Tips on selecting a caterer for your next corporate event
Choosing The Best Caterer For Your Party
Most people will forget many parts of an event they attend, however, food will be the lasting memory that will be remembered indefinitely by the attendees. Choosing the best caterer for your event will take some time, however the reward of a great menu will be well worth the effort. Following these tips will help you to find the best caterer more easily.
- Consider your needs. You will want to thing about the style and atmosphere you want to create at your event and whether or not it will be a formal affair. Caterers often are best at a specific style of dining, so narrowing your list to caterers who focus on the style you want will help you to find the best caterer.
- Timing is everything and you will want to select and book your caterer early. This will be much easier if you have a specific budget, head count, and location before you begin considering caterers. The costs for the caterer will be impacted by these factors, so the more information you have when you talk to caterers, the more accurate their estimate will be.
- Word of mouth recommendations are often very valuable. Talk to co-workers, family and friends about caterers they have used and add them to your list. You will also want to think about events you have attended where catering was superb and add these caterers to your list.
- Catering at the venue may be an option to consider. Some venues have catering services provided in-house and you can get a substantial discount by using these services. Talking to your venue coordinator will be helpful in finding out the details for in-house catering that may be available.
- Select potential caterers. After you have developed your list, call the caterers on your list to determine whether or not they have the ability to meet your needs. From this list, you should have three caterers that are strong contenders for your business.
- Research your finalists. Make an appointment to meet with the caterers so that you can discuss the date of your event and your specific needs and requirements. You will want to discuss what services are provided, the number of staff that will be able to attend your event, and their ability to provide the kind of dining experience to your guests that you want.
- Sample the food. If you visit the caterer at their place of business, you will be able to see what type of food they use, how the staff work, and in most cases, receive samples of food as it is prepared.
- Equipment and staff will be important at your event, so talking to the caterer about the type of equipment they use to transport the food, whether there is an extra fee for set-up at a location without a preparation area, and whether or not they supplies linens, utensils, etc., will help you to determine accurate costs.
- Get references. It will be important that you have a caterer who is reliable, dependable and provides the services they promise. Getting references and calling past customers will help you to find out about the staff and food that the caterer provides.
- Get a catering proposal. Asking for a proposal that include a quote for the services you are requesting will give you the information you need to make changes if needed.
- Book your event. When you have gotten all the information you need and identified which caterer you want to use, booking immediately will assure that the caterer is able to meet your needs. Most excellent caterers have bookings made far in advance of an event. So booking early will be important.
Once you have found your caterer, a huge part of your party will be done and you will be able to focus on the other elements of the party. Remember, that if you change your mind about food service prior to the event, this can add to the cost of the original quote.