New Orleans Parties Meetings & Events

Catering Tips

When to Start Looking for A Caterer

As soon as you have established a date for your event, it is time to start looking for a caterer since in major metropolitan areas the better caterers are booked a year or more in advance. If you are planning to hold your event in a hotel or a facility where catering is provided, it may not be necessary to book a caterer since it is part of the facility package.

What to Ask the Caterer

Different caterers offer different amenities with their catering packages and they also package them differently. You need to find out exactly what is included - and what is not included. Listen carefully and take notes.

In addition to general information, you will also want to know some details that will impact your final costs. Here is an example of some of the types of questions you will want to get answers to

Ask for sample menus and literature outlining what is included in their catering packages. After you have spoken to the 1st caterer on the list you should have a pretty good idea of what information is needed from you and what questions you need to ask the other caterers. Listen carefully and write down notes from the discussions with each caterer so you can refer to them later.

If during your conversation with a caterer a question arises that was not asked of another wedding caterer, call that caterer back and ask them the question. It is the only way you will get an accurate picture of who will be providing the most complete service at the best price.

The Contract

Once you have decided on a caterer and event facility and have selected the menu it is time to reserve the service date and contract the caterer. This should be in the form of an agreement that outlines specifically what you are getting when you are getting it, and what you are paying for - including an itemization of all labor and equipment charges and the specific services that will be performed by the caterer. Be sure that the agreement specifically outlines times and guarantees service on your date and time since some caterers have canceled service of a smaller event at the last minute in order to service a larger event. Be sure you fully and carefully read the agreement before signing it. Double check to make sure that no services are duplicated by another service or the facility before signing the agreement since duplications will impact your total event cost.