4 Ways to Vet an Event Caterer
Your caterer can make or break you entire event. After all, for some people it’s all about the food.
How do you make sure you hire one who is an asset instead of a risk factor?
After organizing many events over a space of 17 years I have made enough mistakes to know what not to do. If you don’t get satisfying feedback from your caterer regarding the areas listed below, it’s best you look for another one.
Believe me, I know.
How to Avoid Risks With Hiring Event Caterers
Ask for a Resume
Yes, the company is applying for a position and you have the right to know who you’re hiring.
Ask for detail about:
- The size of events the company handled in the past
- Different cuisine they are comfortable at preparing
- Do they provide cutlery and crockery?
- A list of references from their previous clients
- Photographs of their food presentation
The aesthetic value is as important as the taste especially with corporate events. The more expertise they bring the more stress they take off your shoulders.
Remember your reputation is on the line. If one feature—such as the food—doesn’t live up to guests’ expectations, you’ll be judged accordingly. Ask enough questions so you know you partner with the right service provider.
Do a Taste Test
If a taste test isn’t part of a caterer’s policy there’s something wrong.
Some companies do private taste tests or invite you to join them at another event. A handy feature is when they organize tasting evenings for many potential clients. You can get other people’s input on the dishes. They’ll respond in the same way your guests will.
Yes, vetting takes time and some companies expect additional fees for this particular service. But you want your event to be remembered for the right reasons. It’s worth the effort.
Customer Service is Key
In the same way you want to impress your guests, your catering company should intend to impress you. Do they:
- Handle you with respect
- Give you prompt feedback
- Make mistakes in their quotations
Multiple problems suggest it’s the norm. How do you know they’ll keep to your time schedule on the day if their feedback is always delayed? And if they will be on site during the event you must ensure you hire a company that will treat your guests with respect.
If you know what to look for it’s easy to figure out who will make your event run smooth.
If you don’t often host events you won’t have the latest feedback on service providers. But it’s easy to get inside information these days:
- What do people say about them on their social media profiles? Luckily for you these are vital to get work these days. You can use them to get honest feedback.
- Professional companies will have reviews and ratings featured on their websites.
- Contact references—previous clients. If they received atrocious service they will tell you. No one wants others to suffer the same.
Asking around among family and friends is also a way of finding vendors for catering in Tallahassee. If a certain company often gets complimented, there’s a good chance you’ve found a winner.
Benefits They Bring to the Table
It’s not all doom and gloom. Enjoy the advantages of using a professional. But you have to ask them about some of the services. They won’t know what you’re looking for unless you tell them.
Everyone knows everyone in the events market. Your caterer may obtain excellent quotes from other service providers such as sound and lighting vendors or live performers. They’ll help you source better rates if your good references can get them all more work in the future.
And don’t assume you know best. With enough experience a caterer knows what crowds love and hate. Allow them some input in the menu to help you perfect it. It can be the finishing touch your event needs.