Reviews have a huge impact on the choices we make in the world of goods and services, and catering is no exception. In fact, catering is arguably one area where reviews are especially important. Why? Because people hire caterers for special moments and special events – occasions where they really want things to go right.
This puts a lot of pressure on caterers, but that’s just the nature of the business. A caterer who isn’t good at working under pressure is not going to find much success in the community. Catered events are often full of surprises, and knowing how to deal with those surprises (from inclement weather to a larger crowd than expected) is what makes the difference between consistently successful events and consistent disappointments.
All of this is part of the reason why reading reviews of caterers is so important when researching for your event. It helps if a catering company has a clear, simple, informative web site with plenty of content and photos from past events. Customer testimonials on the caterer’s web site are also a good sign. If you visit a web site that looks dated and confusing, your experience working with that company could prove to be equally problematic.
But at the end of the day, what a caterer says about themselves is not the most important thing. The most important thing is what past clients say about that caterer – and for these reviews, it’s better to check Google, Facebook, Yelp, and any other business directories where reviews may have accumulated.
A lot of people get confused by reviews, and rightly so. Often times there are so many reviews, and while the average score may be decent, there are several scathing reviews where things really didn’t go well. Likewise, there may only be two or three reviews, and they are all five stars. This can make you wonder when that first negative review is coming – and whether it could be you.
Ideally, you’ll find a catering with a high aggregate review score with a minimal of criticism. It’s also important to look for responses to criticism. Some platforms allow businesses to respond to negative reviews, and this is where it gets interesting.
Would you rather hire a catering company who responds apologetically to criticism, and tries in the most diplomatic way to make things right? Or one that responds to criticism with indignance or even anger? This is a strong indicator of how that caterer feels about individual customers, and building a customer base in general. If something goes wrong with your event, whatever caterer you hired, you want them to try and make it right.
Readings reviews is important on so many levels when choosing a caterer, and people write their stories in many different ways – but you should be able to get a good feel for whether the customer was happy or not. Mediocre reviews aren’t very good either. The kind of caterer that consistently exceeds expectations for other customers is the most likely to exceed yours as well.