Your next big event is coming up, be it a wedding, business meeting or any other special event- and you want to make sure to pick the perfect caterer this time around. After all, nothing can ruin an event quicker than having food that looks and tastes bad. That’s why we’ve put together these helpful tips on how to choose the perfect caterer- because there may be a lot riding on your next event.
Think carefully about what your needs are– While most caterers can handle a wide variety of events, some may be a better fit for you, as many tend to specialize in particular types of service. For instance, do you want your guests to serve themselves or would you prefer the caterer provide the service. Be as specific as possible when vetting potential caterers. Also think hard about what type of food you want to be served, as this will likely limit your options. For instance, if you want barbecue at your next event, you’ll likely be better served by a caterer that specializes in barbecue, instead of asking someone who doesn’t do barbecue very often to do it.
Ask about tasting their food– If you haven’t worked with a particular caterer before, don’t be afraid to ask for samples of their food. Any serious caterer will be delighted to cook up samples for you, and if they aren’t, this may be a red flag.
Make sure they have insurance– Ask about insurance upfront. Every caterer I’ve ever worked with has had insurance, and most see it as a prerequisite to opening a catering business. If the caterer in question doesn’t have it- RUN for the hills! You don’t want to be legally liable for an accident your caterer had during your event.
Responsiveness/Customer Service– In the food industry, we tend to try to kill potential clients with kindness- and your caterer should be no different. If they aren’t responsive to your initial questions, that is likely to be par for the course if you choose that particular caterer. A potential caterer should be excited to work with you and ask as many questions as they can to learn about your needs for the event. This is a sign of a good caterer.
Check out their website– Although not a necessity to being a good caterer, a good website is a sign of sound business practices- and if they don’t have a website in this day and age, you should be questioning if they’re a legitimate caterer or not.
Ask for references from previous clients– Your caterer should be able to provide a list of happy customers that they’ve worked with in the past. One catering service in Richmond, VA I’ve worked with were happy to provide me with an extensive list of happy customers I could call- they even showed me photo galleries from events similar to what I was proposing. Now that’s a sign of a good caterer!
Finding a great caterer can be difficult, but with persistence and knowledge of what questions should be asked, you should be well on your way. After reading this post, I hope you’ll be better prepared to find the perfect catering service for your next big event!