Let’s face it: when it comes to events, no bigger factor determines their success than the quality of the food and drink. Delicious fare is not only pleasing to the palate, but it also fosters connections and memorable interactions between guests. This intangible is what can elevate an event from ordinary to legendary.
For this reason, hiring the right caterer should be at the top of your list when planning an event. But how do you choose one? Here are some things to keep in mind in your caterer selection process.
Can the caterer handle the planned number of guests?
If you’re having a large event, it’s essential to confirm that the caterer can serve the expected number of guests. Some caterers are more equipped for epic gatherings than others, so it’s one of the first questions to ask when hiring a caterer.
Does the caterer offer menu options that fit your theme? And are they open to accommodate allergies and other guest requests?
Here’s where you get down to critical details. A caterer’s menu options should align with the feel you are aiming to create at the event. Another crucial factor is the caterer’s ability (and willingness) to be flexible when needed for guests with food intolerances, allergies, or modification requests. Folks with food sensitivities will be grateful that their preferences are honored.
Does the pricing fall within your budget?
This one is simple yet pivotal since food costs can skyrocket in a hurry. A good caterer will work with you to adjust the offerings if necessary while maintaining the essence of your theme.
Has the caterer worked in your chosen venue?
Is the caterer located within a reasonable commute to the venue? Do they have the equipment and experience to work there? While it may not be a factor for standard sites, this can be a make-or-break factor for less traditional settings. (Think barns, art galleries, warehouses, etc.) Knowing that your vendor is familiar with the challenges of a particular space can give you some peace of mind that the event will run smoothly.
Does the caterer have happy customers?
If a caterer checks off all the boxes above, then it’s time to check references. Find out if anyone you know has any experience with this caterer, either as a client or as a guest. Read reviews on the internet. Of course, any vendor can have a bad day, but take note if there’s a recurring theme of less-than-stellar experiences.
Finding a caterer to entrust with your event vision is a significant milestone when planning a function. Once you’ve discovered a caterer who meets all of your criteria, you can move on to all the other elements that will make your event unforgettable.