13 Questions to Ask Your Caterer

When it comes to spending money on catering, it’s easy for your taste buds to cloud your judgement. And before you know it, you’re spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on food and services, and you don’t even know for sure what you’re getting.

The process of vetting and choosing the right catering services for your event can be confusing, especially if it’s your first time. The good news is that by being prepared and asking the right questions, you’ll find the perfect match. Don’t know where to start? Here’s a list of questions to have at the ready when you meet with a potential caterer.

Is my event date available?

  • Before you get too excited about a caterer, make sure they are available to work the day of your event. Be aware that most caterers are booked far in advance, so if you don’t want to miss out on your top pick, start early!

Are you properly licensed?

  • Does the caterer you’re working with have health permits and liability insurance? If you plan to serve alcohol, does your caterer have the proper license to do so?

Do you specialize in certain cuisines?

  • There are plenty Indianapolis catering companies offering a variety of services and specialties. Review sample menus to see if your caterer’s options suit your event, especially if you have a theme.

Where does the food come from?

  • If you’re spending a lot of money on a caterer, you’ll want to know if your food is fresh or frozen. And if you are interested in organic or sustainably farmed ingredients, ask if those are viable options.

Will the food be prepared on-site or prior to the event from another location?

  • Your event venue might not be equipped for onsite food preparation, so make sure you know facility capabilities before you talk with your caterer. This will help you decide which option is best.

Do you do menu tastings and is there an extra charge for this?

  • It is always a good idea to taste menu options before you decide on your caterer.

Do you handle rental equipment?

  • Find out if your caterer provides linens, glassware, tables, etc., and if they will handle table settings on the day of the event. This is applicable, of course, only if your venue will not be providing them.

How will your staff dress?

  • Ask about the staff’s typical work attire, and consider whether it suits your event. If not, ask if there is flexibility. For example, if your event is a Mardi Gras party, can the staff wear festive masks or colorful beads if requested?

What is the average price range?

  • Understand how the caterer prices the event and what is included in the cost.

Who is the main contact?

  • You’ll want to have a main point of contact that will be managing your event from start to finish.

What’s your waitstaff-to-table ratio?

  • Generally speaking, the more staff per table, the better service for your guests. Find out how many staff members are included in your cost, and if there are options for adding more if you want them.

Can you speak to previous clients?

  • To ensure that your caterer is more than just talk, ask for references and speak to your caterer’s previous clients.

Choosing the right caterer can be an exciting experience if you’re prepared before the process begins. And once you’ve made your choice, you’ll feel comfortable and confident, knowing that your event will be an amazing and unforgettable one. Ready to give it a try? Give Indy Fresh Catering a call at (317) 605-1200.