Before you sign on the dotted line for a caterer’s services, be sure you understand these points:
- Budget. Know your budget and an approximate headcount. Make sure the caterer’s all in cost fits in with your budget. Ask if there are any other fees.
- Requests. Make a list of everything you want. Make sure you’re comfortable with anything they can’t provide.
- Pre-Approved Caterers for Venues. Check with your intended venue whether or not they have a pre-approved list of caterers, if they do, you may have to choose from that list.
- Full Service Catering. Consider whether you want the caterer to coordinate the whole set-up, or just deliver the food, or something in between.
- Understand the Rules and Policies. Look at the website and learn about the caterer’s specialties, services,
menus, policies and pictures.
- Licensing and Insurance. Find out if the caterer is licensed and insured.
- References. Ask for references and call them.
- Full Service Catering. Determine if the caterer can handle everything you want. Coordinating with more service providers can add to your stress.
- Understand Payment Due Dates, and any Additional Fees. Check out the contract, the amount for a deposit, the cancellation fees
and related dates.
- Be Sure before you Sign. Make sure you feel confident about your choice before signing the contract.
Chef Greg Lewis says: “You should have a good working relationship with the caterer you choose and they should be flexible enough to give you what you want, not what they want: you are paying them.”