How To Hire A Caterer
First you need to decide on a site for your reception, whether it is a reception center, a hotel or wedding hall, your home or an outdoor venue, the choice should reflect what image you want to project and what is affordable. Next, You'll want to research local caterers through referrals from friends, relatives, local advertising and Internet searches. Other venues like fire halls, may give you a choice of caterers from an approved list. If the location for your reception is “all-inclusive”, that is everything such as hall rental, catering, decorating, etc. is included, you will need to work with the staff of your venue to work out specific details of your special day. Always check them out with the information here before making your decision. If you are holding your reception in a hall, private residence or where food is not provided, you need to contact caterers in your area who specialize in on-site catering. When you first contact your prospects, have the following information ready: Date of your Wedding Reception Site Approximate number of guests Service preferences, such as Buffet, Sit Down, Family Style, etc. After verifying that your wedding date is open in the caterer's schedule, try to collect as much initial information from the caterer that you can on this first call. Then request any written information they might be able to send you. Ask if the caterer has a web site available for viewing and if they have their menus on it. Some caterers will offer a “tasting” meeting, for you to sample some of their food. If they do, jump at it. Before you make your first call to a caterer, have the following list of questions in front of you. Ask the same questions of each caterer you call so that you can make an informed decision. Write their answers down so you don't forget what each one tells you. Does the caterer have access/permission to cater at your reception site? Does the caterer assist in setting up guest tables, head table, etc? Does the caterer cover guest tables, linen skirt head table, gift table, cake table, etc.? What decorating does caterer provide? What types of menus are available? Can menu choices vary? Are hors d' oeuvres available? Can “special diet” requirements be met? What types of dinnerware, tableware and glassware are available? Are there extra charges for china and linen service? Is the wedding party served at the head table? Is there an extra charge? Will the wedding cake be served and/or boxed? Is there an extra charge? Will cookies be displayed? Is there an extra charge? Are servers professionally attired? Is there bar service provided? Bartenders? Cups and supplies? Is extra food packaged for take home? Is hall clean up included? Do they offer a contract with all promised items listed? Is there a deposit required to hold wedding date? When is full payment required? How soon in advance does caterer need menu and final count of guests?