It is important to ask the right questions when hiring a caterer. This helps avoid confusion and disappointment later on. If they can answer all of your questions satisfactorily, you’ll know you’ve found the right caterer for your event. Start with the following ones when interviewing prospective businesses.
1. Do You Have a License?
A caterer that has a license will have met all of the local health department standards. It also means that they have liability insurance that will cover any problems that may arise. If alcohol is going to be served, check for a liquor license as well.
2. Can You Provide References?
References from their previous customers will tell you much more than you can find out by simply talking to the caterer. You will find out if others enjoyed working with them and whether or not they were satisfied. Ask for at least two references from events similar to yours.
3. Are You Working Any Other Events on the Same Date?
Many times a caterer will double book a day. This is especially true on popular days of the week like Saturday. It doesn’t mean you won’t have a wonderful experience with them, but you do want to make sure that your event will get the service and attention it deserves. If the two events overlap, make sure they have enough staff to cover both venues.
4. Is the Meal Being Catered Full Service?
Different companies offer different levels of service. Some caterers will take care of the table settings, any bar service, and they will clean-up after the event in addition to providing the food. If they do not offer all of these features, you will have to hire additional staff to do these jobs or take them on yourself. Take this into consideration when evaluating the prices of each package the caterer offers. A few more dollars per person may actually be a good deal.
5. What is Your Average Price Range?
The food will take up a large portion of your event’s budget. Take your time selecting a caterer to ensure that your money isn’t wasted. Ask how many appetizer and entrée options they offer. Find out if their catering cost is all inclusive or if they itemize the bill according to what foods you select. A package is the most cost effective when hosting a large gathering. They usually include an appetizers, a salad, an entrée, and your dessert. Packages may also cover drinks such as coffee and wine.