Whatever event you are planning, as long as there will be food and/or drinks, it is important to have the right caterer. The importance of having the right caterer can not be emphasised enough because eight out of ten times, the food and drinks will determine how good an event has been / will be. There are some things you need to have at your fingertips as you search for a caterer.
- Find out what they major in
Catering is a very wide field and it would be unwise of you to assume that any caterer can do a good job at your event. Do your best to have a conversation with the potential caterers you are looking at and find out what sort of events they are good at. Most will tell you they can cater to any event however you ought to do a bit of research and find out what sort of events they mostly major in. That way, you will be in control of the kind of catering service you will be given. It needs to be specific to what you are looking for.
- Sample their menu
No matter how good a caterer might say they are, you have to figure out for yourself how their catering products taste. If the caterer is a serious one, they will have no problem giving you a taste of their work. This will help you decide whether or not their catering is up to standard. It will also help you to give them an indication of what you prefer in reference to what they are giving or showing you.
- Ask for some recommendations
Obviously, every caterer will immediately tell you they will do a good job. However, nothing is as important as getting an opinion from someone who has actually tasted their menu. Ask them to share some references and then go ahead to find out from those references what their honest opinion is. This will also help you identify the kind of clientele the caterer has. If the references are people or institutions of good repute, then you can be sure you are dealing with the right caterer.
- Ask for a quote
The purpose of the quote is for you to look at what the caterer is offering and how much it will cost. The quote also helps you determine whether or not the caterer’s services are within your budget and what haggling or bargaining you need to do. It will also help you to see what items you might not need or what other items you might need added to the list before you can eventually settle for a specific package.
- Learn to Negotiate
Caterers are business people just like any other and they too want to make a substantial profit. Before you settle for any caterer’s services, see if you can negotiate for a better deal. Negotiation should be an important part of your day-to-day dealings because it will help you access certain items that you probably would not have accessed if you had not negotiated. Many caterers are keen on offering you a service that is customized to your needs. Negotiate for things that you think will make your event unique and worthwhile.
- Pay attention to Paperwork
No matter how good a caterer may be, you always have to pay attention to the paperwork especially regarding the contract. Go through the contract a few times to make sure you don’t skip anything because the caterer might be good at their job but could have bits and pieces in the contract that might not be good for you. And when you are going through the paperwork, always involve a lawyer so that in case you need to pursue something through legal means, you are covered.
- Licencing and Legalities
It is also important to make sure you are dealing with a caterer who is in good books with the law. Ask them for licences and other documentation to prove that they are operating within the confines of the law. It would be unwise to simply latch onto any caterer and then find yourself mixed up in some unlawful stuff. Always ensure that you are dealing with the right people at all times. Therefore if you have to ask for licences and proof of legality, do it so you can protect yourself from any eventualities.
30th October 2021