Looking at outside catering companies can leave you feeling overwhelmed. There are many companies and caterers to choose from. However, not all of them will be the right choice for you. Some will be specialists, and some will offer buffet-style catering (which may or may not be suitable for your event). To make the right choice, you need to look at all the options available to you, and then go ahead and weigh the advantages.
Decide Why You Need a Catering Company
To start making that search a little easier, you need to establish why you need a catering company. Do you need one as you are hosting an event and you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen? Or, are you planning a get-together and you want everything to be hassle-free to allow you to reconnect with family and friends? You may be hiring a caterer for convenience. Trying to cook and prepare (and even source ingredients) can be tiring, and it can be an added stress that you just do not need. When you know just why you are reaching out to caterers, you will then have direction and focus.
Target Your Search
Look at those that will cater for your event or party. There may be a lot of caterers or catering firms in your local area, but they may not all be suitable, or even available. Not all catering companies will be able to accommodate the type of event you are holding, or even manage the numbers you are looking to invite. Availability is a big issue with caterers, and naturally, the good ones will get booked up months in advance. Getting on waiting lists and contacting caterers through a targeted search will help you control those stress levels.
Choosing a Menu – Looking at Variety and Customization
All caterers will offer their own menus, and some of the better ones will be able to provide you with customizable catering menu options. Establishing what you want and need on a menu will help you select a caterer. Thinking about the guests or attendees and thinking about their meal needs and requirements is crucial. You may find that you have vegetarian guests or vegan guests attending your event. Speaking to a caterer in advance will give you a greater choice and selection and save that last manic panic.
Working Within a Budget
How much do you want to spend on the food for your event? Do you have a cost per head in mind, or are you working toward an overall budget? Setting the budget early on is important. Communicating this budget with a caterer is even more important. If the budget is not spoken about, costs can end up spiraling and escalating, and this can cause friction between you and a caterer. Be clear about what your budget is and be prepared to talk through your budget with a caterer. They will be aware of how much food and ingredients cost, and they will be able to tell you if your budget is realistic or not.