You are supposed to read the fine print when you want to hire a company for event catering. This is primarily due to the reason that most of these companies will claim that they are full service, but the reality is a different story. Be warned! Those who claim to be a full-service company ask some questions explicitly to clarify whether or not serving the bar, putting on the chair covers, and most importantly taking the responsibility for cleaning up is included in their service. Apart from that you should always double check the contract and read between the lines before making your deposit.
You may come across a separate service fee, but do not be alarmed at it. Ask what such fees are for and what it covers. Usually, the service fee excludes gratuity which is at the customer’s discretion and includes all overhead expenses like,
- pre-event meeting with the chef
- the armada of refrigerated trucks
- loading of truck
- event specialists assigned for your event
- polishing and washing supplies after the event
- buffet design element including floral decorations
- any breakage of elements due to mishandling or during travel
- time taken by the staffs to coordinate with the local fire department for an inspection
Sample the Food
An event catering service provider will offer you with a wide choice of menu and will also give you an opportunity to customize your meal and treat your guests with exquisite and unique dishes of high quality. But you should make it a point to taste their food and have a look at their presentation of the palate. Meet the chef and find out how the food is prepared, the cooking medium and how far he or she is flexible.
Check for References
You will always be given a list of the most happy and satisfied customers when you ask for a few references from the event catering company. It is advised that you take out some time to check with such references given to know the actual story and gain valuable insights about the quality of service as well as food supplied by the catering company.
Simply do not ask the references how they feel but include other relevant and significantly important questions. A few good questions could be:
- What the caterer does best
- How many times they have hired the caterer
- What did they like best about the catering service
- Is there anything they would like to change for their next event?
Photos of Services
You should request for photos of a few occasions that the event catering company has worked for. This will give you an idea about how they set up usually and check whether you like the service ware, finishing touches, style and use of space.
Also discuss about the available services as a full-service caterer will be able to pull everything together and organize all the vendors. Check whether their services match with your needs. Ideally hiring a full-service company is a good idea as that will take away the hassles of coordinating and arranging for tables, chairs, linens, floral, and decor. Other advantages are:
- Professional assistance
- Hassle free service
- Assured event success
- Variety in platter
- Time and cost saving
Decide on A Menu
Finally, when you are sure to hire a specific event catering company, you should decide on the menu. Know and follow the basics, the time, whether you want lunch boxes of plated food, guest’s expectation and your budget.
With all such considerations made, chances are less that you will pick up a wrong company for your next event.