Preparing to Hire a Caterer – 8 Good Questions to Ask Before Making the Decision

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A caterer is a great way to entertain guests because people love to eat. Oftentimes, hosts will procrastinate and wait until the last minute to set everything up for the event. As the date of the event draws closer and closer, it becomes easy to get anxious and make a bad decision in hiring a caterer.

Make sure that you begin planning for the event as far ahead as possible. It will be much less stressful if you take the time to preplan all aspects of the event you are hosting. Food is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to hosting a party. Providing the perfect dinner and refreshments without the help of a caterer would be near impossible. Most likely, you will need a caterer.

There is some prep work that you can do before you even begin calling caterers in your local area. Here are some questions you should ask yourself about the event you are hosting. Have all of the answers to these questions ready for when you are calling caterers.

  1. Will the event be more formal, more casual, or more corporate? There are a lot of different types of events and the type of catering you get will depend on what type of event it is.
  2. Jot down the date of the event so you can ask the catering company if they will be available that day.
  3. If you have already gotten RSVPs, write down the number of guests that will be attending the party. If you do not have RSVPs already, then a general idea will work fine, that way you can begin to work out the kinks with the catering company. You can always give them a number in a couple days when you have a better idea of who is coming.
  4. Try and estimate what time you want everybody to eat at. You should not make your guests wait too long after they get there to eat. If they knew there was going to be food there, they probably came with an empty stomach.
  5. Try and pick food that will appeal universally. An extreme example is lent. Many people cannot eat meat on Friday’s during lent. Another example would be someone with a peanut allergy. You can ask for this info in the RSVP or have a question about allergies on the invitations so they will bring them up when they RSVP.
  6. Figure out if you want your catering to be hosted with a serving staff or if a buffet style spread will do.
  7. Ask the catering company if they provide plates, silverware, and glasses for the drinks. Be sure to find out whether any of these rentals are included or if they are available at an additional cost.
  8. Something that is very important, but often overlooked, is to figure out when the catering company is going to need a final guest head count (or estimate). If you do not know exactly what to expect as far as guests, try and see if the catering company can be flexible and make last minute changes.

Sorting out as many details beforehand as you can will leave you in a much better position when you are making calls to get estimates from local caterers. It will make hosting the event much less stressful.