From weddings to formal business meetings, asking the right questions to caterers ensures your event goes well from start to finish. The food at any formal event is critical to get right. It will make an impression on those who enjoy it (or may not enjoy it) for weeks to come. If this evening means a great deal to you or your business, focus on offering a menu that gets taste buds happy and keeps people interested. It all starts with hiring the right professionals to prepare those foods for you.
Basic Questions to Ask
The first step is to discuss with caterers some basics about your needs. You can do this right over the phone. Ensure the professional has your date open and is not scheduling too many events into one week, especially not leading up to your own. You also want to ensure the professional can come to your location and has ample staff to handle the size and scope of your event. You may also want to ask about experience and reputation at this point. Get these immediate questions out of the way even before you decide to setup an appointment.
The whole reason you are bringing these professionals in is to ensure they offer your guests an enjoyable menu. That means the food is the center focus of your questions when you do meet the chef or banquet manager. Discuss your budget and menu options that fit within it. Ask about event packages that may reduce costs and offer more variety. You may also want to consider the availability of vegan, vegetarian, kosher, and other dietary restriction options the caterer can offer.
Then, discuss the food details. For example, is it bought fresh or frozen? Do you have a range of menu options to select from or are you limited? What type of service does the company offer, such as buffet, table side and family style, and what about children's meals? How many people are working in the kitchen for your event and, most importantly, what type of training do those individuals have?
Gathering information like this ensures you can rest assured that the finished product is going to be something that you are confident in serving to your guests. You should have plenty of variety to select from but at the same time, you should be working with a chef that can offer samples and opinions about what is appropriate for your event. You do want to sit down to a formal taste testing, but unless you ask these questions first then there is little benefit to doing that. Talk about your options and work with caterers to get the menu just right before you move on.