Questions not to forget to ask your Caterer
Catering is an important part every Wedding. Why are these 8 questions being missed when hiring them?
This week I’m laying it out. After meeting with several couples this season, I found that their were 7 super important questions they forget to ask their caterers. Grab your pencil and add these to your list before signing any contract….
ONE. TASTING OUR MENU?
OK so found a cater in your budget. YEAAAA. So tell me, what do you know about them. DO they own a restaurant or strictly catering? Have you tasted their food before? If not, I highly recommend doing so. Otherwise you may end up being very disappointed on your wedding day.
Does it cost?Many caterers offer a tasting prior to your big dig. Take them up on it. But one question my couples seam to forget is…. Most caterers will charge a tasting fee. Some may deduct it from your total order and some don’t. Make sure to find out. If you didn’t include the food tasting in your budget, then call your cater today to see if they charge, if they do add right away to your budget unless it’s deducted from your order. Lastly limit the amount of people. This isn’t a free meal, it’s a tasting to ensure the quality of the food you chosen.
TWO. DO THEY OFFER RENTALS?
Every penny counts when planning your wedding. One category that many brides don’t think about are rentals. Rental delivery fees add up. Especially if there is a particular time you need the items delivered. So what if you could get your rents from your catering company?
More and more caterers are offering rentals. Linens, china, utensils, chairs, chargers, and so much more. If they are offering rentals, and it’s what you’re looking for, rent from them. By doing so, you could save anywhere from $100-$500 just on delivery charges alone.
THREE. HAVE YOU EVER CATERED AT OUR CHOSEN WEDDING VENUE?
Now you’ll probably saying, why does this matter. Caters need space to work their magic.Food prep, plating, serving, etc… If your caterer has never catered at your venue before, it’s extremely important to schedule a walk through with them as soon as possible. Trust me your caterer will thank you. Even if they say they don’t need too…. insist it. You do not want any hiccups during your Wedding Day, and if your caterer hasn’t catered your venue, there is defiantly bound to be some.
FOUR. ARE YOU LICENSED, WITH HEALTH PERMITS AND LIABILITY INSURANCE?
Do me a favor think about eating at a restaurant. Would you trust one without a health code score?
When hiring a caterer it is very important to make sure they have all the required licenses and insurances. Most venue will require some proof. I know there are amazing cooks out there. Shoot my grandmother made the most amazing meatloaf dinner ever, but I wouldn’t allow her to caterer my wedding :).
Think about your quests. What if there was a food allergy that a guest wasn’t aware of, or I hate to say this… but food poising. These unfortunate incidence can cause a couple to be sued. If you caterer doesn’t have the health permits and insurance, this liability lies on you. So, if you take any question from this list, make it this one so you are protected and your wedding a day of great memories.
FIVE. ACCOMMODATING GUESTS WITH ALLERGY AND DIETARY RESTRICTIONS?
Food allergies are on the rise and many times guests will deny acceptance to your wedding because of these restrictions. Finding a caterer that accommodates allergy and dietary restrictions make your guests feel needed at your celebration. I always ask my bridal couple to check with their guest list a head of time, so you can let your caterer know well in advance for an accurate proposal. Some of these restriction can cost more i.e. gluten free, peanut free, etc…
SIX. WHO CUTTING THE CAKE?
And I don’t mean the first cut :). I’m talking about who’s cutting the cake for your guests. Most bridal couples hire an outside baker to create their vision, however, bakers usual set up and go.
So who cuts the cake? This is questions that almost every couple forgets to ask. So here it is. Find out from your caterer. Are they able to cut the cake and serve it to your guests? If so, is it included in your package or is there a cake cutting fee.
Cake cutting fees can cost up to $4 a person. If you’re planning inviting 150 guests that an additional $600. My god, my cake only cost me $500. Yup. Caterers like to tell you there is a special way to cut the cake in order to get the most servings out of each layer. And that’s true. However, talk with them and see how they can help you. A lot of caterers will work with you as long as your upfront with them.
Oh, one more thing, your planner/coordinator will not cut the cake. Not even for an additional fee.
SEVEN. HIDDEN COSTS?
Now before you go signing on the dotted line, find out all the hidden costs if there are any. Many people have a misconception that you’re just paying for the food, prep, and maybe serving. But that’s not the case. It cost your caterer equipment, staffing, maybe liens, etc…. Find out what your total cost of your wedding will be and find out what is included. If they haven’t added the service charges, tax i.e. local (sometimes)/ state and gratitude, then find out what it is and add it to your budget. (Those fees can add up your bill quickly). Oh, and keep in mind this an estimate based on the number of guests anticipated. If you end up inviting more it will cost you more.
EIGHT. FINAL GUEST COUNT?
Oh my Oh my. Your guest list. You started with and estimate of 150, however less people RSVP then expected. When you originally contracted your caterer you told them and estimated count of 150, but in the end only 130 RSVP. Do you have to pay for those extra 20 dishes?
Most of time no unless you missed the cut off date. Every caterer has a final guest count date. Your caterer will be ordering food based on the amount of guests expect. If you don’t communicate that the guest count changed high or lower then you may end up with less or way more food than needed. Especially if it’s less, than your saving on your budget. Make sure you know your date and have your RSVP date listed as 2 weeks before so it gives you time to call any that hasn’t.
Catering is extremely important. When guests come to your wedding they are looking for good food and great service. Finding the right caterer for your wedding is important but knowing the right questions are the key. Check out a full list here.
Leave you thoughts and let me know if I can help your with any planning. We also offer consulting services. Contact us today to see how we can help you.
HOW TO GET IN TOUCH:
Party Designs by Jax is a wedding & events planning company in Clayton, NC focused on creating a Fun, Memorable and STRESS-FREE planning experience for all your event needs.
Leave your feedback below or send an email to Jaclyn@partydesignsbyjax.com. If you’d like to know more or meet up for coffee, we really look forward to hearing from you!