payment policy?
- What are your cancellation policy and charge?
- How many days prior do we have to notify you if there is any changes in the menu?