Settling down for a caterer is a very important element of any large scale event. Be it a wedding, party, corporate event or even a family gathering, a caterer is vital for the success of the event. A caterer is required to provide food and all services associated with the food service. There are many vendors purporting to provide catering services, however not all of them are qualified and can indeed provide quality service. Therefore a careful selection process needs to be followed bearing in mind that food is the most critical and sensitive aspect of an event. Bad food could cause diseases, discomfort and an awfully bad experience to the guests. This could ruin the entire event, no matter how well the other services were provided. Here are some tips that can help you in choosing the right caterer so that your guests have enjoy the food at your event to make it memorable for all the right reasons.
Health Certification – Ensure that the caterers you are interviewing have all the health certificates required to operate in the food business. Food is a highly sensitive issue and certification requires a thorough testing and screening process of both the premises and personnel handling the food. Enquire if there have been any complaints and check the records to get the updated ones. Failure to produce this should automatically disqualify a vendor. The caterer should be properly licensed for operation.
Ask from several vendors for their quotations. Do just settle for one without comparison, shortlist at least three for proper probing and analysis. Compare the costs and the service provided. Settle for the most cost effective one that provides value for money.
Consider the services required. Some caterers only provide food for small scale, intimate events, so depending on the kind of an event you are planning, settle for one who has the capacity to adequately provide the service. Do they just prepare food and deliver, do they offer servicing and clearing up? Get to the details of exactly what they offer to avoid disappointed or unmet expectations.
Seek for recommendations – Do not rely on advertisements as they could claim to offer the best services. Seek for unbiased feedback from people who have experienced their service. You could ask for referees for the most recent events they have served. This will help you make a proper judgment on exactly what they offer.
Schedule a testing – This should best be done in a similar event set up as having a testing for 5 people is different from cooking for 500 people.
Inquire about the food freshness to avoid having food prepared from frozen suppliers. If possible you can provide the fresh foods to be used for your event and assign somebody the task of supervising the process.
Finally, read, understand and sign a contract to ensure that both interests are met. This should be binding document that outlines all aspects of the service being provide and their terms and conditions.