Before you set out to get a caterer for your event, there are some key things you need to have at the back of your mind and there are some things you need to accomplish. Finding the right caterer can be a daunting task if you do not know where or how to look.
Timing is key
Caterers usually do a good job if you contact them well in advance. No matter how small your event may be, always make sure you contact the caterer well in advance. A good caterer will most likely be booked out for a while so you have to put in your request in advance. This will also allow for the caterer to source for any items that they might be to customize your event for you. Yes, the caterer can probably get things together for you in under a week. However, if you want the best out of a caterer, always inform them at least 2-4 weeks before the event.
Keep in Touch
From the first time you contact a caterer whether online or via phone, a lot happens thereafter. If you truly want your event to be a priority for the caterer, you have to check up on them as regularly as you possibly can. Obviously, you don’t want to be checking on the caterer every day but you’ve got to check in every once in a while to make sure everything is going according to plan. Along the way, anything can happen and you might need to switch caterers or change your plans for the set up of your event. Keeping in touch with the caterer is a good way to make sure things are always in control.
Know what you want
The average caterer will be able to bring whatever dream you have to life as long as you give them a sense of what you have in mind. Therefore, before you even approach a caterer, have a vision of what you would like your event to look like. Have the idea ready so that the caterer has something to work with. Most people end up having poor events because they leave everything to the caterer. The event ultimately is yours and the caterer is only offering a service. People who come for your event will blame you and not the caterer if things don’t go according to plan. Therefore know what you want and then let the caterer build on that.
Make budget priorities
Since the caterer is in the business of offering these services, they will most likely tell you that they can provide everything you need - and they probably can. However, you need to look at your budget and see what items you can provide by yourself so that the budget can be cut down a little. For instance, the caterer will tell you they can provide chairs, dishes, linen, decorations etc but if you can get these from elsewhere at a cheaper rate, please do so. It will help you to reduce the burden of having to pay the caterer too much and it will also allow you to gain ownership of your event.
Cater for your own drinks
One very important piece of the catering puzzle is the issue of drinks. The sort of drinks that caterers will provide will be priced slightly higher than if you went out to look for the drinks yourself. Therefore as you negotiate with the caterer, ensure that you provide your own drinks because only then will you be able to get some discounts as you go about searching for drinks for your events. Drinks are an important piece of the catering puzzle and it is where you could easily make some savings. Take on the mantle and opt for more affordable drinks so that you don’t have to pay through the nose for the caterer to provide them.
Listen to the Caterer
There is a tendency of event owners hiring caterers and then ordering them around or telling them how to do everything. Always remember that you hired the caterer to do a job. Allow them to do it and simply offer any help they might need. Listen to the caterer so that when they tell you to give them space so they can work, you do just that. Be on standby for whenever they need anything because they will very easily make your event look very wonderful.
03rd November 2021