The Best Way to Select a Caterer for Your Party, Conference, or Event
Planning an event will always come with planning the menu for the event, as these two factors go hand in hand. But when you are planning your menu, you have to decide on the proper catering service. First off, have your shortlist of caterers and narrow down your choices until you are left with the best one. But what makes a good caterer, and what criteria should you consider when choosing one? If you are planning a party, conference, or any other kind of event, here’s the best way to select a caterer.
Figure out what works for you
Before you do the research, think about the type of event you are having. How formal is it? Where will you be holding it; what type of venue or location do you have in mind? How are you planning to arrange the seating? How many attendees or guests are you having? What kind of food do you think your guests will appreciate? Do any of your guests or attendees have dietary or nutritional requirements?
You can choose from three essential services, namely the reception, the buffet, and the tabled catering service. The reception is less expensive than the other two, and it usually includes finger foods and drinks which your guests can consume while standing. The buffet, on the other hand, is more expensive than the reception but less costly than the tabled option, and your attendees can choose their food from a spread. The tabled catering service is the most expensive of all, and it involves attendees sitting at a table and being waited on by staff.
The top factors you should remember when selecting a caterer
The company should be able to accommodate your guest list, so it follows that their size should be a good match for the actual size of your party or event.
Budget is another essential factor, so figure out your budget first before you talk to any caterer since it will narrow your search further. It’s best to look for a caterer who can give you a good balance between price and value.
You also want to think about your event’s location when choosing a catering service, because a local catering service will be more familiar with the area and your venue. You can also lessen the chance of any delays due to long travel times.
- The limitations of the venue
Most venues will actually have a list of available caterers on-hand, and these are catering services they have already worked with in the past. You could consider choosing one from their list so you can lessen the likelihood of mistakes or misunderstandings. Who knows – you may even get a discount.
- Proper communication
The caterer you choose should be easy to contact and will make sure to respond to your messages or calls in a timely manner. If there are communication issues from the beginning, there’s a good chance that you can encounter more problems further along.
- Specialisation and experience
Just like event planners who often specialise in specific kinds of events, such as the expert party planners in Oxfordshire from Oasis Events, catering services will also have their own specialisations and degrees of experience. It would be best, then, to choose a catering service that has experience with your type of event as well.