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Five Essential Things You Should Consider Before Hiring a Caterer

by Carolyn Lee Dec 19, 2022

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Birthdays, dinner parties, corporate functions, and weddings are a few events that might require the services of an experienced and professional caterer. Since food is a crucial part of events, it helps to know what to look for when choosing a caterer that is right for you.

Five things you should consider when choosing a caterer

The event location matters: Will your caterer have to travel to a remote location to cater for the event? Is there an onsite kitchen, or will they need to build one? If the caterer you select doesn’t typically work events in your area, they might have challenges. It helps to choose a caterer who is familiar with your venue or one like it.

Look at customer reviews, and check references: When searching for a caterer, it helps to speak with someone who has worked with the caterer. The person recommending the caterer can give you an idea of how they work and what to expect. Try to get several recommendations and double-check references. Reviews can be helpful but be mindful that some comments might be biased or unfair. Your goal is to hire a caterer to ensure your event goes well.

Decide what you need for the event: Whether it is a dinner, birthday party, or corporate function, decide on the number of people attending, the budget, and if staff is required. You should also let the caterer know if you need tables and chairs and the amount. Think about what you want on the menu and check with guests beforehand to determine if they have any food-related allergies. Also, give the caterer an idea of how you want the food served. Will you need a buffet, sit-down dinner, or a bar?

Five Essential Things You Should Consider Before Hiring a Caterer

Request a tasting from the caterer: A tasting is beneficial in helping you decide what you need on the menu. It also gives you an idea of how the food might be prepared and presented at your event. During the tasting, pay attention to food quality, presentation, service, flavour, and options available. Some caterers may charge a fee for tasting. A charge might also be applied if they customise items on the menu or if you have a large group present.

Flexibility is crucial: Some caterers will share their menus for you to select what you need or try to fulfil a menu you share with them. Preferences and some food allergies can cause challenges, so ensure you mention those during the initial stages when meeting with potential caterers. Allow the caterer to share how they handle unexpected challenges. Their response will let you know their level of flexibility and problem-solving ability.

What else should you expect?

The caterer must be at the event ahead of time to set up the food and assist with serving. The meal should be fresh when served, with servers paying attention to special food requests, especially for people with allergies.

We hope these tips help you find a caterer that suits your needs. Please use our Find Yello listings to search for caterers, catering companies, and related services.

Sources: Medium, Social Tables, David Alan Caterer, LinkedIn, and Lisa Dupar Catering.