When it comes to your event, you want everything to be perfect, especially the food. Hiring an event caterer is a big decision and one that shouldn't be taken lightly. Before you sign on the dotted line, here are six important questions to ask your potential caterer.
1. What type of events have you catered in the past?
Make sure you're hiring an event caterer with experience in the type of event you're planning. If you're having a formal sit-down dinner, you'll want to hire a caterer who has done this before and can provide references. Additionally, you need to ask how experienced their team is. You want a professional, experienced wait staff that works for the caterer on a regular basis, not college students hired at the spur of the moment.
2. What is included in the quoted price?
Be clear about what services are included in your private event caterer contract. Will the caterer provide tableware, linens, or other rentals? Are there additional charges for set-up or breakdown? What about staffing costs? Make sure you understand exactly what you're getting for your money.
Furthermore, make sure you understand how much food will be provided. There is nothing worse than running out of food at a buffet wedding. Make sure there is a certain amount of overage to allow for hungry guests.
3. Can you accommodate any special dietary needs of the guests?
If you have guests with special dietary needs, it's important to make sure your caterer can accommodate them. Ask about the options they can provide for guests who are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or have other food allergies or sensitivities. In fact, if you have multiple people attending your event that have peanut allergies, you may ask your event caterer if they can provide a peanut-free event as a safety precaution.
4. What is your cancellation policy?
Life happens, and sometimes events need to be canceled or rescheduled. Find out what the cancellation policy is for your caterer, and make sure you're comfortable with it before you sign a contract. Ask for specifics if you do not understand the policy.
5. What is the policy on payment schedules?
Most caterers will require a deposit to hold your date, and then the balance is due closer to the event date. Find out when payments are due and what form of payment the caterer accepts. Furthermore, most event caterers require a final headcount a week or two before the big day, which could alter the final payment amount.
6. Do you have insurance?
In the unlikely event that something goes wrong, you'll want to make sure your caterer is insured. Ask for a copy of their insurance policy and make sure it covers your event date and location.
By asking these questions up front, you can be confident that you're hiring a caterer who will meet your needs and help make your event a success. Contact an event caterer near you for more information.