There may be no other choice that is more influential to a successful party than that of the perfect caterer for the event. Therefore, careful research and interviewing techniques should be used before making the final selection of any professional catering services. Choose “facts” over “feelings” when assessing the abilities of the candidates for your fabulous party.

There are many options of professional services at your disposal. Some of the best caterers may be individuals, others may be larger organizations. But no matter which type that you choose, all are legally required to utilize a licensed kitchen in preparation of the food choices to be served. Be wary of the individual who cooks from their home kitchen, and then delivers the food to your gathering.

Factors to Consider

The selection of the right catering service for your event will depend on a few major factors. Some are more adept at planning smaller social gatherings while others are more skilled at coordinating larger functions. During your interview process, it is best to predetermine the skills set of each individual caterer.  

Ask about previously catered events. Ask about the number of guests, the types of food, and the magnitude of the affair itself. Ask about examples of unforeseen circumstances that might have occurred during one of their functions, and how they dealt with the urgent resulting issues. By educating yourself on how these catering professionals handle emergent situations, the final decision of which caterer to choose for your event may be immediately clearer.

Interview Tips

Never hire the first person that you meet. Shop around.  Get details and estimates. Even if the catering service comes highly recommended by other friends or associates, your party may be of a completely different type than theirs. Therefore, the referred professional may not be the best suitable choice for your specific requirements. Talk to several catering companies before making your final decision.

Check References. If the caterer says that they have no references, then don’t even consider that company as a viable option for your event. This method will not always 100% guarantee the perfect final choice, but is a definitive help in narrowing down your options. Ask to inspect their kitchen.  Check for cleanliness issues. Perhaps attend an affair of theirs prior to hiring the catering service to see if they instill a smooth style of operation in their coordination and planning.

Book Ahead

The best caterers are usually very hard to hire. Their schedules are typically already filled for many months in advance. Hire early, no less than 6 months prior to the event. The more time before the party that you can hire the catering service, the better the chance for a smooth running operation.

Once your selection of catering professional is determined, make certain to document every detail from the date, to the menu, to the price list. You don’t want to be left in the lurch on the eve of the party without a professional catering service. Follow-up with your caterer regularly in the weeks preceding the event to cover all of your bases.

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