If you’re hosting a big event and hiring a caterer, you need to do your homework. Food and drink will likely consume a big portion of your budget. Doing your due diligence before you sign a catering contract will help you make the best decision for your event and make it a great success. Here are 4 questions to ask a caterer before hiring them.
1: Has the caterer done events at the same venue before?
If you’re hiring a local caterer and your venue is nearby, there’s a good chance the caterer has worked the venue before. If so, they’ll have insider knowledge regarding the ins and outs of the building, kitchen, and dining area.
If the caterer has never worked your venue, or you’re having the event at your home or other private building, you’ll need to consider the logistics and talk about it with the caterer and his staff. By ironing out all the details before the big day, you and the caterer can ensure everything runs smoothly.
2: Ask for food choice suggestions based on your budget and party size?
You may already have food choices in mind before you start looking for a caterer? That’s okay, but it’s always a good choice to ask the caterer what they would recommend for your event. When asking for food choice suggestions, it’s important to be realistic about your budget and the size of your party. Caterers work events all year long, which gives them the experience to know how much food you will need and what types of foods work best for certain party types and venues.
3: Will the food be prepared on-site? Or brought in prepared?
Another question you need to know is whether the food and drink will be brought to your venue prepared, or if it will need to be prepared on-site? If the food needs to be prepared on-site, you and the caterer will need to work together to determine if there is appropriate space and appliances to handle the job.
If the food will be brought to the venue prepared, it’s vital you determine how it will be kept until it’s time to be served. Specifically, is there enough freezer and refrigerator space at the venue to handle the prepared food, or will appliances need to be brought in.
4: Are health department permits required for the venue and event?
Before you sign the contract, it’s important to discuss permits, license requirements, and catering liability insurance. If any permits are required, you should make sure to have it in writing who is responsible for obtaining and paying for permits and liability insurance.
Ask any caterer the four questions above before you hire them. By ironing out the details, you’ll have peace of mind and be better prepared to entertain your guests and enjoy your event.