If you’re putting together a wedding, corporate event or large-scale birthday party, then you’ll have to deal with a large number of moving parts. Your entertainment may well come in the form of a DJ or band, along with a photo booth (Cheesy Smiles, naturally, will be able to help with the latter). But perhaps even more important is the food, because at some point in the evening everyone’s going to get hungry.
In most cases, this means hiring a caterer. But not all caterers are quite the same; some will be more flexible and professional than others. Before you hand over your money, it’s worth asking a few key questions.
When you bring hundreds of people into the same room, the chances become good that at least one of them will suffer from an allergy of some sort. Dairy products and nuts are common offenders. Plus, a larger number of us than ever are abstaining from animal products entirely, which makes a vegan option pretty essential.
If your caterer is unable to accommodate for these guests, then they’re not worth investing in. A good caterer will go even further, and offer you the option to change the menu around according to your personal taste. If you think your guests are likely to prefer a banoffee pie to a key lime one, then ask your caterer to make the switch.
Are drinks included?
Not all caterers will throw in alcohol, so you might find that you’re comparing apples with oranges when you come to make your decision.
What about tableware?
If plates, dishes, knives, forks and glasses aren’t included in the asking price, then you’ll have a problem when it comes to catering. Confirm that these things will be provided, or you’re certain to run into an embarrassing situation when the time comes to dish up!
Are you familiar with the venue?
The chances are good that a local caterer will have experience with every venue in your vicinity. But if you’re planning a wedding further afield, this might not be the case. In fact, you may find that you end up spending more money thanks to a poor understanding of how the venue operates.
To Buffet or not to Buffet?
The buffet is a longstanding and popular means of slashing your catering costs. If you tell your guests to wait on themselves, then you won’t have to pay as many waiters to ferry the food from table to table. Moreover, everyone will be able to select exactly the food they want, while setting aside the stuff that isn’t quite so appetising. On the other hand, there’s the risk that everyone will eat more than they otherwise might, which means you’ll have to put on that little bit extra – plus your guests might not want to spend their evening queuing.