Shopping for a caterer, well any vendor really, is just like shopping for the perfect dress. You may have to try on a few different ones before finding the right one. You have to find one that not only looks (or tastes in this case!) good, but it feels right. Not just do you like the way it tastes, but do you like the presentation and the people you would be working with? So, what’s the best way to make sure you’ve found the right caterer? Ask these top five questions!
How many weddings have you done and have you worked at my venue?
You want to make sure your wedding day vendor team is composed of experienced professionals. At Bustld, we require all of our listed caterers to have worked at least 10 weddings to ensure they are qualified. For a caterer it’s super helpful if they have worked at your venue before. This way they will know what kind of kitchen they are working with, loading in and out and any restrictions. It’s not a deal breaker if they haven’t worked there before but make sure they know everything they should ahead of time.
What kind of services do you offer?
Each caterer will have different packages. Some will offer just food preparation, some will offer food service and clean up on top of that and some will even have complete full service, including linen rentals and place settings. Find out what the packages include in regard to all of that, as well as the number of hours on site, travel to your venue, number of staff, etc. It’s also important to ask if there is a minimum. Meaning do you have to commit to a certain amount or spend in order to book them.
How many weddings do you take on in one weekend?
Some companies have multiple teams, so if they take more than one wedding a weekend understand how it’s broken down. If it is a smaller company with only a few staff and they take more than one wedding on one given day, that might raise a red flag.
Can you serve alcohol?
If you plan to have any sort of bar at your wedding, find out the options your caterer has when it comes to alcohol. Are they licensed to serve? Do they provide the alcohol, or can you provide it yourself? Is there a charge if you provide it yourself? If they provide the alcohol, find out what kind of packages they offer and the different pricing options.
What kind of food options do you have? Can I see a sample menu?
Now, onto the food. For starters, find out what the options are whether that be buffet, stations or plated. Do they specialize in one over the other? What’s their most popular food choice? Can they customize things? Also, if you are concerned about organic ingredients, vegan options or gluten free choices, address that early on. Most caterers will offer a free tasting once you sign a contract so check on their tasting policy.
Still looking for a caterer for your wedding day? Click HERE to find vetted options!
Photo Credit: Red Apple Tree Photography