If you are preparing for a big event, there are no other solutions that hiring a catering service. Food can make a different between a smashing success and a total disaster. The key element is to choose the right caterer. An experienced and knowledgeable caterer should make your life much easier. Here are things that you should consider:
- Set up a budget: Hiring a caterer isn’t cheap, especially if you plan to serve hundreds of people. So, you need to define your budget. This will narrow down your selection of caterers and what kind of food that you want to serve to guests. If you have poorly planned budget, there’s a good chance that you will overspend.
- Make a list of potential caterer: After defining your budget and requirements, you should be able to narrow down your selection. Make a list of catering budget that fits your budget and meets your requirements. Look at Google Map for nearest catering service in your area. Check their websites to research their menu and prices. Another good way is to ask family members and friends for caterers that they hired in the past.
- Compare: After making a list, you should compare each caterer. Be aware that you may need to pay extra for all bells and whistles, so you need to ask often. So, you shouldn’t be fooled by low prices and if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
- Schedule a simple meeting: At this point, you should already narrow down your list only to 2 or 3 caterers. During the meeting, you should discuss your budget and requirements.
- Sample their food: It should be obvious, if you want to spend $25,00 on your wedding food, then you should get a sample of their food. If they are cooking today, ask whether it’s possible for you to try their food. However, some caterer may have strict policy against food tasting. Some may offer it for free, while others ask for a small fee.
- Learn their terms and conditions: Hiring a catering service should be like having a business agreement. You need to learn more about their terms and conditions. First, you should know about the agreed payment schedule. Some caterers agree for a specific amount of down payment, while others ask you to pay in full. If you are certain about the reputation of a caterer, then there’s nothing wrong about giving full payment. Also ask for the cancellation policy. Some caterers may keep the deposit when you cancel the event, even if they haven’t started buying the ingredients and cooking them. To avoid future conflicts, you should be very clear about all the clauses in the cancellation policy. Always get everything in writing. If you are not sure, try to contact another caterer.
- Check any extra charge: Some caterers may mislead clients by offering something and you need to pay extra for it. If you want to stick to your budget, you should be careful with what you want to get.