10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Caterer

Whether you’re planning a catered lunch for your employees or a private party to celebrate your best friend’s engagement, it’s always important to seek the best catering company for your gathering. Before you make that crucial decision, here are a few factors to contemplate.

Considering Your Catering Needs

1.      The size of your event. About how many people will you be feeding? If you’re planning for hundreds of people, you may want to pick a larger catering team. For more intimate gatherings, a nimble, one- or two-person operation may be more personable and more cost-effective.

2.      Cost. This one probably goes without saying, but it’s prudent to think through your budgetary limitations before you start calling caterers. Know about how much you’ll be able to spend on food.

3.      The meal itself. Are you looking for a sit-down dinner? Some basic buffet options? Boxed lunches? Appetizers only? Know what kind of food service you’re looking for before you start reaching out to caterers.

4.      Additional needs. Your caterer will supply the food, of course—but will you also need silverware? Cups? People to serve the food? Most caterers can provide such things, but it will likely cost a little bit more.

5.      Location. Does your venue require you to use their in-house catering company? Do they have food prep space? Should you seek a caterer who has some familiarity with the venue? Or are you just having the event at your home or office? All are key questions to consider.

6.      Flexibility. Ask your caterer this simple question: If you find out at the last minute that one of your guests has a gluten allergy or needs some vegan options, will the caterer be able to accommodate? Things like that happen often, and it’s wise to be prepared.

7.      Online reviews. Before you arrange an interview with any specific catering company, do a quick Google search and see what kind of reviews they get. If you see a lot of five-star ratings, that’s definitely a good omen.

8.      Referrals. When you meet with your caterer, make sure you ask for some references—and be skeptical of companies that don’t want to provide them.

9.      Tastings. Always schedule a tasting to make sure you like how the catering company actually cooks. Always, always, always!

10.  Schedule. Finally, make sure you know exactly what day you’re planning to have your event—ensuring you can find a catering company that has availability.

If you’re ready to start talking about the specifics of your catering needs, we’d love to chat; reach out to Mosteller Events at your next opportunity!