Catering is the most memorable part of any event. Guests may not remember what you wore or what the room looked like, but they will remember what they ate. Get your food planning started right with these important event catering tips.
Planning The Right Food For The Event
We may not admit it, but food selections get decided when you create your goals and budget.
Make sure you are considering what time of the day your event is taking place. You wouldn’t provide just cookies and punch when it was dinnertime.
Serve the right food for the right event. Hint: Don’t serve food that needs a knife if the event is all standing and mingling.
Consider your food options when you are planning your menu. Hint: If you are serving a seafood buffet, have an alternative for those who don’t like seafood.
How To Prepare For Meeting With A Caterer
Get the list: Most of the time if caterers are allowed, the venue may have a list of preferred caterers they recommended. To see if caterers are approved, check with your venue.
Know what you want: Before going to you your first meeting, have menu examples. Find samples online or go through your perspective caterers. Have in mind if you want a buffet style or a sit-down meal. Hors d’oeuvres versus a full meal. China service or disposable service. If you are unable to research what you are looking for, ask the question, what are your recommendations? You might even want to know how big the portion sizes are. And last, Can I count on not running out of food.
How can you tell if the caterer can meet your needs? It will be by their initial responsiveness, attention to detail and openness to menu changes. And this may give you the idea how they will perform throughout the length of your contract.
Negotiate the extras: What is included with the venue? Will the caterer provide chairs/tables, linens, china/tableware, table/buffet décor, and etc.? It is important to determine the pricing for these items so that you can decide whether to include them in your catering contract or look for other vendors. Start by asking these 20 questions for hiring catering services.
Stretch the budget: If you are trying to make your dollars stretch, try choosing heavy hors d’oeuvres instead of a traditional meal. Also, mixing hors d’oeuvres with live action stations may suffice.
Consider the theme: If you want the caterer to match your theme for the evening, then you are going to need to be upfront with your budget. You can always negotiate. All the caterer wants to know is how much you have budgeted for your event. Without disclosing your budget, it is a stab in the dark what you are going to spend on food.