Catering can make or break your wedding. It can be easy to choose the caterer who serves the most beautiful and delicious food, but that’s not everything. You need to ensure that the caterer will meet your requirements – especially if you’ve got a unique vision for your wedding. Here are some questions to ask every caterer to assess whether they’ll be the right fit for your wedding:
Do you have a license?
Caterers need to meet health department standards and have liability insurance. If they serve alcohol, do they have a liquor license? You don’t want them or you getting in trouble in case something bad happens. If they are serving the alcohol, they must have liquor liability insurance. When your guests leave, if they get injured or damage property, the insurance will minimize how much trouble you get in.
What service styles do you have?
You need to have a set budget and let them know what that number is. They need to know how much you can spend per guest so they can let you know what your options are. Will it be a buffet style or a plated dinner? Family-style or cocktail-style? Choose what will fit best with your wedding.
Can I decide the menu, or is it fixed?
Maybe you and other guests hate seafood but the caterer serves some kind of seafood with each menu. Or maybe you want to serve cheesecake as the dessert. You would want to make sure that you could change the menu. Be prepared to give the caterer a list of foods that guests are allergic to so they make sure to be prepared for those guests. Allowing guests to choose from a couple of entree choices is always a nice touch. Just have the guests answer which entree they prefer on the RSVP. Check to see if you can get a tasting before you hire them so you make sure that your guests will enjoy the food.
Do you provide alcohol and the cake?
This could save you money because they would provide the bartender and you could buy the alcohol in bulk. A nice plus is that you could get a reimbursement on any unopened bottles. Just be sure they have a liquor license with liability insurance! It will make things easier on you if they provide the cake. If they don’t provide bundles, don’t stress about it. It’s easy to find a baker who can make your dream cake.
Do you provide rentals and a setup and breakdown fee?
Your caterer can coordinate with rentals because you will need tables, chairs, glassware, plateware, and dinnerware. As for the setup and breakdown fee, it should be applied towards your contract. Having them do all the work will take some stress off your plate. Something that any bride would love.
Do you provide vendor meals and is your staff trained?
Your vendors will be hungry after the long days work. It is a kind gesture to feed them and supply them water so they stay hydrated. When they are well taken care of, they will continue to do amazing work. Making sure the caterer has a well-trained staff will ensure that everyone has a wonderful time. The staff should know the proper ways to serve your guests, have nice manners, and wear the proper attire.
You are hiring them to do a job. They will work hard for you and try their best to keep you and your guests happy, but they need to be treated kindly and with respect. Ask them all of your questions and find the best caterer for your wedding. They need to meet your standards but you need to be willing to compromise on some things. Good caterers will work with you as best as they can.