One of the most critical parts of any wedding is the food and drink. Often, it’s one of the aspects your guests will remember best. Which is why taking care when searching for a caterer is so essential. There many factors to consider when choosing the right caterer for your wedding, we’ll walk you through several of them today.
Plan Your Budget First
Having a clear and concrete idea of what your budget will be is critical for planning the menu for your wedding. Not only will this allow you to knock out anyone that is out of your price range immediately, but your other options will also be better able to craft menu option for you. The more information you give your caterers in advance the fewer surprises you’ll have in the end.
Ask Your Venue
In some cases, venues will offer in house catering services, and almost all will have a list of options they’ve worked with in the past. Knowing who your venue recommends can be a great help as you will be sure that those companies are familiar with the setup and needs of your venue.
Get Multiple Proposals
Having options to choose from can be overwhelming at first, but often the differences can be significant, and you may find that there are some details you find more important than others. Each company will have its own strengths and weaknesses, and by having comparisons, you may be better able to pinpoint them. Additionally, always check what their alcohol policies are. Unless you intend to have a dry wedding, the liquor policies can make a difference.
Clarify the Details
Not all caterers or venues will provide necessary items like chairs, tables, linen or dinnerware. With that in mind, always check with both the venue and the caterers to decide what the best option will be. While it may cost more, having all of these items done by one group can make the day of your wedding significantly easier.
As you get in contact with different catering companies, pay attention to how well or poorly they are able to communicate. Are they slow to respond? Do they get basic details confused in emails and the proposal? Are they giving conflicting information or are they vague? If you answer yes to any of these, it’s likely best just to move on.
Before you head into tastings, it’s time to check into reviews and to look for previous clients. Because tastings will usually be the caterer at their best, seeing the honest reviews of their last clients is the best way to get a better idea of what their service will be like. When possible, search for reviews on third party sites or other removed individuals. It is unlikely that the caterer will give you the reviews of anyone who was not satisfied, but finding negative reviews is just as crucial as glowing ones.
Depending on the caterer you may find yourself in a tricky situation — you need to try their food before you commit, but they want a contract before they put in the work for a tasting. While it is understandable that come caterers would be reluctant, if they put money and manpower into preparing a tasting for a client that doesn’t commit they’ll be out money, it can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are a few ways around this. Many catering companies will hold tastings at bridal expos and shows. These events can be valuable for all sorts of wedding planning, but particularly for finding a caterer. Second, offer to pay a small tasting fee. Not only does this show that you are genuinely interested, but it helps the business stay afloat. If the first two options fail but you are invested in a specific caterer, ask for a clause to be added to your contract that allows you to bail if the food isn’t up to snuff.
Catering by Alan Weiss
If you are ready to hire caterers for your next party or event, then look no further. Our trained professionals are ready and willing to do whatever to make your next event a success. For more information and to view our menu, visit us online or give us a call at 443-394-8338 or 800-459-0009. For tips, tricks, and to see what we have been up to, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube.