Planning a large-scale event can be time consuming and stressful. The key to a successful wedding, christening, birthday party or company event is to have it organised, prepare yourself for plenty of time planning and delegate wherever possible! One area that you are most likely thinking about delegating is the catering. Unless you have experience on preparing, cooking and serving good food to large numbers of people, it is best to leave it to the experts. Here’s what you need to think about before hiring a catering firm for your event.
The most expensive catering company isn’t necessarily going to be the best. Be sure to shop around and contact a handful of different caterers. You probably have a budget in mind, but try to overestimate all the costs, as this will leave you with a contingency fund in case you need to make any last minute changes to your plans. Ask each caterer for a detailed quote and expect to pay a deposit (normally around 50% of the total cost with the rest payable a few weeks before your event). If you do need to cancel your caterers, try to cancel as early as possible before the event. That way, you are less likely to lose your deposit.
SEE ALSO: Unique Catering Options – On a Budget
Number of Guests
When you contact the catering firms, always check to make sure they have experience of catering for the size of party you are planning. For example, a smaller company may need to draft in some extra assistants to cater for a large number of people.
From vegetarians to food allergies, you will need to find out whether any of your guests have special dietary requirements and then check with your catering company as to whether they can provide for these requirements. If it is a priority for you, ask the caterers whether the food they prepare is fresh and home cooked.
To ensure that the food you eat is safe, it’s very important to make sure that your caterer uses a commercial kitchen, which has been health inspected and approved. Also, it’s a good idea to ask your caterer which qualifications or training they have undertaken and ask to see certificates if you wish. It’s also important to ask your caterers whether they have insurance and if so, what type of policy and what exactly it covers.
Sample Menus and Taste Testing
Lots of catering firms offer regular tasting sessions, putting together sample menus for prospective clients to try before committing to a booking. This is a great idea if you have plenty of time to plan your event, for instance for your wedding or a special birthday party. Even if they do not offer this service, feel free to ask them whether you can make a visit to their premises. This way, you will be able to take a look at their workspace and also get to meet them in person to gauge the type of service you might receive from them.
This guest post was submitted by Francesca on behalf of the University of Liverpool, who provide ideal hospitality in Liverpool – visit their website for more information.