Most people spend about ⅓ of their event budget on the food. With such a large amount of being spent toward food, you must find a caterer that prepares the delicious foods that you want to serve the guests, and that the price fits well within your budget. A little research is necessary to narrow down the caterers in the area. Choose an experienced caterer with a good reputation and good prices, but don't stop there. Ask the caterer of interest the questions below to ensure they’ll exceed expectations and help you throw an unforgettable fun event.
1. Can You Work With My Budget?
Once you have a budget set, make sure to find a caterer that can work within this limit. Stick as closely to the budget as possible to avoid overspending at your event. Many catering companies offer several packages and good choices to better accommodate the needs of all customers. Find such a caterer to ensure that you maintain your budget.
2. What is in the Contract?
Don’t just ask the caterer what is in the contract. Read it before you sign on that dotted line. If the information is the complete opposite of what the caterer tells you, you’re still stuck with what you've signed. Make sure to read over the contract, ask questions, and understand what you are signing before putting your name on the dotted line.
3. What is Considered an ‘Extra’?
All catering companies have ‘extras’ they’ll add onto your package for an extra fee. Find out ahead of time what is considered extra so you are not inadvertently charged more money than you expect because you didn't know that there was an extra fee.
4. Have You Catered My Type of Event in the Past?
Hire a catering company that has experience with the type of event that you are hosting. This ensures that the company knows what to do, what to expect, etc. when the event begins so things go off without a hitch.
5. Do You Have References?
Any good caterer should have references readily available to provide to you upon request. Don’t just ask for the references; make sure that you check them, too. Checking with previous clients gives you insight into what the company can do for your event, making it easier to determine if they’re the best catering company for your needs.
6. Do You Offer Tastings?
Many catering companies offer tastings to help clients better determine if the food style and taste match their needs. Ask if a tasting is available with the catering company and schedule this event. A tasting ensures that you get the food that you want for your event and is an important part of hiring a catering company.
7. Can We Customize the Menu?
Most catering professionals allow customized menus, but some do not. make sure this is a question that you ask ahead of time, especially if your event requires special meals/food for the group.
8. Can You Accommodate Special Requests?
Sometimes you want a little more than what is included with the package. If you are willing to pay more, most caterers are willing to oblige your reasonable requests but do not assume thy will. It’s easy to ask the caterer before you put your name on the dotted line.
9. Who Will Work My Event?
Find out who will work your event. How many serves will attend the event? How long will they stay? What services do they provide while at the event? All of these questions are very important to answer before the show begins.
10. Can I Cancel?
If your event is canceled or you change your mind about hiring the catering company, it's important to know the fees and regulations. Ask this information ahead of time to reduce worries.
11. What is Included in the Cost?
Aside from food, what services will the caterers provide at your event? This list varies from one caterer to the next, thus you must inquire ahead of time to avoid any repercussions or hassles at the event.