Working with a caterer is a very important aspect of planning your wedding cocktail party or special party event. Its a bit like the “first date” in some respects.
Think about the type of events you have attended and what you really liked about them. Obviously the food is going to be the main thing, but what was it about the whole event that made an impression
- Menu choices
- Great food recommendations for themed events
When choosing your caterer you will probably have a plan in mind of what you want your party or event to be like. Nowadays we are all in the habit of doing our research especially if you are on a budget. So the dilemma is where to start?
- Ask your friends for recommendations. Chances are your friends have used a caterer or attended an event and absolutely raved about the food and service. Go to their website, read their testimonials and if you are happy with the choice call the caterer to talk to him about your event.
- If you don’t have any good recommendations do your research online. Most caterers will list their specialities and you will have a definite idea of your choice of party – wedding cocktail, gourmet, mobile catering. Get an idea of menu choices, pricing and if you are planning something special, ask your caterer to come up with some ideas for a themed party.
i.e. Indigenous themed menu for one of our corporate clients
Do discuss costs. Don’t be afraid to discuss your budget with your caterer, he/she is the expert and can recommend a suitable menu to suit your budget. Talk through any special dietary choices or special requests so that all your guests get to sample the fabulous food at your party and so that the caterer can ensure that there is enough food for your guests and that you stay within your budget.
Talk to your caterer about what his catering service includes or can provide. If its a small event and you are providing the alcohol to keep costs down you might want to think about a food and/or drink waiter. Consider that once the food is being circulated that there will be nobody to serve drinks so you might want a separate waiter for each.
Ask your caterer if he can provide glassware so that you don’t need to replace any of your own glassware or dishes.
If there are any other services he/she doesn’t provide, they may be able to recommend a suitable vendor.
Using a mobile catering service is great — all you need to do is provide the kitchen. With this service the food is prepped then cooked on the premises. There is a slim chance of the food being served cold and you can see the chef cooking while you are waiting for the next item.
Your caterer will leave the kitchen as he found it, probably even cleaner.
Chances are you will most probably be dealing with your caterer by phone and email. This ensures that both you and your caterer are on the same page regarding final head count, rough duration of the event and any other details that need to be finalised.
Your caterer will usually ask for a deposit with the remaining balance due once the event has taken place. This may fluctuate slightly due to the length of the party and clean up time. Also if there is a specific time that you need to leave the premises (hall or conference centre), make sure you advise your caterer so he/she can factor this into the event.
Sounds like you have everything organised and under control, so get ready to enjoy your fantastic catered event. Cheers!
Standing Room Only is a Brisbane Catering Company that provides gourmet, finger food and mobile catering for cocktail, corporate or wedding cocktail events. Contact us now for your next party or cocktail event.