When you set out to organize a party, whether it’s a big flashy event or a small intimate gathering, mediocrity is never your goal. It doesn’t matter what the occasion, budget, or theme of the party may be — it’s natural to strive for the best. Providing your guests with a wonderful and memorable experience, including all aspects of the menu, service and ambiance, is the ideal that every party planner hopes to achieve. And if it’s a truly special occasion, like a wedding reception, those ideals are even more important.
But there are countless events throughout the country every year in which those high standards are simply not met. And it’s not like buying a car, or a new appliance, where you can return a defective product or have it repaired under warranty. When your catered event doesn’t go well, there’s no taking it back. Your caterer might work with you to adjust the cost of the event, but the experience of the event can never be repaired or replaced.
This is why it’s so important to choose wisely when you set out to find a caterer for your event. Making the right choice, and researching your options thoroughly, is the closest thing you have to an insurance policy that your event will meet and perhaps exceed your greatest expectations.
While you’re looking at caterers for your event, you’ll want to keep your eye out for the following three characteristics.
- 1. Clear fee structures
- A catering company with a track record of success isn’t going to give you the run-around when it comes to pricing your event. Each menu and each event is different, but professional caterers know how to establish fair pricing and stand behind it. Less reputable outfits might charge extra after the fact, or fail to give a dependable bid in the first place. Clear fee structures and pricing practices are a strong sign that the catering company in question takes you and your event seriously.
- 2. Diverse menus
- Believe it or not, there are caterers out there who really don’t offer much diversity or choice in terms of the menus they’re able to prepare. This is a problem for many event planners who need an array of options, and might need to cater to a number of different tastes and dietary requirements. Vegetarian or vegan options are a good example. More and more people are adopting these dietary practices these days, and it’s important to have all your guests covered when it comes to the foot.
- 3. Happy customers
- If you’re looking for a “next-generation” caterer, happy customers are your number one indicator. Positive reviews offer clear proof that the company has successfully fulfilled contracts for a wide array of events, and has dealt with a lot of different catering situations. There are also little bumps in the road and challenges that arise along the way, but an experienced caterer with a good track record will know how to handle challenges as they come up, and maintain the integrity of the event from start to finish.