What do you remember the most about the weddings and other events you attend? You probably quickly forget the decorations. You likely even forget the specific activities that took place. It is very likely, however, that you remember the food you ate. Catering is one of the most important decisions that you will make in your event planning process. How do you choose the best special event catering services?
Great caterers tend to also have great reviews. You can learn a lot about the catering business you are considering with previous reviews. Reviews often tell you what other customers enjoyed and did not enjoy about their specific special event catering services. If they had great food, but were a little slow on service speed, and you do not necessarily care about the service speed, it may be a great fit. If they had the best wedding menus, but were a little on the pricier side and money is not a concern, they may be a great fit. Consider both the pros and cons of the catering company.
Request sample menus
Some catering companies specialize in specific types of food items. If you have a menu in mind, it may be best to look for a caterer with this ability. Otherwise, go over sample menus from a variety of caterers and look for one that meets your event needs. The specific type of menu will depend on the type of event and the amount of guests. Corporate menus tend to be served at daytime events, so the food is often lighter and more lunch based. However, event menus that are served at a wedding are more upscale and unique.
The location and theme of your event may also play into the specific menu. For example, if you are marrying in a rural location, like a vineyard, ranch, or farm, expect inefficient kitchen facilities or none at all. The less your venue has in the way of ovens, prep stations, and equipment, the most it will cost to bring in these things. If you prefer to marry in a place with minimal kitchen options, you might be forced to choose between cost or less elaborate of special event catering services.
Consider any food concerns
Many people have food allergies or food sensitives. If you or another guest requires special food ingredients, it is important to select special event catering services that can accommodate these needs. There are a variety of food concerns to consider, including gluten, dairy, and nut allergies. Simply having an alternate food option may not be enough. Serious allergies require that the food is cooked and prepared in an entirely different area. Usually, recipes can be adjusted to cope with food allergies, and cooking methods may be altered to confirm to religious dietary requirements or personal preferences. Tell caterers about any special needs or accommodations, before booking them.
Request more information about the specific catering team
Larger catering companies may send an entirely different caterer and team to your event than you initially consulted and planned with. It is important to understand exactly who your caterer will be and how large or small their team is. Catering a single event requires many different positions. A caterer has to manage a staff of cooks, servers, cleaners, and dishwashers, while also ensuring that their team is aware of their schedules, place settings, serving customs, and food safety regulations. Ensuring that the catering company you go with has enough staff will also ensure that your dinner catering menu and event goes off without any issues.
The specific caterer that you choose can make or break your event. Special event catering services are a very important part of your event, regardless if it is a wedding, corporate event, or small summer luncheon. When you are interviewing possible catering companies, consider the menu options, previous customer reviews, the size and qualifications of the catering team, and your overall feeling about the catering team in choice.