MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN CHOOSING A CATERING SERVICETo ensure you get the best food catering service without any hiccups on the day of your event, avoid the following rookie mistakes.
1. Caterers’ LicensingLicensing is one of the details that can often be overlooked in the hassle of planning an event. Before you sign on a caterer, ask them for appropriate licenses and permissions. They should ideally have all of these updated and ready for inspection. If you are planning to serve alcohol to the guests, make sure they have the license for that. Talk to the venue as well, so you have the proper approvals from all parties concerned.
2. Caterer’s ExperienceDon’t compromise quality to save costs. Having significant experience in catering is not important only to ensure the food tastes good. It also reflects on how the caterer will communicate with you and if he/she will be able to handle all your demands. Experience with catering also means they will be able to manage any sudden change in plans or unforeseen circumstances. Also read: Tips for a Successful Catering Event
3. Guests’ PreferencesGuests’ preferences are obviously a deciding factor on which caterer you are choosing. Talk to your guests and record their individual preferences if any. There could be people who are vegetarian, vegan, lactose-intolerant, allergic to gluten and any other number of dietary restrictions. Once you have an idea of these, you can collaborate with the caterer accordingly to see if they are willing to accommodate them.
4. Proper TrainingThe catering company needs to have staff that is adequately trained so that nothing is amiss at your event. This includes the chefs who are preparing the food, the wait staff that serves your guests and even the people involved in transporting and setting up the equipment. Check their credentials and training before the event to ensure the correct standards of professionalism. Also, meet the staff who are going to turn up your event in person.
5. Cost EstimationThe costs of a caterer vary widely depending on the services they are providing. Discuss in advance what the caterer is providing you with in terms of quantity of food, tables and chairs, linen, decor, service, etc. Make sure to inquire about any additional overhead costs that could crop up later. Don’t forget to decide the payment plan, i.e., how much has to be paid in advance and how much should be paid after delivery.
6. Requirements of the EventNo two events are the same. Each one has a different style, theme, decor, and venue. The catering company must be willing to go the extra mile and understand your event inside out. They should be detail-oriented and should ideally not mind making any changes to their service according to your requirements. There are different kinds of caterers depending on what you’re looking to get out of the catering service and the type of event. These include corporate caterers, wedding caterers, drop-off service, full-service caterer, concession caterer, etc.
7. Quality of FoodGreat quality of food is admittedly the first thing you are looking for in a catering service. A good caterer uses the freshest ingredients sourced from respected markets, follows excellent hygiene practices and has a talented staff to make delicious food. You should also hire a caterer that has a wide variety of food menus and stays in touch with the latest food trends, so the guests don’t find the food boring and dull. Be sure to sample a tasting menu to get a good idea of the food. Also Read: 10 Food Trends That Will Shape 2018
CONCLUSIONIt is easy to get caught up in the work involved in planning an event and forget to make a thorough check of the catering service you are employing. You can refer to this list and determine the suitability of the catering company you have shortlisted. Good catering contributes to the success of your event in a big way.
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