Ask the Important Questions Before Hiring a Caterer

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When hosting an event, regardless of the size, the food and drink selection is a pretty important component. You want to make sure that your guests don’t go hungry or thirsty. You also want to make sure that the food served is delicious and crafted with your vision in mind. Because nobody can read your mind, it’s important that you interview with prospective caterers before you select anyone to cater the event. Asking the right questions is an important part of ensuring that the caterer you choose is the right fit for the job.

Here is a list of questions that you should keep on-hand when interviewing a caterer or catering company representative.

Questions to Ask Your Caterer Before Signing the Contract

You want to ask these questions before you put your pen to paper and agree upon the service offered. By asking these essential questions, you will learn quickly whether the caterer is the right one for your event.

  • Are you available on my chosen date?
  • If I want alcohol served, do you facilitate this? If so, are you licensed in the area to do so?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How many events do you cater each month or year?
  • Do you charge a per-person fee? If no, how is your fee system structured?
  • Will you provide an on-site coordinator to help with serving food and drink?
  • Do you specialize in certain types of dishes?
  • Where do you get your ingredients?
  • Will you be able to accommodate certain dietary restrictions (such as vegetarians, gluten-free, dairy-free, etc)?
  • Do you offer food tastings before I agree to work with you?
  • What kind of flatware do you provide with your catering service?
  • Do you handle your own clean-up at the end of the event?
  • Are there extra fees that I should know about, such as set-up fees?
  • What is your policy relating to cancellations and/or refunds?
  • Do you charge an overtime fee, in case my event runs long? How much is the fee?
  • What are your policies about menu changes made by the client?
  • How much will I pay for an initial deposit? What will the final payment cost?
  • Can you provide a list of references?

The Importance of Asking the Right Questions

If you fail to ask the right questions of your potential caterer, you could end up stuck with expenses that you didn’t factor into your bottom line. Additional fees can be worked into many areas of catering, so it’s important to be careful! Ask these questions and any others that occur to you. Any reputable caterer will be glad to answer all of your inquiries and ease your concerns moving forward.