When organizing an event, whether a wedding or a fundraiser, your choice of catering service is crucial. Obviously, you’re investing a lot of your time, money and effort into this event, and you want to make sure that everything turns out perfect! Now, there are tons of catering services available in town, and narrowing down to the best one can be a real hassle (especially if you’re not a professional event planner). The following easy tips should help you find the best caterer to make your next important event rock.

Do a list

You’ve got to start from somewhere – find a number of the best catering service providers so that your options are narrow. Do you have friends who have organized events in the recent past? If so, ring them up and ask them what catering service they used. Also, do a Google search to find some of the best-reviewed or best-ranked caterers from your area. You may also check with the management at your event’s venue and ask them to recommend some of the best caterers they’ve worked with in the past. The point here is to come up with a reasonable list.

Make appointments

Before you make a decision on what catering service you want to work with, book an appointment and visit their kitchens. Your objective is to check the cleanliness of the kitchen, and as well gauge the professionalism of their employees. A professional and clean environment should impress you, right? Look for red flags to avoid, such as a dirty, chaotic kitchen, staff that does not seem happy about what they’re doing. You want to work with a team that’s attentive, clean, and takes pride in their work!

Check out menu options

What’s on the menu? What does this specific caterer specialize in? These are all important questions that need answers before you rushing into hiring a catering service. Have it in mind that not all services will work for the needs of your event. For instance, a caterer who specializes in traditional Indian food might have trouble delivering a Chinese inspired buffet. So make sure that you review your menu options with the caterers, and point out any dietary restrictions that your guests have, if any.

Availability of staff

Before you get yourself into any contracts, make sure that the catering service you intend to settle for has adequate staff to handle your event. Based on the nature and size of your events, bring it out and find out whether the service can comfortably accommodate everything. And if you’re not sure just how many people you’ll need. Assume two servers for every 30 guests at a buffet. For sit down dinners, assume one server for each table. For bar staff, at least one bartender should work for 50 guests.

Do some tastings

A good catering service should be ready to schedule a tasting so that you can sample some of what they serve. This will give you a pretty good idea what dishes will be served at your event. There’s no better way to finally approve the menu than doing a tasting. So if a specific caterer doesn’t offer a scheduled tasting, cease any further negotiations with them and move on to the next service.

Cost

Certainly, the cost is an issue for most people planning to hold events. You should be clear about how much money you’re willing to commit to catering. Obviously, you have a lot of things to pay for right now, including the venue, music system, entertainment, etc.

To avoid any disappointments much later, make sure that the quote you get covers the full service that the catering company offers. You don’t want to be slapped with additional bills much later after the event. So question your caterer and get some clarity whether or not they have any form of hidden fees.

With these easy tips, finding the best caterer for your event doesn’t have to be an ordeal. You only need to approach the entire process with a plan and you’re certainly get away with the best catering services provider in town!

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