Planning the perfect wedding can be an overwhelming task. Naturally, everyone wants their event to be perfect, something we can all agree is easier said than done. Unless you are planning to cater for the event yourself, getting a professional catering service should be at the top of your priority list. And, of course, we all know that the best wedding will be dictated by the quality of catering, other programs notwithstanding.
The goal is to try and make sure that you are getting the best caterer for your money. The entire process can be confusing — especially if you are not a professional event planner — like where do you even begin? How do you ensure that the process is flawless and praiseworthy? Below, we have compiled a few tips to help you find the best catering service for your wedding.
Cost of Service
Consider the cost of service vis-à-vis what’s being offered before you settle for a catering service. The cost of service is a huge determining factor in your final choice of a caterer. Make sure that the quote you receive covers the entire catering service in full including staffing, break down, and set up considerations. Be clear about your budget and before you sign the contract, ask about any potential additional costs or hidden fees.
If you are organizing a wedding event, you should be able to give the final approval of the various types of dishes to be served at your wedding. The caterer of your choice should be prepared to provide a tasting opportunity for you to sample the menu. If that particular vendor doesn’t provide for menu tasting, move on to another one that does.
Your opinions about how the event should proceed matter, it’s your event after all. Make sure that catering service is ready to work closely with you and take your suggestions on board. If you choose to give the catering service an outline of the menu plus the freedom to deliver, make sure that they are taking your input seriously.
Does the caterer have enough staff to service your event fully? Be sure to answer that question before you sign any contracts. Discuss the amount of staff you need and their availability prior to having any other discussions. The number of staff you need is contingent on the size and nature of the event.
Before you settle for a particular catering service, make sure that the caterer’s specialties are in line with what you are planning for your event. For instance, a caterer that specializes in Japanese inspired buffets may not be the right choice for you if you are looking for a caterer that specializes in traditional Italian fare. This is just a matter of experience, not skill.
Pay the Caterer a Visit
Make an appointment to visit the caterer at their offices before making the decision to hire them. This is important as it will give you a chance to gauge the professionalism of their staff and check the cleanliness of their kitchen. You will be looking for red flags such as a dirty kitchen on inattentive staff.
Talk to Your Friends or Colleagues
When looking for a catering service for your event, consult widely. Talk to your friends, colleagues, any other person who may have some experience on the subject. Get as many suggestions as you can and narrow down your options to a manageable number.
Build an On-Going Relationship
Focus on building an ongoing relationship with your new-found caterer. You will probably be hosting other important events after the wedding, or you may want to refer them to your friends. Streamline the planning of your events by signing a caterer you trust on a long-term basis.