5 Questions You Should Ask Your Caterer

If you are planning a special event such as a wedding reception, the greatest portion of your event budget will be spent on catering services. For that reason, you should have a clear understanding about what’s included in your catering contract.

As you are interviewing caterers, you shouldn’t be shy about asking questions about their services. Here are 5 questions that you should ask your caterer before you hire a catering service.

1. Are you licensed to serve food as a caterer in my state?
Caterers who provide food, refreshments and alcoholic beverages must be licensed in the state in which they operate. Determine whether the caterer is licensed to serve food and alcohol.

Although it might be less expensive to hire an unlicensed caterer, it’s not a good idea. If the food makes your guests ill, you could face legal troubles.

2. What is the cost of a menu selections for children?
When it comes to food, it doesn’t take much to make children happy. Foods such as pizza, hamburgers and french fries are sure to put a smile on their faces.

Since caterers charge by the plate, you may be able to save money by offering menu selections for children. Discuss your concerns with your caterer to determine if this is a viable option.

3. Will your service provide staff to serve at the event?
Whether you are hosting a buffet or a sit-down meal, there should be enough staff available to meet your guests’ needs. Determine if there will be an on-site coordinator for the event and how many servers will be present during the event.

4. What’s included in my contract?
Most catering contracts are not all-inclusive. Your contract should clearly state the services that are included and the specific costs for each item. Here are other things that should be included on the contract.

  • Event information
  • Types of staffing and service
  • Menu and beverages
  • Terms and conditions

5. Will I be allowed to sample the menu prior to the event?
It’s important for you to sample the food before the event. You don’t need any surprises on the day of the event. Be sure to ask if there is a charge to sample the menu. A nominal fee is a small price to pay for the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing that the food is up to par.

Planning an event can be challenging. By asking the right questions, you can avoid the common pitfalls of hiring a caterer.