13 Catering Questions to Ask When Choosing a Wedding Venue

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Catering is important as a large part of any event or party revolves around food. The food you present to your guests can either make or break your event, hence investing in a catering company is the best way out. Hiring an experienced catering company will not only save your time but also take off a huge burden from your shoulders by providing delicious food and quality service.

A wedding is one of the most special events in everyone’s life. Everyone wants their wedding to be perfect and memorable. But planning a wedding can be a tedious task as it involves a lot of things to do, from venue to decoration, catering and many more. Catering services can be one of the most important services to plan and execute. Catering services may also be offered by the venue that you choose.

When it comes to the making or breaking of an event there are certain qualities that you should consider such as the favor and appearance of the food and the beverages that you serve to your guests. There is a lot of ridding decision that you have to take in order to decide which caterers you should hire as amazing careering can rescue an event that has hit the rocks but a bad catering can make a successful event go wrong. The caterers that you choose is also a significant budgetary decision that you have to make as it can influence how much money you can spend on the other areas depending on the food casts and quantities. You should keep looking for the tips for the affordable catering service. As some times the caterers can be very dramatic in their pricing and the types of meals and services they offer, and the process of making and serving various dishes. 

 These are the top thing that you should keep in mind before hiring a catering service.

1. Consider your personal need and their responsiveness.

catering services man and women

One of the things that you can acknowledge is that how responsive is the caters in their first conversation with the customers. The first conversation can be a major indicator of the of well a catering service will perform during the length of their contact with you. Most of the event organizing services claim to have the best tasting food menu with fresh ingredients at the most competitive price. Although there seems to be an insignificant factor when compared with the overall taste and cost this actually shows how much is the crater truly concerned with fulfilling the customers need and ensuring that the customers are satisfied and pleased with both their products and services. In your first conversation with your caters, you should be expecting to talk and ask questions for 20% of your time and you give the answers and cater outlining your needs about 80% of the time. It is said that if the caters is not asking questions about your event then they may see you simply the next client. The event organizing services should be interred in learning about your event and they should be asking about your theme, the purpose, budget and goals.

2. Flexibility towards the menu options.

Every caterer has a standard menu or a set of pre-establish menus that you can choose from. However, many caterers provide some level of flexibility to adapt your needs by substituting specific items in the industry and customizing others. It is a convention that any caters who has been in the industry for quite a few times know what they are doing and should have a few different menu options that are constantly being updated and changing to keep up with the current trends. As the standout caters will go beyond the standardized menu option and will ne willing to create the amazing fare that matches even more specific, and customary needs. You should always keep in mind to make your caters completely understand your event and your needs and choices so they you get the best, wonderful and successful event as you planed. You may clearly ask your caters whether they will work for the special significance to the style or theme of your events or can they prepare vegetarian, kosher, or chicken’s meals for your guests.

3. Willingness to provide a tasting.

how will you ever know how good or useless a caterer is before you sample their goods and more specifically how will you decide what items from the menu are you considering adding in your wedding menu. Sometimes people shy away from asking to sample the specific items that they want for their event because it seems like a bit of hassle for the caterer, but it is standard and mandatory to ask for the sampling of what you are intending to order before you sign the final contract.

3. Expert chefs and prepared staff members.

Food items and the menu list are the most requisite part of any occasion and it becomes more special when the occasion is your wedding. Catering services can have flavorful food just from the experienced chef and talented staff in the kitchen. If you are planning to opt for the event buffet sustenance and traditional dinners and so away request additional staff which is required to be more skillful and experienced. Your cooks and chefs must have the capability to allow the staff as indicated by requisite. When you will be provided with a contract from the catering company to acquire some of the information about these varies make some requests on the experience and skill of the sheaves and assess the quality of the customers. A good event organizing service will understand all your needs and will provide you appropriate services.

4. A well-defined cancellation plan.

Although there will be the least chances of your event getting cancelled you should set a well-defined cancellation plan with your caterers as there might occur some chances that you might have to postpone your event or may have to book another catering service. In such instances a well-defined cancellation plan can be of the utmost advantage to avoid any types of loss for you as well as your caters, you should get detailed information on how your caters will handle cancellation and make sure that it’s included in your final contract.

But there are many times when the catering services are provided by the event organizing services included with their venue option. There are many options that are provided the best catering service along with your venue, but you always need to consider some questions you might ask before choosing a Venue.

5. Ask about how much they are knowledgeable about the food.

Caters who provide good catering services should be aware of their own products inside and out. A catering company that is unable to tell that either they used nuts or garlic in their recipes is of no good. these are the pure signs of inattentiveness and loss of awareness about the demands and needs of the customers. While the caterers who are exactly well aware of their products and services, how a dish is prepared and all the latest trends in the food preparation and presentation is a sigh that attention will be played to every detail.

6. how many people can they accommodate and make arrangements available for them.

It is not a good idea to estimate how many people a particular venue can accommodate by just merely looking at the size of the hall. It is important to estimate the correct numbers for your guests as close as possible as it will help the event organizing service providers to plan and organize your event or wedding accordingly. You should ask the wedding venue managers in clear and straight terms about the maximum number of guests that can be accommodated in the venue.

7. what all services they are providing?

When you are looking for suitable caters for your wedding or event it should be important for you to know and understand what services you are getting at this price. Apart from the food, what are the other services that you are paying for? These may include the things like the table-side water service, wine pouring, and tray-passing appetizers are the various aspects of meals that you should also consider as they contribute to the overall experience of your wedding meals. You should also enquire about the various food decorations and fancy cocktails drinks which might be also included in your whole catering package.

8. what services are not included?

Just as it is important to know what all services are you paying for, but it is also important to know bout the services you are not getting in the quoted price. Some services might not be included in the selected package such as cutting and serving the cake, pouring champagne for the toast, providing coffee services and taking care of set-up and break-down that might happen. So it is important to discuss all these services while meeting with the caters and think about the services that you might need on the big day. Having a clear understanding of what the quoted price covers will also help you compare caterers and make an appropriate decision. You can also consider tips for affordable catering services.

9. what is the server-to-guest ratio?

According to your estimated value for the guests, the catering services can dawn uses the following ratios of servers to guests for various types of wedding meals. However, these numbers do not include chefs, cooks, bussers or bartenders. If you are planning for the buffet which serves 18-25 guests however buffets are also customer sable according to the guests and can be made available for 20,00-30,000 guest if you are planning for a large-scale event. Family style catering is available for 15-20 guests and is suitable for intimate gatherings between close family members and friends. Plated style is usually suitable for mid-large-scale events and gatherings where caterers will charge for each plate according to your guests. 

10. what is their catering experience?

Having experience in catering services is very beneficial as they will provide you with experienced chefs and staff to handle your event with utmost professionalism. However having experienced at your particular venue will be definitely a plus point for you, but even if a potential caterer has never done any event at your wedding venue, they should get ready with a plan for how well will they execute your catering in the new space. Caterers typically speak with the venue to learn more about the setup and will visit beforehand if anything unusually complicated pop-up.

11. is the food available fresh?

Your chef should prepare your menu for YOU! catering menu should be made by hand, individually, not pressed from a machine or opened frozen from a box. Fish should be purchased fresh, not received frozen, and your desserts should be made by pastry chefs not ordered from a list.

12. what are the terms and conditions?

When reviewing a contract, make sure you read and understand terms and conditions. There are 3 main questions you need to ask:

  1. Payment schedule. Most catering companies will ask you for a deposit. It might be a fixed amount or a percentage of the total invoice. Sometimes they will charge another portion prior to the event, and the remaining balance right after the function when all the charges are finalized.
  2. Cancellation policy. What happens if your need to cancel your event? Will you lose the deposit? Be very clear of the cancellation policy and get everything in writing.
  3. Changes to the guest count and menu. When is cut-off date for making the changes to the menu and number of guests? Normally a catering company will require all the information 72 hours prior to the event.

13. how much staff is available?

Before you sign any contracts, make sure the caterer you choose has the staff required to fully service your event. The number of staff you need will depend on the size and nature of your event, so discuss your plans with the head of catering to ensure that your needs can be met.

If you are unsure how much staff you will need, use the following cheat sheet as a guide.

  • Buffet – Assume two servers for every thirty guests. For large groups you should also figure two or three additional runners to clear dishes and restock chafing stations.
  • Sit Down Dinners – For sit down meals, you should assume one server per table of eight, with additional servers to handle drinks service.
  • Bar Staff – Figure on at least one bartender, and one bar-back, for every fifty guests. Additional bartenders may be needed if you plan on featuring specialty drink stations.

Keep in mind you will also need a captain of the service for every six members of staff to overseas service and ensure that everything runs smoothly. Before choosing a caterer, make sure they can supply all of the staff you need on the day.

ALSO READ: What are the challenges in the Catering business?

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