Well, this is awkward… after all, we are a catering company and writing something about how to hire us can seem a little strange if not, self indulgent. Don’t worry, that wasn’t and isn’t our aim. No, our aim is for something completely different. We actually want to help you make the decision for how it is, one can go about selecting a good caterer, nay, a great caterer for their event.
Obviously though, if you think we fit the bill for your event, you can always contact us and arrange a lovely meeting – see point 4…
Whilst some fantastic venues offer the whole package; location, vista, entertainment and food, not all of them will offer a caterer. Some of the more stately homes may not have a kitchen suitable to cook, but perfect for preparing whilst others would prefer to have an outside event caterer come in and see to the whole food side whilst they focus on their core and primary business – the event itself.
That’s how we’ve gained some of the fantastic insights into this selection process. By working with both customers and events, we understand not only how to get selected but also how to choose the caterer. We use feedback tools and conversation to get to the nitty gritty and we think we have a very good understanding of how to make it work.
Ask around, see what others have to say
One of the big things today, even with the internet, is just asking around your friends, family and even friends of friends about caterers they may have used or seen be used at events. People will remember good ones and they won’t forget bad ones. If you hear a specific name come up a few times, then depending on whether the review was good or bad, you know you have someone that you can or can’t work with. It’s at this point you want to start using the internet.
The Power of Google… and social media
Google is a great tool to find event caterers near you. It’s even better when you can check out their website and see what menu offerings are available, if there are any other signs of the kind of food they provide or any client recommendations. We are all well versed in searching but did you know about social media too? Social Media has become a great tool to check out how active that business or brand may be, it’s sometimes more updated than a website – it is after all a simple way to add information and pictures to something which people will see over some items which may be missed on a website as well. Doing your research now can help narrow down a list of potential caterers.
Figure out what you want to know from your caterer
When you hire a caterer you have to think of it like hiring someone into a business. It’s all about the questions you want answered to identify if there will be a fit with what you want from the evening. Remember, you are speaking to a caterer because you want to hire them for food, not 90 questions on things which don’t get to the heart of your query anyway. Are you price restricted? If so, find out about basic menu costs and work from there. Do you need to caterer for special dietary requirements? Ask how flexible your caterer is. Do you have hundreds of guests for your event? Great, then ask about experience and if there is the capacity or team to cover the event.
You may want to start an email conversation with the caterer and get some of the big questions out of the way, or it could be that you arrange a meet-up to get to know your caterer and sample the food and find out a little more.
Meet your caterer
Having a good relationship with your caterer is essential, we believe that it is fundamental especially if you are catering for different tastes and have a specific thing in mind. This is a great time to try a sample menu, take notes and find out some really key information such as availability (do this before meeting up though) or it could be to put a name to a face. Good caterers are great communicators generally; they understand your needs and piece together a menu that you want and talk you through things.
Do you feel relaxed?
If the answer is yes, especially during the meeting this means that you have found someone that has put you at ease. That is a very good thing. When you hire a caterer you want to trust them to get the job done. So if you’ve asked questions, researched them on the net, met them face to face and feel comfortable what you then have to ask is, “why won’t I hire this caterer?”
These are just some ideas in helping you identify and hiring a caterer. If you have any others, we’d love to know them. Leave us a comment or get in touch on our Facebook page.