Picnic hampers Sydney will include smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers & dill in their menu. The wedding reception is one of the most important and meticulous parts of the wedding planning since it involves many people to negotiate with. The reception venue and the caterer are the most crucial sub-parts of the entire wedding because you need two parties to negotiate and coordinate with in order to make the reception party a success.
The venue manager can help you with the place by sprucing it up and providing tables and chairs if he/she has a contact or as a package with the venue. Once that’s settled, you only need the florist to style and decorate the area to make it more pleasing. In contrast to the caterer, you will need to look for a company that commits 101% from their planning to execution and in providing excellent service.
With that said, here are the 7 crucial steps you need to take when selecting the best caterer:
(1) If the caterer is recommended by someone you know, you should still ask around for references aside from your contact/connection
This is crucial because you’ll never know if the caterer and the person you know are friends for a long time. It may be unfair to think that the person who recommended the caterer is biased since they know each other, but you need to know the real deal with this caterer even before you talk to the manager.
Ask around for references from other people who know the catering manager and the company. If they are reputable and has a good background, it might be worth the try.
(2) Check the caterer’s reputation
There are ways to find out the reputation of caterers aside from word-of-mouth recommendations and background checks. If the caterer has a website, you should check it and look for testimonials from previous clients. Or you may look for wedding planners’ websites and check their list of recommended caterers as well as feedbacks from their own clients. Bridal forums are also helpful and you’ll get more unbiased feedbacks from other couples and/or brides.
(3) What was your first impression when you contacted the catering manager/officer? Gauge their customer service from the day you contacted them
It may not always be true that first impressions last, but businesses must know their obligations to their clients and would-be clients from the time they are contacted. It’s not good customer service if the person you talked to did not spend time and effort in explaining briefly the scope of their service, pricing and thanking you for showing interest in their business.
Another good gesture from a reputable caterer is to invite you to their office to have a look at their services in fine print, their menu and possibly a taste test of their menu if they schedule you on a preparation day.
(4) Food tasting at the caterer’s office/kitchen
This is crucial especially if you are looking for a caterer who is known for their menu. You need to taste to believe, so to speak. A good caterer may not always have available food samples, but a great caterer will schedule you to have a taste test when they are preparing for an upcoming event. So it’s best to come back at the caterer’s office/kitchen when you are invited for a taste test.
(5) Review the caterer’s terms and conditions [contract]
It’s best to ask questions regarding the contract while you are still at the caterer’s place because there might be some items that are written in fine print. Ask about add-on fees such as the cutting and serving of the wedding cake to guests, special requests to the wait staff from guests [e.g. getting additional chairs, serving them when there’s a buffet, etc.]. It’s best to ask now instead of facing a bill that is way beyond the negotiated amount.
(6) Ask about the wait staff and catering crew
A reputable caterer will always have an experienced staff and crew especially if they are commissioned to cater a huge occasion and venue. Typically, this will cost more, but you’ll definitely get the best service.
(7) Always observe the caterer’s response to your questions and see if you are connecting and on the same page
The best caterer will always give a pleasant and welcoming response to his/her would-be client. Not only because it is sure money when a client is warm and agreeable, but a reputable caterer will go an extra mile to give the client his/her best impression and business proposition from day one.
Many couples have the trouble of choosing the best caterer for their wedding reception especially when there’s no one their connections who know a reputable one. It’s almost always a guessing game for those who do not have the internet to rely to, but trusting your instincts when you call and meet the caterer to gauge his/her offerings might help. Negotiate, ask questions and ask around to get information, and take it from there.
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