>> Jun 1, 2012
Planning a big event requires extreme organisational skills and attention to detail, especially if you are planning to serve food. Whether you are planning a personal family get-together, a gathering with friends or a business affair, hiring a caterer should be on your to-do list in order to pull off the event successfully. Having a professional event caterer will save you a great deal of time and stress during the party planning stages, and will help you feel like a guest at your own party.
If you want a caterer with the best reputation and food for your party, you will have to book them early. Finding the caterer should be one of the first things on your to-do list, so that you can take your time choosing one. Make a list of caterers in your area and begin making appointments with them so that you can discuss your event and find out which company will be best suited to your needs. Also, it is worth asking around in your circle of friends if anyone has any recommendations for caterers, as that is the best way to get an accurate opinion on their service.
Broaden Your Search
The largest and most expensive caterer in town is not necessarily the one that will meet your needs the best. Instead, look for new or smaller companies who are more likely to go the extra mile to get your business, and may be able to give you better deals and more outstanding service than some of the larger companies. Smaller companies also tend to make their food from scratch as opposed to using canned or frozen food, and a newer company is more interested in building a good reputation, so will go above and beyond for you.
Visit in Person
Calling the caterer is fine for getting a price estimate, but the only true way of knowing whether a company will work out is by going in person and talking to them. During your appointment, you will have a chance to sample their food and discuss the particulars of your event, while getting a feel for the type of service you will get from them. Although price, date and food are the most important things to get out of a caterer, you also want to know that they will display the level of professionalism that you require.
Budget and Payment
When you’re making your party-planning budget, it’s wise to overestimate how much the caterer will cost as they usually exceed their quoted price. Most caterers will also ask for half of their payment up-front as a deposit, and the other half after the event is over, so make sure it’s in your budget. Additionally, every caterer has a different cancellation policy, so you should clarify how much notice they would need in order for you to get your deposit back. Knowing these details will allow you to more precisely budget for other party supplies you may need.
Saying Thank You
When the event is finished, and you are satisfied with the caterer you chose, it’s in good taste to send the company a tip as well as a thank-you card and even a bouquet of flowers if you were particularly happy with the service. The better your relationship is, the easier it will be to plan your next event!