Choosing an event catering company
Whether you’re having an elegant wedding for 250 or a small corporate event for 10 people, you want a memorable, meaningful experience.
Finding just the right caterer to manage your event’s food and beverages is an important part of your planning process and should be one of the first companies you hire. With so many options for foodservice, it’s important to have an idea of what you’re looking for when you start planning.
Find your venue first
We recommend looking first for your venue as that will dictate many other details, including potentially your caterer. Some venues require you to choose their own in-house caterer or perhaps choose from a list of approved companies. Even if you are allowed to hire any caterer you choose, you need to know the requirements of the facility before getting caterer quotes.
For something as important as a caterer, never just do a blind search. Get recommendations from others who have hosted a similar type of event. That’s an important part to remember as each event type has its own unique variables.
Compare apples to apples
No, we don’t mean the fruit! Look at the websites for each caterer you want to research and compare their details including rates, amenities, rules, menu options, location, and any other information you think is important. This will help you narrow down which companies to contact for more information and to check availability.
In many cases, such as for a wedding, you will want to meet the caterer in person and do a tasting. For smaller, more corporate events, you may not find that step necessary.
Either way, you need to ask questions to determine which of your narrowed down choices will be the best for you. You need to find out:
- Their experience with your specific type of event? If they have never done a large wedding like yours, you might not want to be their first. It goes both ways; if they specialize in big weddings and you’re having a corporate retreat, you might want to move on to another choice.
- Can they work easily with the venue? Can they accommodate set-up hours and other requirements from the venue? Have they worked in that kitchen and event space before?
- Can they easily handle your event or are they squeezing you in? You don’t want to be the event that gets shortchanged on staff or other availability.
- Where do they source their food? We try to get as much food as possible from local farmers and vendors. We believe that provides more reliability and quality.
- What experience do they have with various special requests? Will your vegetarian guests get a better meal than a salad? How well can they accommodate gluten-free and any other food allergens or sensitivities?
- How many options do they offer? Do they have just two or three ideas for you to choose from?
- Can they work with your budget? How much flexibility can they offer with your financial constraints and how much interest do they show in trying to create the best value for you?
Once you choose a caterer and sign a contract, make sure you stay in communication with them about any changes, deadlines, and any other information they need to know about your event.
Our catering team has worked on many types of events of a wide range of sizes. We love offering a variety of menus to meet every taste. We would love to talk to you about your special event catering needs.