If you’re like most people, the prospect of organizing a party—whether it’s a wedding, birthday or other special event—can be stressful. There are so many details to cover. You want to make sure everything runs smoothly so that your guests can relax and enjoy the festive atmosphere. The last thing you need are delays, mistakes and unexpected problems—yet these are exactly the kinds of things that often happen.
Catering is, of course, one of the central (if not the central) aspect of throwing a large party for a special occasion. When the food and wait service are excellent, people’s minds are set at ease. But when the catering goes wrong, it can cast a shadow over the event, leaving you and your guests unhappy with the way things turned out.
So how do you ensure that your event is catered to the highest professional standard, and to your exact specifications? Finding a reputable company is the first and most important step. In order to do that, it helps to know about the following mistakes people commonly make when hiring a professional caterer. That way, you know what to avoid.
1. Hiring a company with poorly trained staff
Some companies don’t take the catering business as seriously as they should. In fact, it’s a highly specialized trade that requires disciplined training. Would you want people who hadn’t been professionally trained to be catering your wedding? From the transport and setup of equipment to the setting of tables and preparation of serving lines, you need staff who are detailed-oriented and committed to professionalism. This only comes through culinary and logistical training for all staff members. Most reputable caterers have teams that are led and trained by graduates of culinary institutions. The more training a company provides its staff, the better your results will be.
Tip: Before hiring a catering company, make sure to ask about who will actually be catering your event and what kind of training they have.
2. Not being on the same page
You might have agreed on the menu, but have your caterers taken the trouble to really understand the type of event you’re organizing? Are they aware of the decor, style, venue, and thematic elements involved? If a company seems to take little interest in these details, you’re better of searching elsewhere. Focus on catering companies who put extra effort into understanding your event so that their service can be spot on.
Tip: Find a company who wants to know all about your event, and consider a meeting or conference call between your caterer and other professionals who will be helping with your event.
3. Not being particular about ingredients
Your catering company might do everything right in terms of service and presentation, but if the food doesn’t exceed expectations, you and your guests will notice. That’s why it’s important to find a company with a commitment to the finest ingredients, products and preparations. When it comes to catered events, quality through-and-through is the only way to go.
Tip: Before signing any contracts, make sure your catering company knows how important quality ingredients are to you. Ask them to explain where their ingredients come from and how the food is prepared.
Making the best choice for your event
Choosing a caterer for your special event doesn’t have to be stressful. If you ask the right questions, and keep these common mistakes in mind while researching your catering options, you’ll be able to sidestep those unwanted surprises and enjoy the party.
Good luck with your catered event!