Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Food for Thought!
Were you thinking of using a family friend or new small local business to cater your wedding?
Even though you may save money using one of these outlets, your reception will not have the same quality as it would if you had a professional wedding caterer. When hiring any vendor for your wedding, make sure they have wedding experience because it’s completely different from any other celebration.
The caterer needs to be able to adhere to the strict timeline and work quickly and efficiently so the guests are never wondering why it is taking so long to get a glass of water or their next course of the meal. It’s important to have the very best service on your special day!!
Here are some questions you should ask before hiring a caterer:
1. Have they ever catered a wedding before? (sounds like a stupid question, but you will be surprised…)
2. What is their price range? Are costs itemized depending on the foods you choose, or is there an all-inclusive flat rate? What would that include (linens, tax, gratuities, etc.)? Does the caterer have printed price sheets for food selections?
3. Will the caterer provide tables, chairs, plates, table linens, silverware, salt-and-pepper shakers, and more? Ask to see these items to make sure they're acceptable. Do you have to rent tables, place settings, and/or other equipment or will they arrange for the rentals?
4. Who is the main contact? Will the same person you work with when planning also oversee meal service on the day of the party? (You want this to be the case.) And what will their role me that day, will they be a server or supervisor!
5. Is the caterer working any other events or parties on the same weekend, on the same day, or at the same time as yours? (You want to be sure they will devote sufficient attention to you. You may want to pass on a smaller outfit who indicates they have another job or two scheduled for that day.)
6. Will the caterer provide wait staff? If so, what will they be wearing? Have those servers EVER served before?
7. Will the caterer be willing to include a recipe you provide, like a special family dish, or an appetizer with some sort of sentimental significance? Can they prepare vegetarian or kosher meals for some of your guests if needed?
8. Where will the food be prepared? Are there on-site facilities, or do you, the caterer, and the site manager need to make additional arrangements? If the caterer must bring in his or her own equipment, is there an additional fee?
9. Does the caterer have a license? (This means the business has met health department standards and has liability insurance -- make sure this includes a liquor license if you're having a bar.)
10. Can the caterer provide alcohol? Or can you handle the bar separately? If you can provide it, is there a corkage fee? How and when do you get the alcohol to the caterer?
I am not saying that a brand new caterer is not hire-able, but I want you to know what you are getting into, everyone has to start someone, and having a game plan is a great place to start!