Whether it’s a wedding, birthday, holiday dinner or conference, food is crucial for your event—delicious, delectable, mouth-watering dishes. You want the kind of food that makes your guests go back for seconds.

Really good food—or terrible food, unfortunately—makes your event unforgettable. So what’s the magic formula behind finding a great caterer? All you have to do is make sure they’re the right fit, and you do that by asking the right questions.

Here are seven smart questions you can ask to find the perfect caterer for any event!

1. “What are your specialties?”

Find out your caterer’s number one hits. This is a great way to get a feel for your caterer’s overall culinary style. See if they have a list of customer favourites and specialties. You might consider planning your menu around those faves so that you’re serving up surefire winners at your event.

2. “What do you recommend?”

Talented caterers have a ton of expertise and know-how, so make sure to ask for their event food and menu recommendations! They can offer ideas that fit nearly any budget, guest count, and event style. It takes a lot of guesswork off your plate.

3. “How do you present the food?”

When it comes to amazing food, the visual presentation is just as important as the taste. Whether it’s a large buffet or individually plated food, you want a caterer that puts passion into how they plate and serve their food. Ask to see photographs of their recent and favourite work.

4. “Let’s talk budget—how much will this cost?”

When it comes to smart event planning, every dollar counts and your budget is key. Get crystal-clear on what’s included in the cost for your event catering. Many caterers offer a per-guest rate, which makes it simple, but to avoid any unexpected costs, ask if things like set-up, take-down, and gratuity are included. Get a break-down of exactly what’s included and what isn’t6. “Can you provide a sampling of the menu?

5. “Can you deal with any special dietary requests?”

It is possible that a few of your guests may have special dietary needs like gluten free, vegetarian, allergy concerns, etc. Check in with the caterer to see how they would handle special dietary needs or other unexpected requests that might arise. If you get a feel for the caterer’s process ahead of time, you’ll know what to do if those things come up.
“Can you provide a sampling of the menu

6. “Can you provide a sampling of the menu?”

Ask the caterer if they can let you sample the food before your big event. This one’s a no-brainer. It’s one of the best ways to help you choose the menu, taste the quality, and even select a theme for the food for your event.

Keep in mind that catering companies that do farm-to-table style catering may encourage you to sample their food for quality, but it may not end up being the exact same food you have at your event

7. “Have you ever catered an event at my venue?”

It’s a huge plus if the caterer has experience at your venue, but even if they haven’t, they should have a plan for how they will execute any meal in a new space. Caterers typically speak with the venue ahead of time to learn about set-up and sometimes visit beforehand if there’s anything complicated. Good caterers will have a plan in place for a range of venues and scenarios, and be able to offer you tailored menus, solutions, and ideas.

Want to know more about hiring a caterer for your event? Drop us a line, and we’ll share some tips!

Some great catering companies we recommend

Rustic Gourmet

Catering Visions

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Surrey, British Columbia