Table Setting with plaid

Photo by Amelia Anne Photography

So we’ve got the venue and an event planner, what is naturally next?! Food! Food plays such an integral part in events. Having the perfect set-up is important. You can source food on your own or hire a caterer who can handle the menu planning, shopping and ultimate execution. Your caterer can handle many aspects of the events food needs. They can provide food that they drop-off, work the event and man the buffets, sit-down dinners, or passed hors d’oeuvres—once you meet your caterer you can determine what type of food situation you envision for your day.

Having had a few events on property already, we have seen a variation of catering situations as well as various duties the caterer has for each event—from procuring the drinks to setting tables.

Here are a few key questions to ask your caterers:

  • Do you have set menu options or can you create a custom or themed menu? are you able to manage dietary restrictions?
  • What would you recommend given budget, guest count and event theme?
  • How do you handle tastings?
  • What’s the price difference between a buffet, a sit-down meal and family style and between passed appetizers and appetizer stations?
  • Do you provide linens, utensils, serving table decor, etc.?
  • Do you handle set-up and breakdown?
  • Are you able to set tables ?
  • Will you be overseeing the meal service or do you have an on-site manager to coordinate these things?
  • I s there a cut-off date for making menu changes?
  • Are you licensed to serve alcohol? (some venues require a licensed bar service, this is an important question to find out from your venue)
  • Do you charge for vendor meals or do we include those in our headcount?
  • What’s the ratio of servers to guests?