Post # 1
Finding a caterer was a daunting task for us (finding our venue was the first horrendous task)!
We finally found our caterer and I decided to blog about the questions we asked while searching for a caterer.
You can read the blog post here, but I’d love to hear what questions and concerns you had when looking for your caterer.
Post # 3
Make sure you ask about
(1) Vendor Meals
(2) Any rentals – tableclothes (colors, patterns, texture), dishware/china (colored? square? circle?), silverware baroque, hammered, traditional), charges
(3) Food! Choices (Duo plate, choice of entree, or one plate; vegetable choice(s), starch, vegetarian option, dietary restriction options; appetizers, etc)
(4) Alcohol – packages, can you bring your own?
(5) Staffing/Bartenders – how many?
Off the top of my head, that’s what I got. But I’m sure others will have some good input!
Post # 4
I don’t know that I would rule out a caterer simply because they have multiple events on one day. A professional caterer is able to handle that. You don’t need the same manager or chef overseeing every single bite of food; in a busy catering kitchen you will find several sous chefs, each responsible for a portion of the preparations. They may each have a brigade assigned to a single event or their brigade may be assigned to a specific task (like sous chef Joe’s brigade makes all of the salads and cold starters for all 5 events).
I worked in an upscale inn for a few years as the chef and during wedding season we’d have up to 12 events in one day— plus our regular dining room business. It was brutal, but we had it down to an art. We knew exactly what to do and when to do it, and in my whole time there, we never disappointed. In fact, we saved more than one wedding when the cake (the only thing we would not provide for you, simply because we did not have adequate storage space) arrived lopsided, smashed or melted. I planned my schedules two weeks in advance based on the number and size of the events, called in temporary staff when needed (we would get kids from the local cooking school to come in and do the unskilled labor like slicing, dicing, peeling and measuring, which left our skilled regular employees with more time to prepare, cook, and finish), and every night I’d make the next day’s schedule down to the half-hour with who was going to be doing what, when and for how many people. I didn’t have a formal sous chef but I had some senior team members who I trusted to supervise the others. It was a well-oiled machine.
If you fear that your caterer cannot handle more than one event at a time then you may want to look at other caterers. It’s a very difficult business and it’s hard to make money without volume. If you discard all the high-volume caterers, you may be throwing out your best choices.
Post # 5
Great post! Useful for us as we are visiting caterers this weekend!
LOVED the blog post too!