For many people, organising an event can be a daunting prospect, especially when you are expected to provide food as well. Perhaps you are coordinating a special anniversary, a milestone birthday or have been given the responsibility of organising a work function. Event catering can be easy if you know what you want, where you want to host your event and are prepared to do a little research. The first port of call is typically a web search of all the caterers in your vicinity. If you live in a region where there are a variety of catering companies all exclaiming their excellence, it can be difficult to choose. How do you go about finding the best fit for your event?
Word of Mouth
Talk to someone who has organised a similar event and ask about their experience. Ask about the quality and timeliness of their correspondence with the caterer, whether their expectations were met and if the professionalism and organisation of the company delivered as they had promised. Perhaps your colleagues have attended or been in charge of a memorable work event. If so, try and garner what you can about the catering company. People often enjoy being asked for their opinion, so get a selection of positive comments and hone in on the catering company with the best word of mouth review.
If your event is at your home or work-place, then you can go directly to choosing a caterer. However, if you have not organised a venue then it’s a wise idea to check if the venue you decide upon has preferred catering suppliers. There are some venues that have in-house catering, so enquire at the site and see if they can suggest a catering company. Venue coordinators will typically have a range of recommended caterers, and since they will have experience with those companies, it is worth adding those names to your list. For some venues that we work with, click here.
Pricing the Food
This is an important part of the process. Getting a ballpark figure of what the catering is going to cost will help you decide who to select to for your event catering. With your shortlist, contact several event caterers with information about your event, the number of guests you expect and the kind of food you are looking to provide. Ideally, you will have a prompt response from the event catering company who will be able to give you a detailed estimate that includes:
- A tailored menu, or sample menu (we design specific menus for our clients, though we have set lists for those who are unsure of what they want).
- Costs of staffing, often determined by the length of time the event runs for.
- Any equipment costs involved
- Suggested venues, if you have not secured one already.
- A total estimate cost.
The catering companies you approach should have a list of questions to ask you about your event so try and be as detailed and accurate as you can about attendee numbers and food requirements. It is also prudent to enquire how experienced your caterer is. Professional event management may be available to assist with coordinating the event. If you are still uncertain, ask to see references. Finally, a menu tasting is a service some caterers provide. Particularly when organising a large and important event such as a wedding.
Ask around and get an idea from contacts as to successful event catering they have received. When selecting a venue, ask for recommendations from the venue organiser, and be sure to enquire about experience and references from your short-listed companies.
For an experienced in-house team of dedicated and highly professional chefs with the option of event management, give us a call to see what we can arrange for you.