How to Hire a Caterer - In 7 Easy Steps

It seems easy enough, you have an event and need to hire a caterer. However, it’s not as easy as calling a caterer…if you don’t know what you want.

My easiest clients are those who have an idea of what they want and just need some guidance. They have a budget (or an idea of one), know what they want on the menu (or at least some items, and have an understanding of what things cost. My most difficult are those who have no idea what they want or how much things actually cost. Hopefully, knowing the following can help us help you.

  1. Money Matters - Know (And Share) Your Budget

    1. Sure, everyone wants to provide a great meal at their wedding, with us it’s possible, at every budget. However, be realistic about your budget and what you can afford within such budget. $15/person may only afford you pastas and salads, but they’ll be very good pastas and salads. At $25 person, you won’t be able to serve lobster, be we may be able to provide some seafood options. When you communicate you price per person, let us know if that’s inclusive of tax and service. You certainly don’t want to get the ppp down to what you want, only to have tax and service drive it up again. My point, know that you may not be able to afford what you want, but you may be able to get something similar, at a price that’s easy to swallow. If you have a budget, it’s best to share it.

  2. Save The Date - Part 1 - Are We Both Available

    1. Most people have a date in mind, if you do, please share it. Let’s determine if we can accommodate your date ASAP, as to not waste your time, or ours. If you don’t have a date in mind, we’ll work with you, assuming we’re able to cater your event.

  3. Location, Location, Location - Share Your Space Info

    1. If you already have a location or have on mind, please let us know. We may have catered in your location and thus, have some insight into the venue, rental procedure, and the layout of the space and/or kitchen area.

  4. Describe your dream wedding (or event) menu - Give Us Some Ideas

    1. If you’ve spent any time dreaming of your wedding day, you’ve at least give the food some thought. Please share that! Whether it’s a poke or taco bar, a pasta station, seafood buffet or a plated meal, let us know what your thoughts are. The more guidance you can provide in order to build your menu, the better.

  5. Look Beyond The Menu

    1. As stated in Money Matters, catering is much more than food. When deciding on your budget, determine the type of service needed. Know that a plated meal will require more staff than a passed cocktail reception, which requires more staff than a buffet. Whatever your style, know that the more personal and intimate your food service, the more staff you’ll need to serve. Generally, we provide 1 server for every 25-30 people being served. My partner states that the service is just as, if not, more important than the food. People rarely remember bad good, yet, they’ll never forget bad service. When seeking out caterers, take this into account.

    2. Know that catering does not include the dishes and utensils your guests will need to enjoy our delicious foods. Because we never know how many people we’ll feed or the particular needs of our guest, we keep a limited number of dinnerware, glasses and utensils in stock. Therefore, we rely heavily on rental companies to help execute your events. Since these are rentals, the cost will be passed onto you but you are more than welcomed to provide your own dinnerware, utensils, and glasses.

    3. Taxes - we all have to pay them.

  6. A Matter of Taste

    1. Your tasting (if you choose to have one) is your opportunity to provide feedback. If your meal will be plated, you’ll get an opportunity to see how it’s plated/presented. You’ll see what the dishes will look like and how they taste. You’ll likely get tasting portions of a limited menu, but use this opportunity to ask questions and give suggestions. Are things too spicy, hot/cold, or not enough? Do you want to reconsider a dish, now that you’ve tasted it and/or have seen how it looks. Will your choices appeal to most of your guest? This is something you should have considered during menu-planning, but you have another chance to make changes. After this, there’s no turning back.

  7. Save The Date - Part 2

    1. Whether you have a date or not, know that we cannot reserve your date until after you’ve submitted a deposit.