Five Things to Know Before Meeting with an Event Caterer

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Anyone who has planned an event or is doing so now knows how difficult it is to pull everything together in time for the big day. One way to cut down on time and stress is by hiring event planning and catering services to take care of the menu. An events and catering company can also help by taking care of decor, table arrangements, and food presentation. The caterer brings in a team of cooks, servers, cleaners, and dishwashers to help manage the food, and they are also aware of the client’s schedule, serving customs, and food safety regulations.

Before meeting with a caterer, it’s necessary to have a good idea of what the event will entail — including guest lists, party theme, food allergies, and budget considerations. The best event planner will have lots of experience and knowledge about the catering business, and they can help you make choices about event menus. If you’re thinking of hiring event planning and catering services, here are a few things to consider before you sign a contract with a company.

    1. What is the purpose of the event?
    Is this a professional gathering where business talks will occur? Or is it a casual get together with old friends? If the event serves to facilitate business deals or other work-related decisions, this might affect what the menu includes. It’s important to consider why the event is happening before you decide if alcohol will be served and what the dining options will be.

    2. Who will be attending?
    Do any of the guests have special dietary needs like food allergies, vegan or vegetarian diets? It’s important to make sure the caterer knows about any dietary accommodations long before the event so they can plan the menu accordingly.

    3. Is there a theme?
    If this is a themed party — like high tea in London or a Mexican fiesta in the summer — the caterer can offer suggestions on food and drinks that fit in with the theme. They can also give ideas for what themes to choose for the type of event and the guests that will attend.

    4. What’s the budget?
    Usually clients who are having an event catered don’t have a blank check to write for catering services, especially because there are other costs associated with planning an event. Have a clear budget planned that outlines expenses for everything — not just catering and dining — and work within your budget when meeting with a caterer. Serving alcohol can be expensive, so think about this before you opt for an open bar.

    5. What about dessert?
    Not all events need an extravagant dessert menu, but it can be a special treat. Tiered cakes have been popular in the past, but lots of people have started to choose the less costly alternative of cupcakes, cake pops, or pies. This unusual choice is sure to be noticed by the guests.

Have you recently hired event planning and catering services and have any advice for someone who is trying to decide whether they should cater an event? If you have any thoughts please leave a comment below. More.

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