4 Questions to Ask Your Caterer

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So you’re organized a catered event, and you’ve got questions that need answering. This is a very common scenario – one in which countless people find themselves every year. Fortunately, there is a lot of information out there that can help answer your questions. Also, depending on your location, there might be dozens or even hundreds of catering companies in your area who might be able to give you specific answers over the phone or by email.

Sometimes, the trick is knowing which questions to ask. You know you want your event to be successful, but how can you make sure that you choose the right caterer? As you begin your research for skilled local caterers, here are four questions to ask.

1. Is there any type of event you specialize in?
There are a lot of different caterers out there, and if you live in a busy urban area, you can expect dozens of companies to choose from. Some of these caterers specialize in certain events, such as weddings or corporate parties. Others specialize in certain types of good, such as pig roasts or barbecued ribs. It’s helpful to know whether or not a given caterer has an area of focus, or one area in which they’re particularly good. If it’s an area unrelated to your event, you might consider other options.
2. How many years of experience do you have?
You could attend years of catering coursework and still not be prepared to work your first event. Why? Because in catering, experience is critical. There is simply no substitute for having been there before, and having solved problems on the fly. As catering companies accrue more experience, their methods are refined and their foresight is increased.
3. Where does the food come from?
This is a surprisingly basic question that many people simply don’t think to ask – but with catering, as with any other type of cooking, it all comes down to the quality of the ingredients. Most caterers get their food from a few different sources, including big companies that provide supplies to restaurants and catering companies. You may want to ask whether a caterer gets any of its supplies from local sources, as fresh local ingredients can make a big difference whenever possible.
4. Who will be staffing my event?
Just because a local catering company has been around a long time doesn’t mean you’ll get the most experienced workers at your event. Catering, like any other business, has a normal degree of employee turnover – this means catering companies need to hire new people as others leave. Standards of training are very important, and as the client, you deserve to know how experienced and well-trained the staff working at your event will be.

Bringing the best out of your event

Good catering is really all about bringing out the best in your event, whether it’s a large formal gathering or a small get-together at the park. Asking questions like these will help you hone in on the right caterer, and move you that much closer to a successful final result. Good luck!