Puff n Stuff, Big City Catering, Sensational Foods, Levans Catering! Did I throw enough names at ya? These names all probably sound familiar and all offer exceptional service. With so many choices, how do you know which one will provide you with the best menu for your top dollar? I’m glad you asked! We have provided a list of questions to ask your caterer that will help you make a final decision.  

Forty to fifty percent of your budget will be spent on your wedding reception with catering being one of the most expensive items. Don’t leave your guests with a bad taste in their mouth (pun intended). Hire an experienced caterer to help you create that custom menu to compliment your wedding theme. Remember to always be honest about your budget and discuss your ideas and needs with them. The questions below provide a good starting point when speaking to caterers.

Can you create a family style reception dinner?

Family style options are a great alternative to the plated dinner or buffets, and a nice touch if you’re looking for an intimate setting at your reception. Think about how your family gathers together for the holidays. It will replicate the act of sharing and getting to know those at the dinner table. Most caterers are able to accommodate this request, and will explain their pricing structure.

What type of menu can you suggest to keep me within budget?

Can’t afford stuffed lobster tails or filet mignon? Don’t fret! Budgets come in all shapes and sizes, and wedding professionals can help make your buck go a long way. Chicken and beef are always a crowd pleaser and may help keep your costs low. Sides can include one salad, one vegetable medley and one starch option.

How many weddings do you cater per weekend?

Caterers have event managers to handle their high volume of clients. There aren’t very many catering companies that handle only one wedding per day. Be sure to ask which event manager will be making sure that your wedding day runs smoothly and meet them beforehand.

Who will be coordinating my wedding reception?

Ask if you can meet the event manager assigned to your wedding. Make sure that any specific requests and/or changes are made in writing and communicated clearly with your event manager.

Can you provide a food tasting before I hire you?

Call or email your caterer of choice, and ask to setup an initial consultation. Most will take that time to ask you what kind of menu you’d like and create a menu around the items you request while suggesting some new elements that will create a great experience for your guests. Most caterers will provide a food tasting for up to four people to give you a glimpse of their culinary delights.

Do you provide linen, chair covers and sashes, tables and chairs?

While many venues provide the tables and chairs, caterers can provide the linen, chair covers and sashes for you. Some catering companies provide the linen, and sometimes overlays, in your per person price, and charge you extra for the chair covers and sashes. These details should be discussed and be detailed in your contract.

Is there an additional per person fee if our guest list is larger than the guaranteed final headcount?

Providing your caterer with a final headcount will guarantee that they prepare sufficient food for your wedding. Having a larger guest list than expected can quickly become expensive as caterers will have to carry additional food on hand to prevent running out of food, an embarrassing moment for any host. These details are usually detailed on your contract. Make sure you read your contract thoroughly before signing.

 Will you provide all of the table settings?

Many caterers provide the china and utensils in your per person price.

Do you carry liability insurance and a liquor license?

Don’t leave anything up to chance! If you’re offering a bar, your caterer must provide a liquor license if your venue does not. Having liability insurance will protect the caterer, you and your guests should any mishaps happen.

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