Your wedding feast isn’t complete without the professional touch of the wedding caterer. You’ll find plenty of wedding catering companies in your local phone book or directory, and the best way to get some top-choice picks is through referrals from friends and family. When you’re viewing the catering company’s portfolio or history, there are some key considerations to review during your interview process.
Not only will you need to learn about all the terms of your contract, it will be in your best interest to create a preliminary plan outlining your rental, budget, and other specific requirements on for the Big Day. Here are just six items to consider when searching for your ideal wedding catering company:
1. Sticking to the budget. Sit down with the catering company and initiate the interview with your specific gals. You’ll need to discuss the expectations of your guests, and any special needs (e.g. sugar-free menu items, accommodating for food allergies), and the costs associate with these. Most catering companies will create a breakdown of a la carte services, while others will simply price per head and then add outlying costs This is the prime time to discuss any installment planning or payments, as well as setup and cleanup fees.
2. Referrals. Experienced catering companies will manage any wedding day hiccups and issues with the finesse your perfect day deserves. Don’t hesitate to ask for references, testimonials, or even calling up previous clients after approving it with the catering company. This is a valuable investment you don’t want to take lightly!
3. Request a list of rental requirements. Although most catering companies handle all rentals and equipment, you might need to sign paperwork or review rental agreements for any specialty products. Be sure to get these in writing.
4. Head count estimates. Each catering company will require a final head count by a specific date; stick to this date as closely as possible, and find out about all deadlines and due dates. Most will want a final count 2 weeks in advance.
5. Choosing serving style. You’ll need to discuss how and when your food will be plated and served. Do you prefer a buffet line, or sit-down dining? French style dining is when food is plated on the table and the attendants share amongst themselves. Buffets wil require considerable standing and waiting time before everyone gets their meal. Your serving style will depend on the number of guests, and sometimes the theme of your wedding. If you’re serving as a sit-down dinner, you’ll need to take note of any costs for servers at the event.
6. The refund and cancellation policy. This should be outlined in the contract, and you’ll need to review the general terms of the contract along with a clear undersatnidng of the refund/cancellation policy. Don’t overlook this portion of your agreement! It might be easy to get caught up in a million little details, but you want to be secure in your contract every step of the way.
These are just six areas of wedding planning that will demand yoru attention as you plan away the details of your wedding day. From budgeting to rental lists, you’ll need to review each item during the interview process with the wedding catering company.