Critical questions for your caterer
- What’s your specialty? There are many options when it comes to menu selection. You can have the traditional sit down dinner, buffet stations or snacks.
- How many dishes are offered in your spread? Do they offer food for certain dietary restrictions — vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free etc.? Do they charge separately for desserts and cold drinks?
- Can we sample the menu beforehand? Most caterers would agree to this but you have to request it and there may be a small charge.
- Are you catering another wedding or event on my wedding day? When hiring a small catering business with limited resources, be sure that yours would be the only event they’re working on that day. Otherwise, your wedding may not receive the attention it deserves.
- Do you handle all table settings? Will they put out place cards and favors?
- Can you itemize all charges relating to the event? Does the cost cover just the food, or does it include linens, utensils, dishes and glassware rental, too?
- Is there a minimum charge? Many caterers will quote prices based on a minimum number of guests e.g. 200 guests. If you actual guest count is below that, you will still have to pay for 200 people.
- What is the ratio of waiters to guests? One good rule of thumb is to have one server for every 15-20 guests.
- What do your servers wear? Discuss the uniform of all staffers in advance to avoid embarrassing glitches.
- Can I see a photograph of your table display? Some caterers will include floral arrangements and other decoration on their buffet tables.
- Can you provide alcohol or service a separate bar area? If yes, find out the corkage fee, and how and when the alcohol would and should get to the caterer?
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