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Picking a Caterer for Your Event

Whatever event you’re planning on – a wedding, a fundraiser, a business expo, etc. – it’s important to choose the right caterer. We all know how important food is! But what do you look for in an event caterer?

If you’re a new to all this, here are tips that can help:

Finding Prospects

Being a newbie, you have to start from below. That means asking for referrals from friends or relatives, as well as reading reviews online. If you have selected a venue, you can ask the management for help.

Inspecting the Premises

This is a critical consideration. Before booking any catering service, take a look around their kitchen. The area must be organized and sanitary, period. Otherwise, you’ll only be putting your health and that of your guests in danger.

Reviewing the Menu

Not all caterers are suitable for all types of events, and certainly, you’ll want one that fits your needs to a T. During your meeting, discuss any menu ideas you may have in your mind. They should be open to your inputs, or you can look for another prospect. If you or anyone attending the event has food allergies or whatever dietary restrictions, discuss them too.

Staffing

If you’re not sure about the number of people you need in your staff, here’s a cheat sheet:

> With buffets, two servers for 30 guests is the norm. If you have a larger group, you’ll need two or three more runners for restocking chafing stations and clearing dishes.

> For a sit-down meal, one server per table of eight is good enough, but do add more servers for the drinks service.

>If you have a bar, it should be okay to have one bartender for every 50 guests, plus more bartenders if you want to add specialty drink stations.

> A captain of service should be available for every six staff members.

Testing the Menu

Professional caterers usually provide menu tasting for their clients. The whole world may think their food is great, but unless you do, they’re not right for you. The menu should be completely your choice, and of course, you have to like their food.

Cost

You shouldn’t choose a caterer just because they’re cheap, but cost is and always will be an important consideration nonetheless. Be direct about how much you plan to spend, and make sure the quote already includes everything. Finally, as about any hidden additional fees before you sign the contract. That’s far from the surprise you’ll want.

As you can conclude, you’ll have to spend some time searching for a good caterer. But rest assured it will be time well spent.

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