For many people, the thought of organizing a party is enough to make them break into a cold sweat. It’s an unnerving prospect that can become even worse when you think about all the things that need to be taken care of before guests arrive. Even if family and friends are coming over for an informal dinner party, the quality of food and drinks is crucial. One way to ensure that all your guests enjoy the event is by hiring a catering company.
You might think that getting someone to cater will be easy but there are many things you need to take into consideration before making an appointment with an agency. Finding a catering company can be quite overwhelming especially for first-timers. There are lots of options to choose from and you need to become knowledgeable about what matters. The choice of a catering company should be based on the factors mentioned below.
Think about the type of event you are planning for. It’s important to go through past work done by a catering company so that you can determine whether they have the required experience or not. If your event is being held at a specific venue, it would be great if you ask them if they have worked there before. If they have, it will be easier for you to trust them with the responsibility of getting the needed supplies.
It’s also a good idea to ask for references and testimonials from past clients. Catering companies also have a list of venues they usually cater for, so you might want to contact the venue and check out if the catering company has been there before or not. These things will give you an idea of how professional the company is and whether they’ll be able to deliver on your requests.
2. Offers and Services
Make sure you know what the catering company can provide for your event. Different companies offer different things. Some might only provide set menus while others can also do custom orders for their clients. If you want to host a party where guests will be free to choose whatever they like, the catering company must have a wide range of options for you.
Catering companies offer different types of services as well such as arranging tables and renting utensils. Some companies charge extra for these while others include these in the cost of catering. It’s important that you know what you’re getting into and that all your requirements are met accordingly.
3. Pricing and Payment
There is no such thing as a standard price when it comes to catering companies because costs differ from one company to another. The most important thing to consider is that you have a budget in mind so that you can compare prices with different companies. It’s good to set aside a certain amount of money for catering because this will ensure that all your guests are served properly.
If you don’t want the hassle of having to pay upfront, it’s also possible for you to pay in installments or even after the event is done. Just make sure that you get everything set up with the catering company beforehand so that there are no misunderstandings later on.
Of course, there’s no point choosing a catering company only to find out that they’re not available on your chosen day for hosting the party. You should schedule a meeting with them first to check out whether they’re available or not. Also, find out what days and times they are usually free for consultations. Remember that catering companies also have their schedules to adhere to. If there is no one available during the time you have chosen for your consultation, it might be better to reschedule for an earlier date.
5. Location and Contact Details
Of course, catering companies are not restricted to a specific location, but there are some which are available in certain areas only. You might want to get recommendations from people living in your area or you can look up the internet for reviews on different catering companies. According to the caterers at East Bay Deli, make sure that the catering services company is conveniently located so you won’t have to waste too much time during consultations. Also, find out if they can deliver within a specific radius since not all catering companies do this.
The ideal person for making arrangements with a catering company is the one who will be hosting the party. You might want to speak to them personally and ask for their contact details. This way, you won’t have to deal with middlemen, and it will be easier for everyone to get in touch as well as to plan things out for your event.
6. Food Safety and Hygiene
Since you’re going to be hosting a party at home or at some other venue where food is going to be served, it’s important to hire a catering company that is fully aware of food safety and adheres to hygienic practices. Of course, everyone wants their guests to be healthy so they won’t get sick after eating contaminated food or food cooked in unhygienic conditions.
7. Reputation and Experience
When you speak with the owner of the catering company, make sure that you ask them if they’ve handled similar events before. It’s also best to know how long they have been in the business because this will give you an idea about their experience. Never forget to check out online reviews as well so you can be more certain of your choice.
8. Business License and Insurance
When it comes to catering companies, licenses and insurance are very important. If you hire an unlicensed company, they won’t be liable for any accidents or injuries even if they turn out to be fatal. You might also want to ask about their insurance coverage since this will cover you in case the worst happens and someone gets injured during your event.
Before you sign any agreements with the catering company, make sure that everything included is written out in the contract. The catering company should be responsible for handing out menus and information on allergens. Also, see if they are willing to give you their full insurance coverage so there will be no issues later on if anything goes wrong while your event is in progress.
9. Package and Menu
What are you planning to serve at your party? If it’s only finger food, then most catering companies will be able to handle it. However, if you want full meals or buffet servings, choose a company that has the right facilities and staff for this. Aside from food choices, find out about their overall menu package. This way, you can compare prices and decide whether it’s within your budget. You might also want to check out what other clients say about the company’s menu package since this will give you a better idea about their services.
10. Service and Equipment
If you’re going to hire a catering company for a large party, make sure that they understand the number of guests you’re expecting so they can prepare for this. Also, you’ll want to know what equipment and service they will use for your event. For instance, if you don’t have enough cutleries or cups, then there’s no point in hiring a catering company.
Make sure that the catering company has everything they need to cater to your guests. This will include staff, equipment, vehicles, and other resources required for your event. You can ask them to provide you with a list of what they’ll be using for your party so there won’t be any discrepancies when the time comes. It’s a good idea to check out the catering company’s website and see what kind of services are on offer. Once you speak with their representative about your needs, they can also tell you more about specific packages which might interest you.
When everything is set for your event, think about the presentation as well. The catering company you hire should be able to handle the serving of food and drinks. This also includes making sure that it’s ready on time, looking fresh, and tasting delicious. Asking for a few samples will also help you assess whether or not their dishes look appetizing. Lastly, check out the presentation of their staff and find out what kind of uniforms they wear. This way, you can be sure that your guests will enjoy themselves without worrying about anything else.
12. Follow Up
As with any event or party, you’ll want to know that everything is set for your big day. To do this, have the catering company follow up with you after finalizing your deal. If they don’t, then this might be an early indication that they’re not very professional. Make sure that all materials and equipment are in place well before the event starts. Also, check whether the catering company sent over a representative to greet you. This way, everything will be running smoothly even before the party starts.
It’s also a good idea to follow up with your catering company in the days or weeks leading up to your event. You can confirm that everything is ready so as to eliminate any issues later on during the event itself. Overall, they should be professional enough to handle whatever questions you might have about your party.
With all of these tips, you’ll be able to tell if the catering company is suited for your needs or not. If they’re not, then you should look for other options until you find the right one. Before you hire a catering company to handle your next event, make sure that they have everything you need for your party.