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7 Things You Need to Know Before Hiring a Caterer

by dan.p (follow)
Price Range
How much do you have to spend on your event? This is an important consideration as youíll want to know exactly what your budget is so you donít unnecessarily contact caterers who might well be out of it. The more people you plan to cater for, the more expensive the event will become, so if youíre on a shoestring budget but still want to have a lot of guests, you might have to do some careful planning.

All caterers are different and most will have different menu selections. Youíll want to obtain a detailed list of the sort of foods you can expect from your caterer to make sure that youíll be providing the right food for your guests. Price is also a factor in this. Filet Mignon will cost more than cheerios on toothpicks, so be aware of how fancy the food your caterer will be providing is.

plate of food
Image from http://abfabcatering.com.au/

If at all possible try to taste the selection the caterers youíre looking at offer. Even if you canít make it to the business itself for a tasting, at least ask if they offer tasting for clients. If they say no, then some definite red flags are being raised. Any caterer who refuses to let their clients taste their options probably has something to hide.

Most caterers have a speciality. There are companies which will specialise in very different foods. If youíre organising a black tie reception, you wonít want to hire a fish and chip shop to handle the catering. Just because a business has ďWE CATERĒ hanging in their window doesnít mean theyíre right for you or your event.

When you hire a caterer, you can generally rest assured that food will be included, however when it comes to extras different businesses can offer very different packages. Some may include china, linen, silverware and other extras in their price. The more extras that are included, generally the more upmarket the caterer will be, and correspondingly the higher the price will be.

If youíre holding the event at your own home then understanding the extras that are included is very important as youíll need to work out what youíll have to provide yourself. If youíre holding the function at a specific venue, then these things may be provided by the venue, and youíll have to speak with them and the caterer to be sure everything is accounted for.

Itís important not to leave your decision to book a caterer until the last second. Not only will doing so make things more stressful, but you might also discover to your displeasure that your first choice caterer is booked up for the time that you need them.

Make sure you contact the caterers well in advance so, if you should happen to pick one that has a busy schedule, you can be assured that theyíll be available on the dates you need. If you donít then you might be forced to settle for your second, third, or even fourth choice, which would hardly be ideal.

Set Up
Proper communication with your caterer is essential. If you donít have that, then you might find they turn up at a time you werenít expecting, go to the wrong venue, or set up in a way youíre not happy with. talk with your caterer to make sure everything goes smoothly and plays out exactly as you envisioned.
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