Did you know there are 134,186 catering businesses in the US alone? This equates to a lot of choices when it comes to organizing events. So do you know how to get the best catering company for your corporate gathering?
With an event being a showcase of your company and brand, getting catering right is imperative. Read on as we give our guide on picking catering services.
1. Know the Type of Service
When organizing your event, it is important to know the type of catering you will need. This is based upon the location of your event more than anything. There are two types of corporate event catering that you can choose from.
Full service is catering is when the catering company provides everything you need. This does not just include food but also stretches to crockery and cutlery. They serve up the food for you and offer a waiting service.
The benefit of full service is that they will also clean up afterward, which means one less thing to worry about. However, it is the more expensive of the two options.
The second option is a drop-and-go service. The food is delivered, but you are responsible for everything else. If you ask, you can often get disposable plates and cutlery included, though you still have to tidy yourself.
Drop and go works out a lot cheaper. You may even find it works out less costly to hire your own staff to deliver the food, though they will not have the training and level of service the former option does.
2. Pick a Budget
Designate a section of your overall budget to your corporate event catering, and stick to it. This helps you stay on track and allows you to shop around to see who offers the best value for money. Do not be afraid to state your final budget and see what options people come back to you with.
Get a few quotes and start comparing catering fees. Most of the budget does not go on the ingredients but more on the cooking of the food. You may find simple, easy-to-prepare foods are much cheaper than extravagant, Michelin-starred efforts despite similar components.
3. Picking Catering Services
Now you have the quotes; it is time to decide. The best way to start doing that is with a taster session. It stands to reason you want to know the quality and taste of the dishes on offer, and this is the most fun part of hiring catering services.
Part of this comes down not just to your preferences but is also about knowing your guests and the occasion. For example, you don’t want to choose options for meals that no one likes. If you are offering a range of BBQ meats and your audience are eco-friendly vegetarians, then trouble is in store.
You should also make sure you have a range of options. One vegetarian or vegan choice should always be included, along with pre-arranged dietary requirements. Catering from Beck’s Prime Restaurant has a number of options for all occasions.
4. Ask Around for Recommendations
The best recommendations always come from word of mouth. If you are organizing a corporate event, it is quite likely that you have been to a few before. Start with any companies that did impressive catering for events you were at, find out who they were, and contact them for a quote.
If this does not prove fruitful, then ask around. You must have colleagues, family, and friends that have organized events. See who they really liked, and even who they would avoid.
5. Check Their Experience
Catering, like any sort of cooking and hospitality job, works in niches. You need to check the experience of a company to see if they operate in the field you want. It does not make them any worse or a better of a company; it is just they don’t specialize in what you desire.
For example, a black-tie event will not really suit a taco food truck for catering. Thus, it is important to check the experience of the company, not just in what they serve, but how they serve it. It is also worth keeping in mind that just because you had success with a company before at an event does not mean they will suit the next one.
6. Get a Contract
To protect yourself, get a contract. this should state all the details you have agreed upon, such as the time, date, food that has been agreed in the correct quantities, and the level of service offered.
This really does need to be specific, and you should not take anything for granted. You should even get specifics on the number of cutlery sets and bar staff on offer.
Finally, make sure it includes the price. This should be broken down so you can see tax numbers and other charges on it.
Make sure it protects you in the event that the caterer does not deliver what is agreed upon. This could be through them providing nothing at all or service under that which was discussed. You may even consider getting an attorney to check it if it is a larger event.
7. Include Cancellation
If the last two years have taught us anything, it is that things can change at a moments notice. If you have experience with catering, then you know that even the most well-planned events can be canceled through problems out of all parties’ control. In this instance, you don’t want to be left footing the bill.
Policies for cancellation should cover both sides. Stipulate what the outcome would be if you cancelled the event, and conversely, what would happen if the company backed out at the last minute.
Enjoying the Event
Picking catering services is about trust. You need a reliable company who can organize your event, so you don’t have to do it on the day. The fewer things you have to organize, the more time you can spend enjoying your hard work.
If you found this article helpful, we have many more. From budgeting to marketing, we can help your event go off with a bang this year!