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How to Make Your Catered Summer Event a Success

wedding-bbq-cateringSummer is a season of get-togethers. From weddings and graduation parties to company picnics and family reunions, people want to get outside and take advantage of the warm weather. They also want to enjoy the food and drink. That’s one thing that make or break an outdoor catered event during the Summer.

If you find yourself in charge of a catered party this Summer, you probably have a whole bunch of questions. How do I decide what to offer my guests in terms of food and beverages? How do I make the most of my budget and avoid any nasty surprises? How do I tell a good catering company from a bad one?

Fortunately, these are some of the best questions to be asking—and finding the right answers will go a long way toward making your catered event a total success. So let’s take those questions one at a time:

How do I decide what to offer my guests in terms of food and beverages?

This is a great question, and the answer is not always simple. It all hinges on knowing your guest list, and having a good idea of what they like. If your guests are predominantly fitness and health oriented, you can focus on healthier, raw, vegetarian, and even gluten free options to keep them happy. If your guests older, avoid too much spice and keep things classic. If you’re throwing a party for a group of “foodies,” you’ll definitely want to be more exploratory.

Chances are though, your event will have a mix of people and preferences. That’s what it’s important to work with a professional caterer who has years of field experience, knowing what works and what doesn’t, and how to cover the bases to make sure your various guests are interested in the food and well taken care of. Designing a menu for your catered event isn’t something you should have to do alone.

How do I make the most of my budget and avoid any nasty surprises?

Money might not be an object for you—but most party organizers are working within a set budget. Sometimes that budget is quite limited. You need to make sure you get exactly what you pay for, no exceptions—if not, guests might remember your party in ways you’d rather forget!

The best way to prevent this problem is to find a caterer you’re comfortable with. Someone who is happy to answer as many questions as you have, and willing to work closely with you, understanding that the success of your event and happiness of your guests is important. Also seek a reputable catering company with clear, simple fee structures that leave no room for hidden charges.

How do I tell a good catering company from a bad one?

Another great question. There are several ways to spot the good catering companies and avoid the ones who are likely to cause problems. Pay close attention to online reviews on Google+, Yelp, and other popular third-party review platforms. Catering is something that clients commonly review publicly, meaning you should get very valuable information by checking reviews. Also, avoid companies that are difficult to contact, and/or don’t seem to have any physical business location.

Making the right call for your Summer get together

Choosing the right caterer is obviously an important piece of the puzzle—but it’s also important to know your guests, your venue, and have a solid idea of what kind of experience you want to deliver. If you find a reputable catering company, their experience and knowledge should help you find the right answers to these questions.

Best of luck with your Summer event planning, and please enjoy!

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