There are very few areas of life in which saving money isn’t important. No matter what service or product you’re considering, there are always a whole range of options. We all know from experience that the best quality products or services aren’t always the most expensive. In fact, there are many businesses out there that will happily “take people for a ride” if it means greater profit for them. This is unfortunate, but it’s a reality.
The good thing is that we have so much information these days. With a little research from the comfort of your own home, you can find out a great deal about any local business you’re thinking about hiring. And of course, once you pick up the phone and call, you can learn even more.
So what about catering services? How do they fit into this spectrum of cost, professionalism, results, and overall value? Is it safe to say that the best caterers aren’t always the most expensive?
Yes — there’s no question that experience, equipment, training, and good online reviews are more important markers of quality than mere cost. Plus, catered events already represent a significant investment. Why pay any more than you have to?
That said, there are many situations in which a catering company might offer you an unusually low estimate. These ‘budget catering services’ have crept up all over the country. They promise deep discounts in comparison with more established companies — and they promise equal or better results.
If you get a good read on their reputations and client reviews, however, you’ll often find that the results weren’t so great after all. Every year, thousands of Americans organize parties and hire the caterer with the lowest bid — only to find that with catering, as with so many other services and products, you get what you pay for.
That’s certainly not to say that a lower bid or cost estimate always means trouble. There are certain situations in which a lower bid is actually accompanied by higher quality service. Usually, this is because the low bidder is experienced and efficient, and knows how to offer you a great service for less. But when it comes to the food, beverages, equipment and staff on hand, you want to make extra sure that no corners are being cut. The last thing you want is to regret choosing the lowest bidder when the day of your event arrives.
Finding the right balance between quality and value
If your budget is endless, there are always ways to make a catered event more luxurious and expensive. But if you’re like most people, you want a solid result. You want delicious food and beverage, excellent logistics, and friendly support staff to help complete your event with great success. At the same time, you want a good value for the money, and you don’t want to pay any more than you have to. This balance between quality and value is something reputable caterers strive for, and it’s something event organizers should definitely look for when planning a party.