Choosing the right catering service is a tough decision for many event planners, especially when they have to fit a budget, a theme and meet the guests’ expectations. Here are 5 steps you should follow to help you make your decision.
Set a specific budget for catering
When selecting a caterer, setting a budget is a crucial first step to make a good choice. Indeed, having a precise idea of your budget will help with the decision-making process and narrow down your choices. A large budget will enable you to consider a wider range of caterers, while a tight budget will direct you towards a more restricted number of options.
You should take into account the following questions:
- What’s your overall budget?
- How many guests are you expecting?
- What kind of meal would you like?
- Would you like a seated dinner or a buffet service?
- What is the standing for your meal?
As trivial as they seem, those questions will help you narrow down your options.
Feel free to ask several caterers for a quotation so that you can compare their prices, their services, and make a choice more easily.
Choose a caterer in line with the theme of your event
Another useful tip is to select a caterer that is a good fit with the theme of your event. As obvious as this piece of advice may seem, it shouldn’t be neglected. the right caterer must be able to handle your specific type of event, be consistent with the theme, and customize the menu based on your event’s requirements. For instance, if the theme of your event is related to the environment, a nice touch would be to select a caterer who works with organic products and uses environment-friendly material. If your event showcases a specific culture or country, you might want to choose a caterer who specializes in this type of food.
Check the caterer’s references
To ensure everything runs smoothly on your big day, it is crucial to find a trustworthy caterer who will not fall short of your expectations. Indeed, many things could go wrong: a short-staffed team, too much waiting time between meals, or a low supply could easily put a strain on your event. In order to avoid such issues, seeking out caterers with a reputation for excellent food and service is critical. The best way to get an idea of what they’re worth is to look at their references and find out what their former clients have to say about them. Online tools such as blogs, forums or social networks are useful in that regard. You can also ask your acquaintances for their opinions and recommendations. Make sure not to skip this step: it will help you avoid bad experiences during your event.
Take into account your guests’ restrictions and requirements
Selecting the menu isn’t an easy task. Every person has different tastes or requires special accommodations, either because of food intolerances or cultural specificities, and the caterer you choose should be suitable to satisfy all your guests. The easiest way to do that is to reference your guests’ special requirements and to forward them to your caterer, who can then adapt the menu accordingly or offer some alternatives. A good solution would be to select a caterer who offers a large selection of varied meals, so that there’s something suitable for every guest.
Taste the menu
Then comes the best part of choosing a caterer: sampling the menu! Most of the time, you will have to pay for these tastings, but we strongly recommend them, as trying out a caterer’s food is the best way for you to know what the caterer can do and be sure of your choice. It will also enable you to select a menu that would best meet your expectations and requirements for the event. Furthermore, it gives you a chance to discuss with the caterer and give them some recommendations. Feel free to attend several tasting sessions with various caterers so that you can compare their services in terms of quantity, taste, and menu and see for yourself which one is best suited for your event.
In short, to ensure everything will run smoothly during your event, you should allocate a specific budget for catering, and then choose a caterer in line with the theme of your event and your guests’ expectations but most importantly who has good references. Finally, to settle on your choice, attending tastings is the best way to sample the menu, compare different caterers and select the one that is better suited for your event.
We hope these few tips will help you find the right caterer for your event!