How Do I Get the Most Out of a Limited Catering Budget?

With the cost of many goods and services on the rise, people are doing everything they can to save a buck. This applies to our online shopping habits, to be sure – but it’s also important to seek the best deal for those important functions and events in our lives. Most people only seek the services of a professional caterer once or twice in a year, at most – but when you do need a caterer, you want the best possible deal. After all, there’s plenty of competition out there. If one caterer can’t give you a good deal, there are probably a hundred more who can.

Well, this isn’t exactly true – at least not in every case. Depending on where you live, there may be a hundred caterers in operation; or there may be only two or three. The other important thing to realize is that getting the best deal involves more than just seeking the lowest possible bid. If you don’t focus on value as well, the catering you pay for might fall woefully short of the mark – and your guests might remember your event for all the wrong reasons!

Making the most of your budget

A reputable catering company will be skilled at making the most of your budget and delivering the highest quality service and menu within the established financial framework. They’ll know how to work with you during the planning phase to set up menu that meets your criteria. They’ll understand which areas of the menu and/or service can be dialed back to save money, and which areas simply should not be compromised. Communication is everything when it comes to maximizing your budget, and the best caterers are skilled communicators from the get go.

Aside from the actual food and beverages you consider for your event, think also about how the food and drink will be served. If you’ve been planning an event with table service (i.e. waitstaff), you can free up a lot of budget space by switching over to a self-serve buffet style. If this doesn’t seem formal enough for your event, consider incorporating a “station” with a chef who will carve meat or prepare other specialty items to order. Guests love this feature, and it brings a nice touch of class to any event.

Asking the right questions and not cutting corners

A good caterer will be able to answer your questions when you make initial contact. They’ll also be able to ask you questions that give you new insights on your event. Obviously, you don’t want to work with a caterer who charges more than they should. At the same time, you don’t want to work with a caterer who charges less than all the others, and delivers a lower quality service to match it. That’s where the concept of value in catering is so important. Whether it’s a graduation open house, a corporate party, or just a backyard get-together with friends, the right caterer will help you make the most of your budget without cutting corners.