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Raleigh Event Catering Tips | How do you pick a caterer?

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC

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How do you choose your Raleigh event catering company? There are many factors to consider when making this big decision. Not doing your research can lead to cold food, poor service and overwhelming disappointment. With these tips, you’ll find that selecting the right caterer is pretty straightforward and can save you time and money and prevent angry guests.

First off, your caterer needs to offer excellent food, service and have the ability to work within the entire event details. If there are any other vendors at your event, ask them for a recommendation first. Next, do some initial research on social media, like Yelp, Google Reviews or Facebook and narrow your list down to 5-6. Any more than that will be too hard to manage.

Is the caterer available for your event date? What is the booking and payment process? What is the final day to cancel without being committed 100%? These are all important questions to ask your caterer during the first meeting.

We suggest you start looking for a caterer 6-9 months in advance, depending on the season you’re holding the event. Major holiday events can book up quickly.

Raleigh Event Catering Super Tip: Once you schedule your event date, a caterer should be one of your first vendors after you choose the venue.

Establish your budget before you meet with prospective caterers. If you are on a limited budget, make sure to express this early in the conversation to ensure the caterer has appropriate options. Catering by Design has menus to fit any size budget. Check’em out!

Ask about any offered specials, and make sure to note what specials differ from caterer to caterer. Be sure to figure out who is providing the linens, tableware and place settings.
Quality of Food
Your caterer should provide stunning presentations paired with sensational tastes. Every professional caterer should have a portfolio of their work. Pairing this with a tasting will give you the entire scope of their work. Make sure your caterer has professional, commercial facilities and a team of talented individuals to serve your guests.

It’s OK to ask the caterer where they source their ingredients. Do they offer local, fresh ingredients or do they cook out of a can?

Never hire a caterer without sampling the menu that you are planning to offer. It’s worth noting that you might have to pay for a private tasting, but that’s a lot better than a dreadful alternative. If a tasting session is not available, see if they prepare samples.

A tasting session is important because you can see the quality, style and presentation of their food. You can also explore how your own ideas can be worked into their existing menus.

Raleigh Event Catering Super Tip: Getting married? Try to attend a wedding show or expo where you can sample food from various caterers in the area. Take business cards from the ones you like.

Experience & Expectations
Make sure the caterer you choose is seasoned to handle your event. The last thing you want is to hire a wedding caterer that has never catered a wedding. Social media and online reviews should really help you here.

Furthermore,  experience brings better expectations. A professional caterer will listen to your ideas and understand the overall vision of your event. The best event caterers will draw on their wealth of knowledge and incorporate only the best ideas for your big day.
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Service is extremely important. Service is equally as important as the food. When picking the correct event caterer, make sure your homework includes researching what level of service was provided to the guests. The serving staff should be enthusiastic and energetic not lethargic and uninterested.

Catering by Design is an award-winning Raleigh event catering company renowned for exceptional cuisine using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, delivered with flawless finesse throughout weddings and events in North Carolina. We prepare menus fit for any budget. Please consider us for all your Raleigh event catering needs!