First off you’ve got to figure out what you’re looking for to make sure your research heads out in the right direction. The best way to do this is to find your style. When you remember your wedding day, and the food, what words would you like to use? Spend some time searching for different wedding catering options and their point of difference. Here are some helpful tips to work through to find that perfect caterer.
Set a budget
Go no further until you have set a budget. Then, are they within your budget? Be realistic when you are looking at caterers, and send off a couple of enquiries to find out how much they cost. Put your minimum number of guests so that you know what the maximum price per guest will be (prices will tend to go up per guest the fewer guests that you have).
Check with your venue
Venues often have a list of recommended caterers or exclusive caterers. If you’re not getting married at a venue, it’s worth just taking a peek at their approved caterers list for some inspiration. If you are holding your wedding reception at a venue, then this could either make your job really easy as you can just pick one from a list. Or, if you don’t like what’s on their list you’ll have to ask them if they’ll allow an external caterer to come in. Most venues would allow for external caterers, especially those that want to work with you to ensure you get your perfect day.
Have they got any testimonials from previous clients? If you found your caterer you like find out about what their previous clients say about their level of services. If someone that you trust is happy to recommend a caterer to you then you’re one step ahead. However it’s still worth having a look around and reading some testimonials.
Tips for Making Appointments
- When you call to make appointments, try to schedule tastings as part of the interviews—their personality is incredibly important, but it’s their food you'll be putting to the test first.
- Before you leave, ask each caterer to draw up a rough outline including details like cost per person, menu options, exactly what the fee includes (alcohol, rentals, tips), service and presentation style, and less expensive alternatives.
- Check references and find out several things to make your search more helpful - the customer’s head count, venue and menu items. Also the food’s taste, presentation and preparation and not forgetting the quality and efficiency of the waitstaff.