Planning that special event to celebrate a key milestone can be an exciting time! But it can also be a stressful process. There are many details to consider for your special event, especially when it comes to selecting a caterer. Here are some easy tips to help make your life easier as you start the process for choosing the caterer that is right for you.
- Talk to your friends who recently hosted a special event.
Word of mouth can be a powerful tool! Take advantage of a friend’s experience who recently went through this process and ask them for some specific vendor referrals. You can also ask them what they liked the most about a vendor OR if they had considered something else during their decision-making process.
- Know the risks of having a restaurant cater your off-site event.
If you have a favorite restaurant, you may consider asking them if they do large scale events outside of their restaurant like a birthday party or anniversary celebration. You already trust the food, so it might be an easy arrangement. But beware – while you may love the food and the experience you have while dining at that restaurant, you may not be able to get the same quality experience when you ask them to take food out of their establishment. Keep in mind that catering should include customer service/staffing and restaurants aren’t always equipped with the resources to cater off-site events and provide quality services. If you are looking for a large scale “take out” experience, then your restaurant may be able to provide that; but if your event requires setup, staff, clean-up, etc. a restaurant may not be the best option.
- Speak with your other vendors about their recommendations.
During your special event planning process, you may have already spoken with other vendors such as a bakery, DJ or local florist. Those vendors may also have some good recommendations when it comes to food. Providing services for special events is their field of expertise so they are most likely well-connected to caterers.
- Look at reviews.
You can easily search on Google for local caterers and their client reviews. Searching on wedding websites (even if your special event is not a wedding!) will pull up some proven local caterers you may want to consider for your event. Some examples of wedding websites that promote different caterers include: The Knot, WeddingWire, love & lavender.
Take a look at our list and get your special event planning off to a great start!