Choosing a caterer to take care of food and refreshments for your event isn?t a particularly hard job, but it?s worth giving it a bit of time and thought to make sure you get the best possible service. Our guide offers some top tips for choosing the right caterer. Firstly, know your event inside out. Think about what you?re looking for and make sure you know when and where it will be held so caterers will be able to tell you straight away whether or not they?re available.
You should think about your event in detail so you can give as much information as possible to your prospective caterers. You should know whether it will be a social or professional occasion and whether you want a buffet or a more formal meal. Also consider the requirements of your guests ? are any of them vegetarian or do they have religious food needs? You could also consider whether or not your event will have a theme as some caterers specialize in that sort of thing.
Your next task to make a list of all the caterers who could do the job. It?s a good idea to get recommendations from friends or colleagues as word of mouth can often be the best advertising. If you have a florist or hired venue for your event, you should also ask them if there are any good caterers they work with regularly as they often have established professional relationships. Failing that, you can get a comprehensive list of caterers from the internet or your phone book.
Now you need to whittle down your list of caterers to a few top choices. Work through the list and call each option, making sure you tell them as much as you can about your event so they can give you an informed response as to whether they?d be able to accommodate you. Also make sure they?re insured and hold liquor licenses if necessary, and make sure that they can work within your budget. Ask them lots of questions so you get a feel for them and their work.
Next, eliminate all the unsuitable options from your list. Then arrange face-to-face meetings with all the remaining caterers to talk about the event and your needs in detail. Look at photographs of their previous events and get them to come up with a catering proposal. Then you can compare several options and make sure you?re getting the best deal available. All good caterers will be happy to accommodate you, so this can be a good test as well as letting you see at a glance which option is best.
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