14 Questions You Should Ask Before Booking Your Wedding Caterer
3-4 hours of your wedding revolves around your wedding reception, and it involves your catering service the whole time. That’s why, it is essential to get the best catering service for your wedding. To get the right wedding caterer, start by asking the right questions.
We know that it is not easy to come up with questions especially if it’s your first time to plan for a wedding.
No worries. We got you. Here are the important questions you need to ask before finally booking for a wedding caterer.
How long have you been in the business?
Important to know: You need a caterer who is already established in the catering industry and has catered many wedding events. You need a caterer who has enough resources, manpower, and who is already an expert in providing catering service.
How flexible can your services be?
Important to know: Each client’s preference varies from one another. It is best to get a caterer who can adjust and be flexible to meet your demands. Get a caterer who can provide your chosen set-up and who can customize your menu choices. It is important that a caterer can customize their packages without compromising the value and standards of the services they offer.
Do you have a food tasting before being booked? If yes, is it for free?
Important to know: There are caterers who require a client to book first before organizing a food tasting. There are some who charge their clients for a food tasting. On the other hand, there are some caterers who don’t organize a food tasting at all. It is necessary to taste the food that they offer beforehand so that you’ll know if it meets your preferred taste. It will also help you finalize your wedding menu. We advise you to go for a caterer who organizes a food tasting event before booking to avoid settling for less. Of course, it is better if it’s also free of charge so don’t forget to ask about it before going.
What kind of food do you offer?
Important to know: You need a menu that will please your wedding guests. A caterer should be able to explain well the component, taste and quality of food that they offer. It is difficult to get a menu that you don’t know and understand. Your caterer should be able to explain each food that you are planning to be a part of your wedding menu.
Will I still get the same quality of food and service that I had from your food tasting?
Important to know: You need to make sure that your caterer will be consistent in providing a good quality of service, no matter how many events they need to handle on the same day as your wedding. Ask them about how they can maintain consistency from the food up to the waiters and food attendants who will be assisting at the exact wedding.
Why should we choose you over other caterers?
Important to know: Ask them about their edge over the other caterers. With this question, you’ll know each caterer’s forte. It will help you find the right caterer who can provide better service that you need. You will find out who will stand out in providing you with the designs, food, set-up and manpower needed for your wedding.
What are your payment terms?
Important to know: Ask if they accept check, credit card or if they are in a cash basis only. Ask for the amount of reservation fee and if you can reserve even with a lesser amount than the reservation fee. Ask them when you do need to the settle remaining balance and pay the full payment. You won’t only spend for catering but for other expenses as well like the venue, photo/video coverage, gowns etc. so being well informed about the payment terms and details is a must so that you can prepare for it.
What are the inclusions and amenities of the packages?
Important to know: Of course, you want every single penny to be worth it. Ask what you can get aside from the usual package of the food and the reception set-up. It will be a big saving if you can find a caterer who includes freebies on their packages such as the wedding cake, use of bridal car, table &menu cards, program host or a photo booth.
Do you have a corporate office? Where do you prepare your food and who prepare it?
Important to know: In case you need any clarifications, having a corporate office will make you know where to go. It is also best to know where your caterer prepares the food. You need to make sure that they have a designated kitchen area and a warehouse which are covered and protected to maintain proper sanitation of all the equipment and kitchenware. Ask who prepares the food and who heads the kitchen. You need to know if they have chefs who thoroughly check for the food quality and food safety officers who assure safety of each food. If this is well answered by your caterer then you get an assurance that it is a licensed catering service with proper business and sanitary permits.
How will you deliver the food? Will everything come fully cooked?
Important to know: Aside from the delivery trucks, make sure that they store the food in a proper food carrier and not just in ordinary trays. It is important to maintain the food temperature and eliminate spoilage. Ask your caterer if there are foods that will be prepared at the venue so that you can coordinate it to your venue’s management.
Where do you get your food attendants and waiters?
Important to know: You need to make sure you have waiters and food attendants who are properly trained for catering services to make sure the quality of service in your wedding.
Where do you get your supplies?
Important to know: Knowing where the caterer gets their supplies will give you an idea, why some caterers’ rate are costly than others. You will know if the caterer gives effort in using high standard ingredients and branded products to ensure the quality of food they cater.
Who will handle the event on the day?
Important to know: Of course, you need someone who will be present to oversee the catering service all throughout the event. You need someone to answer your questions. Ask if the sales person who discussed the packages to you will be the same person who will handle the event and be present on the same day. Get their contact info to be guided from planning until your wedding day.
Who provides the designs and set-up on the day?
Important to know: You need to know if they have an in-house stylist and florist who are in charge of the reception set-up. It would be easier if they do, to guarantee that you immediately have someone to talk to if you have special requests or changes regarding your wedding set-up.
Ask these questions and surely you can get the right caterer who can provide the best catering service for your wedding.
After knowing the right questions to ask, we also recommend you to do one important thing before deciding on your wedding caterer. See more at: Do This One Thing First before Deciding on Your Wedding Caterer.
Co-authors: Maricar Alcobendas, Sales supervisor at Hizon’s Restaurant & Catering Services,Inc. | Irin Rae Hurtado, Sales Supervisor at Hizon’s Restaurant & Catering Services,Inc.| Simon Dayrit, Research & Development Chef at Hizon’s Restaurant & Catering Services,Inc.