5 Questions to ask your local catering company

Local catering company, what to ask

If you’re looking for a local catering company to provide food for your event, there are a number of questions it’s worth asking the businesses on your shortlist. The answers should help you make up your mind which company is going to be the best one to hire.

What’s included and what’s not included in your quote?

It’s important to know at the outset what you’ll be paying for. The caterer will obviously be quoting for the food, but are any services included as well? Does it cover the cost of the serving and waiting staff, for instance? And what about crockery, cutlery and water glasses – will they be an additional charge, and if so, how much? If you’re planning a wedding, will the wedding caterer be happy to cut the cake and serve it to your guests, and is this an extra charge?

What are the maximum and minimum number of guests you can cater for?

If you’re planning a huge event, catering companies may not be able to cope with the numbers, so before you even talk about menus, make sure you let them know how many guests you’re expecting. At the other end of the scale, if you’re planning an important dinner party at home but would like someone else to do the cooking, so you can look after your guests, let the caterer know in case they have a minimum number restriction.

What are your speciality dishes?

By asking this question, you may discover your caterer has a flair for a particular dish you hadn’t previously considered. In which case, it may be just the thing that will delight your guests.

What would you suggest?

Even if you’ve got an idea about the type of food you’d like to serve, it’s worth asking your caterer if they have any suggestions. They’ll have enough experience to know what goes down well and may come up with options and ideas you wouldn’t have thought of, and may be able to make your budget go further than you’d expected.

How much will you charge for the tasting?

It’s always worth booking a tasting session so you can make an informed choice about your final menu. Ask about how much this will be before you book it, so you can make sure you balance your budget.

Questions it will be useful to ask at the tasting

The tasting session will be fun and you’ll get to try some wonderful food. But you will need to have a list of questions to ensure your guests will be served what you’re expecting – questions such as:

  • What will the portion size be? Will it be the same as the dish you’ve just served me?
    Is this how you’ll serve the dish on the day? If not, what will it look like? If you’re impressed by the way the food has been plated, you need to make sure it’ll look that way for your guests too.
  • Will you be preparing the dish in exactly the same way on the day? At a tasting session, it’s easy to produce freshly cooked food straight away, but if you’re catering for a large number of diners, there may be a delay getting the food from the kitchen to the tables during which time the food is kept on warming trays, and this may affect the dish.
  • When do you need the final guest numbers? Your caterer will need to know how many guests they’re catering for a few days in advance so they can buy enough ingredients for your meal. They’ll also need to know about any dietary requirements in order to cater for guests with allergies and intolerances, as well as how many children’s meals will be needed.

Any more questions you would like to ask us? get in touch!

Copleys Food
18 Dec 2019

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