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How to Choose a Caterer for Your Event

Whatever type of event you’re planning – a business conference, a wedding, a marketing expo, etc. – choosing a caterer will be an important decision. We all know how important food is! But what do you look for in an event caterer?

If you’re a new to all this, here are tips that can help:

Looking for Prospects

As a neophyte, you’ll have to begin from the bottom. That means asking for referrals from friends or relatives, as well as reading reviews online. If you have chosen a venue, you can also approach the management for help.

Inspecting the Premises

This is highly crucial. Before booking any catering service, take a look around their kitchen. The area must be organized and sanitary, period. Otherwise, you’ll only be putting your health and that of your guests in danger.

Reviewing the Menu

Not all caterers are suitable for all types of events, and certainly, you’ll want one that fits your needs to a T. During your meeting, discuss any menu ideas you may have in your mind. They have to be open to your suggestions, or you can look elsewhere and find another caterer If you or any of your guests has dietary restrictions, such as food allergies, make it a point to tell the caterer.

Staffing

If you’re uncertain about the size of your staff, below is a quick guide:

> For buffets, you’ll be fine with two servers for 30 people. If you have a bigger guest list, be ready with two or three more runners who will take care of used dishes and chafing stations.

> For a sit-down meal, one server per table of eight is good enough, but do add more servers for the drinks service.

> For the bar, one staff per 50 guests is manageable, plus more bartenders for specialty drink stations you might want to have.

> For each group of six staff members, get one captain of service.

Testing the Menu

In most cases, professional caterers offer menu tasting for their potential clients. The whole world may find their food a bomb, but unless you think the same way, they’re not the best for you. The menu should be completely your choice, and of course, you have to like their food.

Cost

Don’t go for a caterer just because they charge cheap, but cost will always be important nevertheless. Be straightforward about your budget, and make sure the quote you receive already includes everything, from set-up to staffing. Lastly, before you sign the contact, ask them if there are any hidden or additional fees. That’s far from the surprise you’ll want.

As you can conclude, you’ll have to spend some time searching for a good caterer. However, you can trust that such time will be well-spent.

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About the author: molly