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Choosing Caterers for Different Types of Events

By: Sam Harrington-Lowe - Updated: 11 Jan 2011 | comments*Discuss
Choosing Caterers For Different Types Of Events

There’s nothing quite as luxurious as having your event catered! The pleasure of having someone else prepare the food and serve and clear up afterwards can really ensure that you enjoy your event as much as your guests, and can ensure you’re relaxed and not stressed out with cooking, making you a better host.

Choosing the right caterers is important of course, and there are a few things to think about before booking that can help ensure the day goes smoothly and without any hiccups.

What Kind of Caterer?

There are many types of caterers around and you will find that they very often have areas of expertise. Some, for example, may be very good and creating exquisite canapés for a reception, but not great for a plated three course meal in a marquee with an event built kitchen station in the middle of a field! Check to see what kind of events they do mostly.

Think about the kind of event you are having. Sometimes a hog roast is a brilliant way of feeding lots of people quite cheaply, but it’s very informal, often served wrapped in napkins or on paper plates. Do you have any requirement for a diet-specific caterer, such as kosher or halal? Can your caterer accommodate different dietary requirements such as vegetarians, vegans and also any guests with food allergies?

What Else Should You Think About?

Do you need the caterer to bring a bar? Will you want them to circulate food or have a buffet? It’s also a good idea to think about your other requirements such as tables, chairs, linen and glassware – can you supply this or will you need to order this from your caterer too?

Caterers will also often be able to provide other aspects for your event or recommendations for people they have worked with before such as florists for creating table centre pieces, or companies that offer draping and décor. It’s worth contacting an event management company in some cases if you need full event services, as they will usually have caterers as part of their team and can offer everything as a one stop shop.

Checking Out the Service

Having a good or dodgy caterer can make or break your event so it’s worth checking them out before the big day. It’s a bit harder for the hog roast for example as they are unlikely to want to cook a whole pig for you to check out! But most caterers will offer a tasting session, for you to get an idea of the quality of their food. You might also of course want to use caterers that are recommended – tried and tested!

Check also the crockery, cutlery and linen they intend using to ensure you’re happy with this too – presentation is really important.

Getting a Good Price

As with engaging the services of any supplier, it’s always a good idea to get a few comparable quotes. Shop around a bit and get at least two or three quotes from different companies, checking also to see if the costs include everything – e.g. delivery and furniture hire for example – or you could end up with hidden costs.

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