Event Caterers

An event caterer is a critical part of your event planning process and can make or break your event. If you choose a reliable caterer, then your guests will remember your event as a success. If your caterer does not come through for you, then your event could be marked as a failure. When you discuss past events with the attendees that were there, one of the most vivid memories is of the food. Whether it is good or bad, a caterer leaves a lasting impression on your guests, which is why you need to find the perfect caterer for your needs.

Choosing the Right Caterer

A good place to start when it comes to your catering search is bridal shows or any other kind of gathering where service providers show off their services to prospective customers. Successful caterers handle a wide variety of events, so do not let the prospects of finding your corporate event caterer at a bridal show intimidate you.

The right caterer for your event has handled an event as large or small as yours, has the kind of menu you want, and has a professional presentation. Remember that the actions of your caterer and their wait staff will reflect on you as the event planner. That is why you should spend a lot of time talking to a lot of caterers before you settle on one.

Always Sample the Food before Hiring the Caterer

Any reputable caterer will be happy to arrange a tasting session for you to help you make your decision. While you may not be able to sample everything from the caterer's menu, you can request certain foods to sample based on the menu you want.

Always clear your palate by taking a drink of water between each sampling. This will allow you to judge each food on its own merits. Small samples are more than adequate for you to make up your mind and you should always ask for a sample from each course that you plan on having on your menu. You can usually base the caterer's quality on the samples you taste.

Quick Tips for Choosing The Right Caterer

Always be wary of hiring caterers who have never performed a service or served a food for large events, but yet say that they can accommodate your needs. For example, if you are a corporate events planner looking for a caterer that can handle 200 guests, then hiring a caterer that has never had more than 50 guests is a huge gamble that may not be worth taking.

When you talk pricing with your caterer, always ask about any special bundles they offer. For example, many caterers have cookie trays that you can buy with a variety of cookies at a reasonable price. Instead of putting together your own cookie tray configuration, you should consider this pre-priced bundle.

Good caterers will present their information to you wearing their uniforms. If you are talking to a caterer in their place of business and they are not wearing uniforms, then that should be a warning sign that the caterer may not value a professional presentation as much as you do. It is a small detail to consider, but it could make a big difference in how your event is received.

Each person's tastes are different and you will want at least two other opinions on the food quality from each caterer before you make up your mind.

Talking Price with Caterers

The caterer you choose will usually have a couple of different pricing structures, but the most common pricing structure is to charge by the plate. The important thing to note here is that the plate count is not the same as the guest count. If you have staff members who will be eating at the event, then they need to be in the plate count as well. Entertainers and any other service provider staff will also expect to be able to eat as well. Prepare your plate count before negotiating price with the caterer so that you know exactly what you are talking about and you are able to get the best possible price.

The caterer you choose for your event will determine how successful your event will be. If you try to go cheap on the caterer, then you will be putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on yourself to pull off a successful event. The best course of action is to start looking for a caterer months before your event date and then spend a great deal of time deciding which caterer you want. The longer you take in making this important decision, the more options you will have and the better your final decision will be.