8 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Catering Company
With over 25 years of providing catering services, we know the importance of delivering great tasting food and service. However, not every client understands there is a distinction between food and service. Therefore, to help you understand, we have compiled this list of eight things you should know before hiring or contracting a catering company for your next big event.
Catering is a significant line item in any event planning budget, which means it is vital that you know what you can afford without limiting the other aspects of the event. Most reputable caterers understand the importance of a budget, and they know that food and drinks can quickly envelop the expenses of a party, which can inhibit the success of the party overall. Therefore, a quality caterer will help you stay on budget by making menu suggestions and offering different service options.
Know Expectations and Evaluate Responses
Before seeking out a caterer, you should have some idea of what you want. Once you have a list of things that are essential to you, meet with a potential caterer. They will quickly inform you of what is feasible with your budget and help you either get what you want or as close to it as possible without overspending. During these exchanges with the prospective caterers, pay attention to response times and demeanor. Remember that you will be working with this business for some time. Make sure that they are professional, respectful and timely. Any company that does not put your needs first is not worth considering.
While it is true that a new catering service can produce quality food and professional service, how do you know? Most new businesses do not have the honor of referrals or reviews, and even if they do, these things are limited. Experience, especially in catering, matters because time builds a reputation. Therefore, while a new caterer might be talented, do you want to trust your event to a company with no demonstrable experience?
Catering Menu Options
A significant part of catering costs is food expenses. Typically, caterers offer standard menus that allow them to provide reasonably specific pricing. However, just because a caterer usually provides a standard menu does not mean they aren’t willing to be flexible with the choices. Although, it is necessary to note that any changes in the menu will usually result in higher costs, depending on the exceptions being made. Caterers want to keep you as a client and make you happy, but you should also consider specializations. For example, don’t go to a caterer specializing in Italian cuisine and expect them to be proficient in middle eastern dishes.
As stipulated, catering is about more than food; it is also about service. While you do not get much of a say in the service at restaurants, you do get to contribute to the decisions about service when it comes to catering. For example, you can inquire about the number of servers who will be present, their level of experience as well as the number of supervisors who will be available on the night of your party.
Get Multiple Proposals
When budget is of the utmost importance, be sure to get at least three proposals. Also, seek references and reviews for any caterer you are considering to get an idea of customer service and quality. In the bids, make sure that all of your needs and requirements are addressed.
Taste the Food
Of the finalist competing for your business, ask to set up a food tasting. Any reputable catering company will offer free tastings, depending on the event size.
Know the Contract
Catering contracts should spell out the specifics of your deal. Also, make sure there is a clear cancellation policy.
Chef Raymone has over 25 years of experience. Contact our catering company by calling (586) 465-0299 to discuss your event needs.