How to Select the Perfect Caterer for Your Upcoming Event

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catering-2One of the most important parts of any type of event is the food that is served to the guests. From weddings to graduation parties, there are a number of celebrations that will require food to be catered by a professional company when you’re serving hundreds of people. For those who are looking to select the perfect caterer for an upcoming event, there are a few important steps to take.

Taste the Food
According to Weddington Way, the best caterers will allow you to sample the food before you decide to book their services. You’ll get the chance to visit their kitchen or facilities where you can try various dishes and view the presentation of each plate that is served. The caterer should also have flexibility with your menu options and are willing to customize the menu to your specific needs or requests.

Caterers who have experience in the industry are always making changes or updates to their menu to ensure that it stays updated with the latest trends.

It’s important to attend at least three tastings with different vendors, in addition to ideal wine pairings that should also be considered. Some caterers may also charge a fee for the food tastings.

Obtain References
Most caterers are happy to provide you with a list of references of their former customers, which will allow you to ask each person if they were satisfied with the services that were provided. You can ask each reference if they would hire the caterer again and if they have any complaints to ensure that you can determine if they’re a good fit for your event. You can also look online to check for reviews of the company that are often posted on wedding websites, according to Martin’s Caterers.

Ask About Insurance
Insurance is a given for caterers and will prevent you from being responsible for mistakes or accidents that may occur during your event. The catering company should provide you with proof that they have liability insurance, which will cover the cost of damaged materials or injuries.

Find a Company with Experience
The caterer that you hire should have a chef and staff that is experienced in providing a high level of service in the industry. You’ll need to ask how long they’ve been in business and about the chef’s background to determine if they have any awards or are trained in cooking.

A Clear Cancelation Plan
Professional caterers who are credible are known to have a clear cancelation plan established, which should be listed in the contract that they provide you with. There should be detailed information on how cancelations are handled and if the deposit will be refunded if they need to cancel at the last minute. They should also be able to provide you with other caterers in the area to ensure that you still have the services that you need for your event. This will allow you to have a backup plan if your caterer doesn’t come through or if they fail to fulfill their responsibilities that are listed in the contract.

Ask Other Vendors for Recommendations
Your florist or wedding planner can steer you in the right direction when it comes to finding a reputable caterer in the local area, according to The Knot. Most vendors have connections with other professionals in the wedding industry and will be able to give you a few recommendations. You can call each caterer and schedule an appointment to meet them in person before deciding on the right company to use.

Fits in Your Budget
The prices of your caterer is one of the most important parts of determining what company to hire for your special event. It’s important that the company offers fair prices and works within your budget. If you’re limited on your funds, you can ask about the different packages that are available and if they can work with the amount of money that you can afford to pay.

You’ll also need to ask if they include tableware or linens in their services, which can increase the cost. The caterer may also charge less for a buffet style that is offered, which won’t require the plates to be served to each table.

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Kevin Schultz is a professional journalist with over 15 years of writing and media experience. He is a full-time contributor to the Themocracy Online News Blog and his insightful writing has been enjoyed by thousands.