As many of the best and most unique event venues don’t have in house catering services, the added time and effort of finding the perfect caterer has the potential to deter some event planners from booking these venues. Caternow is here to change that and make ordering catering easy, all you need to do is know what kind of food would best suit the event, order it and let us take care of the rest. Here are some tips to help you make the right decision when ordering catering for your next party, wedding or event.
Caternow’s website allows you to easily see the reviews of each of their partner caterers. However, reviews are only generally made by either very happy or very unhappy customers but they’re a good reference point. The good reviews will give you an idea of what the caterer does best while the bad reviews will show you what they may need to improve on. These reviews will allow you to make a decision on a potential caterer based on what aspect are important to you, be it fast delivery, value for money, good customer service or something else.
Look at photos of past events
Looking at photos of past events a caterer has catered for will give you an idea of their aesthetic. If you have a solid idea of the essence of your event then it will be easy to see what caterer would best compliment your vision. Once you’ve chosen a caterer, having a selection of these photos will help you communicate what it is you’re after to them, as you can outline what they did well in the previous event that you’d like repeated.
Be aware of the available services
As some caterers offer full service catering for events and will provide you with things such as tables, chairs, all the equipment as well as wait and bar staff while others will simply deliver the food. A lot of caterers will provide something in between these two extremes, and likely charge extra for added services. With this in mind it’s important to know what you need from the caterers for your event so that you don’t waste your time looking at ones that don’t meet your needs.
Read the fine print
When you select from menus and finally make an order, be sure to double check everything you’ve chosen. It’s recommended you make sure you’ve not only ordered everything you’ve asked for but you should also be aware of the cost per person and how that may change if your guest count goes up or down. In the same vein it’s important to know how flexible the caterers are if things don’t go as planned, so as to make sure you’re not out of pocket should something unexpected occur.
Consider hiring the venue’s go-to caterers
Even though they don’t offer catering themselves, the event venue may have a list of preferred clients. If this is the case you should consider them even as it will make sure the event runs smoothly. Through the partnership these caterers will know the ins and outs of the venue, meaning that it will be easier to communicate with them and get your vision across. They will know the most efficient way to cater in that specific venue from being able to make use of storage spaces to knowing the room setup like the back of their hands. Further to this they might save you money as a caterer who is unfamiliar with the venue might give you extra post-event charges and responsibilities, such as violating the venue’s policies on removing trash.
Make sure they can adapt
A great caterer will be flexible when it comes to accommodating any special requirements their clients may have. It’s a great idea to ask any caterers about these requirements before making any orders as this will ensure the catering side of the event runs smoothly. Good things to ask of the caterer is their capacity to put together special meals (eg. gluten free) to provide for the dietary requirements of guests or their flexibility to adjust to timelines if the event is running late. In catering even the smallest mishap can produce a ripple effect that spoils the entire event so having a caterer on board that can work around these issues is essential.
Know who’s in charge
Depending on the scale of the event, you’ll need to be in constant contact with the people running the show. If you’re an event planner planning for a wedding you’ll need to know exactly what the bride and groom want or if you’re planning an office Christmas party you’ll need to consult with the management team. These people will likely have preferences as to the type of food that they’d like as well as any other preferences should be your first point of call before beginning the search for caterers.