The success of an event depends as much on the catering at the event as it does on any other factor. Which brings us to the question – what should you look for in a good caterer? Besides obvious requirements like food quality, budget compatibility, and hygiene standards, here are a few things you should consider before making your choice.
Typically, a caterer will be proficient in many cuisines but excel in one or two. When you are shopping for a caterer, you need to know whether your event requires a particular cuisine. If yes, then make sure you choose a caterer who specializes in those dishes. If you are planning to serve up an Indian menu, cross-check that your caterer is experienced in and knows the ins and outs of preparing popular Punjabi, Gujarati, or Bengali dishes.
Always check if your caterer is licensed. The advantages of hiring a licensed caterer may not jump out at you, but they are very essential in the making of a safe and successful event. Licensed caterers hire employees of a certain level of training and ensure that standard requirements of health, hygiene, and safety are followed by staff.
Liability insurance is of different types but it basically ensures that you and your guests are protected against mishaps. The cover may also protect any equipment kept by the caterer on the premises against accidents.
When finalizing your caterer, always check the contact details for the basics as well as the fine print. Understand what the price is and what all is included in that price. Make sure that there are no hidden charges. The contract should list all deliverables and include taxes charged. You must also ask what is considered as an extra cost so that you are not surprised by an inflated bill at the end of the event.
Presentation and tasting
Presentation styles differ from caterer to caterer. Buffets, sit-downs, and packed to-go meals require different areas of expertise. Discuss your requirement and check if the caterer will be able to deliver the same before you book them. A good caterer will always offer a tasting to give you the opportunity to make up your mind about the food quality.
Ability to visualize your experience
When discussing your requirement with the caterer, try and gauge whether they have the ability to visualize the experience you have imagined. Only if the caterer is on board with you and your ideas since conceptualization will the event be a success.
An extensive menu is the sign of a good caterer. This means that you should have enough and more options to choose from, not just in cuisine types but also within each cuisine. Check the variety for starters, dessert, and drinks.
A good caterer will have a professional team. Expect the staff to be trained, dressed appropriately, and follow etiquette. Before you finalize your caterer, always enquire about the staff per guest ratio that they intend to provide at the event.
References and reviews
Word of mouth goes a long way, as do online reviews. Nothing inspires more confidence than references and ratings. It is for this reason that every catering partner at Hafla is reviewed and rated. Make an informed choice!
Catering today is not just about great tasting food, but also about being flexible enough to cater to different requirements. Any gathering will have people with food allergies or dietary preferences that will require you to whip up a gluten-free or allergen-free menu.
Finding the best caterer for your event can be tricky, given the fluid nature of the service. Make your job easier by selecting a caterer through a perceptive event management platform like Hafla which will help you make the right choice!