If you have an upcoming party or event and you need to hire a caterer, but you are not sure about how to find the right one, this is the article for you. I, too, once stuck in the situation of finding the right caterer for a party I was assigned to plan for. Thankfully, though, I’ve gone through it gracefully and the experience acquired is what I want you to learn from. Basically, you start with these 9 key areas and extend it with your own preferences or qualifiers.
You don’t want to be working with any bogus catering service provider; you want to work with a company or someone that has actual business license to offer the service. This is why asking for a caterer to present to you a business license would not hurt. It’s your right to hire a service that is legal and professional at that.
A Health Department Permit is required to operate a food service in any state, as far as my recall is accurate, and your soon-to-be catering service provider is not exempted. Acquiring such permit would require the claimant to present relevant factual documents. Any food establishment and vendor without such permit violate the food safety regulations, which you don’t want compromise with.
Knowing if the caterer has liability insurance is like knowing beforehand how far you can chase the service provider in the event of any incident, trouble or misunderstanding where suing one another is a probable option. Aside from that, food vendors including caterers are required to have liability insurance to sell food or offer service anywhere.
References are a list of contacts that you can have a conversation with to further learn things about the service provider. This should be particularly a list of previous customers’ contact details that you can use for your review. We can assume that a service is good if the provider can confidently hand over a list of active and valid references, most especially when these references share good feedbacks toward the same service provider.
The reason this can be crucial is that you want your caterer to have the full attention to your party or event. Thus, knowing if the service provider caters to more than one event at a time is necessary. Ultimately, you’ll want a caterer that attends to one client at a time, so maximum attention is warranted and a perfected service can be expected.
Money trouble can halt a planning stage which can possibly mess up or move the event to another date. You don’t want any money trouble to happen in the middle or on the day before the event. Some of the things you want between you and the caterer to have a clear understanding about include but are not limited to the deposit requirement, refund policy, final payment expectancy and payment methods. You may even want to know if small children should be paid full price.
What are the things included in the service you will be paying for? We sometimes recognize these things as extras. Knowing what’s already provided allows us to focus our attention to other things not covered by the catering package. Some of the things you probably want included already are tables and chairs, linens, glassware and food heating equipment.
This is especially crucial when the date of your inquiry/service subscription closer to the day of your party or event. Thus, you will want a caterer that can execute and deliver a service fast. So, go ahead ask how much time is required by the caterer to set it all up.
As can be expected, events and parties leave things to clean up, like used utensils, dirty linens and trashes here and there. Parties can suck up energy really fast leaving you already tired and exhausted to handle the chores left, so it would be nice if the caterer can also clean things up and take away all the trashes when they leave.