So we’ve got the venue and an event planner, what is naturally next?! Food! Food plays such an integral part in events. Having the perfect set-up is important. You can source food on your own or hire a caterer who can handle the menu planning, shopping and ultimate execution. Your caterer can handle many aspects of the events food needs. They can provide food that they drop-off, work the event and man the buffets, sit-down dinners, or passed hors d’oeuvres—once you meet your caterer you can determine what type of food situation you envision for your day.
Having had a few events on property already, we have seen a variation of catering situations as well as various duties the caterer has for each event—from procuring the drinks to setting tables.
Here are a few key questions to ask your caterers:
- Do you have set menu options or can you create a custom or themed menu? are you able to manage dietary restrictions?
- What would you recommend given budget, guest count and event theme?
- How do you handle tastings?
- What’s the price difference between a buffet, a sit-down meal and family style and between passed appetizers and appetizer stations?
- Do you provide linens, utensils, serving table decor, etc.?
- Do you handle set-up and breakdown?
- Are you able to set tables ?
- Will you be overseeing the meal service or do you have an on-site manager to coordinate these things?
- I s there a cut-off date for making menu changes?
- Are you licensed to serve alcohol? (some venues require a licensed bar service, this is an important question to find out from your venue)
- Do you charge for vendor meals or do we include those in our headcount?
- What’s the ratio of servers to guests?