The quality of food served at any event mostly determines its scale of success. Quality, flavor and appearance are stuff that keeps on changing with every caterer. The face of any event changes with the performance of the caterer. It is the food and the service of the caterers that brings in the much needed flavor to the event; anything going wrong mars all your efforts. This is specifically where you need to take extra care.
1. Personal Interest and Responsiveness is What You Need
The responsiveness and intuitiveness of a caterer in the initial stage, is what brings the caterer’s virtue to the fore in the first place. The ideal most caterer will be asking you questions 20% of the time and you will be seen answering him 80% of time in the initial discussion phase.
“Many caterers will claim to have the best-tasting food made with the freshest ingredients at the most competitive price, but it is a rare quality for one to be both quick to return calls and emails and open to critiques and new ideas,” says Cheryl Lynn Foster-Gerton, an event designer and owner of An Essential Event in Denver. “While these may seem like somewhat insignificant factors when compared with overall taste and cost, they actually mean that the caterer is truly concerned with meeting the customers’ needs and ensuring that they are pleased with both the product and the service.”
2. Ability to handle specific events
“All of us do a broad range of events, but we are built to service different markets more effectively than others so it’s important to ask enough questions to determine if a caterer has the right kind of experience for you,” says Arthur Bassani, owner of In Thyme Catered Events in Secaucus, NJ . “Each caterer has areas they specialize in so even a caterer with a great reputation may not be the best fit for you. For example, some are more ’boutique’ and specialize in smaller intimate-type social events. Others specialize in serving large corporate and non-profit [clients], like us.”
Thus when interviewing the caterer it is important to clearly talk about the specific needs and events of your business. You do not want to end up selecting a caterer who is not right for your needs.
3. Flexibility in menu options
Your ideal caterer will be the one who can handle all your menu requests. They can easily adapt anything you wish to have in your menu. “Ask the caterer if they are willing to include a family recipe you provide,” says Lyndsey Bunn. “Or will they work with items of special significance to the style or theme of your event? Or can they prepare vegetarian, vegan, kosher, or children’s meals for your guests?”
And these are important questions to ask in the initial stage. This actually tells you how far the caterer is willing to accommodate with your prime requisites.
4. Willingness to provide tasting samples
The ability of a caterer is gauged from their sample food. More specifically how will you know what to choose from unless you try them out beforehand? People who shy away from attending a tasting find it a hassle to adjust to the taste buds of their audience later on.
“Attend at least 3 tastings with separate caterers and make sure you can taste what you want,” recommends Danielle Rothweiler of Rothweiler Event Design. “Never settle for a caterer that will just give you a generic sample; you need to know what the food on your menu will taste like. Be prepared to pay for these tastings if necessary.”
An amazing catering can leave behind streaks of good memories to be cherished long after the event; a bad caterer can mar your event and send the guests back to the door. Choose your caterer wisely; they are what you call the backbone to your event.