A good caterer should save you time and stress. They should instill confidence that they will deliver what they have promised. Before you make inquiries, decide what your budget is and whether you want a formal or informal dinner.
Some questions to ask…
- What will the servers wear ?
- How many servers will there be ?
- How long does is usually take to serve the meal from start to finish ?
- Will they stop clearing tables during speeches ? This can be both noisy and distracting no matter how quiet they try to be.
- Who sets up the tables and chairs ?
- Will the premises be left in clean condition ?
- How far ahead do you need to confirm final numbers ?
- What is the payment policy ?
- Is a deposit required? Is it refundable if you cancel for any reason ?
- How much is required ?
- When is the balance due ?
- What method of payment is accepted ? Credit card ? Interac ? Cheque ? Cash ?
- Will they provide samples ?
- Will they provide references ?
- Are there children’s portions or special meals and what is the price ?
- Will they provide a vegetarian alternative ?
- Will they make allowances for food allergies ?
- Will they provide you with a contract or letter of agreement ? Does it clearly indicate what is and is and is not included ? Service ? Taxes ? Gratuities ?
The most important consideration is flexibility. A good caterer will give guidance and make suggestions but will listen to what you want. They will customize a menu to meet your requirements, give you a variety of choice and help you to stay within your budget.