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Catering is one of the most important aspects of a special function. Choosing the right caterer is of utmost importance as it could mean the event being a roaring success or a complete failure. In most cities and even small towns are endless numbers of catering companies. Here are some tips that will help you choose the right caterer.
- He or she should supply a tasting menu so that you can get a good idea about what can be expected. Most allow free tastings and samplings of their food.
- The caterer should meet your needs and accommodate your wishes with regards the menu, the dishes, the ingredients and the venue. However, some caterers are very picky and may not be accommodating when certain dishes or some venues are considered. Some venues have a preferred caterer list. The caterer also may or may not be willing to accommodate needs where certain ingredients are concerned and so it is best to check this prior to hiring them.
- The caterer should be able to provide you with references so that you can get reviews from their past customers. You should also ask your family and friends who have experienced good catering services in the past.
- The caterer should know the latest trends, the ingredients to be used, the preparation styles and the presentation of various dishes.
- Not all caterers cater to all kinds of cuisines or even all kinds of events. Therefore, before you hire the caterer you should find out their specialty and their expertise. In addition to that, you should also find out if they will be able to accommodate the needs of your guests especially those who have allergies or are on specific diets or even who are either vegan or vegetarian.
- Caterers should be asked if they will be able to handle additional requests and requirements such as setting up of the bar or having warming or chilling stations. This is good to decide beforehand so they will be prepared with the required equipment to do so.
- You can judge the caterer and what he will offer based on his or her responsiveness as well as how interested he or she is during your conversations with them. If he or she provides the best price, claims to use the freshest ingredients but does not return calls or emails and is not willing to accept new ideas or criticism, it is best to look for other alternatives that are more cooperative with the customers.
Before you choose a caterer, get at least 3 quotes from various caterers. There are some that only have set menus which they allow the customer to choose from, whereas others are more flexible with their catering services. Based on the event at hand, the guests attending and how particular they are regarding specific items on the menu, you can either go ahead with them or find other alternatives who can do so.
Finally, it is important that all details are included in the contract. The details will not only include selected menu, the servings, the people who are to be served, the bar service and beverages to be offered, the pricing as well as the terms in case the service is to be cancelled by either the caterer or the client. It is also of prime importance to have an insurance cover as there could be accidents or other such problems during the catering.