Are you planning a big event? One of the biggest decisions that can make or break your event is to find the right catering company. Professional catering services can really make a party fantastic. Here are some tips to finding the right company for you.
- Talk to your friends and family. The chances are very good that you know someone who has used professional catering services in your area for some kind of event. Far and away, the best way to find good quality products or services is to get a recommendation from someone you trust. Ask them how they found the professional catering services and what they thought about working with them. You may not use the same company but this will give you a starting point.
- Go online. Many cities and towns have Facebook groups that have been set up to promote local businesses. Check those and ask about any professional catering services companies that may be written about there. You should always be wary when you see a lot of anonymously placed comments that are bad. People are much more likely to complain than to compliment so keep that it mind.
- Set your budget. Before you start talking to any professional catering services, you need to know how much you will be able to spend. This is a critical point and may narrow down your choices. You are not going to be able to get filet mignon on a pizza budget, for instance. Write up your budget and then stick to it. You are planning a party, not your retirement.
- Make sure the company listens to your needs. When you are talking to a lot of companies about the different services and whatnot that you will need at your event, you need them all to listen to you but if you book an event and then get to your event space and the streamers are a darker blue than you wanted it is less of an issue than if you ordered kosher food and got cheeseburgers. In most areas there are a lot of local catering services so make sure the one you go with actually listens to your needs. One of the things your guests or attendees will remember is the food so you want to get that right.
- Have a nice variety of foods. Given the number of food allergies and issues that people have today, you will want to have options for all of these but you do not want these people to feel excluded or like they are eating cardboard. You can cater to all of your guests needs while providing something that tastes great. Just keep all of this in mind when you are planning the menu and you should be fine.
- Have a menu tasting. Most professional catering services like to show off their work to prospective clients. If you ask to sample some of the cuisine that you will serve at your event and the caterer says, “no” you may want to think about going to another place. This is a big red flag and should not be ignored or explained away. You need to know what to expect and you do not want to have any surprises at your event.
- Determine how many people. It is nearly impossible to get an exact head count but you can get a pretty good idea. If this is a personal event, you know your friends and relatives and how many people will actually show when they say they will. You also can determine how many people, roughly, will be at the work events you are putting together. Knowing that number can help you pick your professional catering services company.
- Decide what you are going to do about booze. A lot of this will depend on the kind of function you are planning. If you are planning a wedding, you probably want alcohol (unless there are religious considerations). If this is a work function, you may want a cash bar. The same goes for a fundraiser. Think about what you want and what you can really afford when you are considering your booze options.
The food you serve will have a big impact on your event.