What to Watch Out for In a Caterer

Sifting through caterers for an upcoming wedding or bar mitzvah can be an arduous process. It’s a significant expense no matter who you go with, and whoever you do end up with will make a huge impact on how your event goes. Despite all this, it’s hard to really know what it is you’re looking for when deciding between caterers, or to know all of the right questions to ask. Here’s a list of red flags to keep an eye out for when selecting your caterer.

They Have No Website
We are squarely in the middle of the information age. In the modern era, there is no excuse not to have a professional and well organized website. Sure, web design has nothing to do with cooking and serving, but it is the first foot forward for them. A solid website shows that they are serious about their business.

They Communicate Poorly
Once you’ve found a few options and got in contact with them, how promptly did they get back in touch with you? Did their e-mail have a letter head? Was it riddled with spelling errors? You’ll need to be communicating with your caterer a lot, so make sure that they can communicate well.

They Don’t Seem Professional
This is one that you should try to suss out the first time you meet your potential caterer. How professional is their demeanor? How well do they present themselves? Do they have a carefully prepared contract? Are they scribbling notes on a post-it? Someone who is organized in business will be organized with your event.

They Aren’t Upfront About Costs
Different caterers will be charging different rates, based on what they provide, and where they’re located. A New York City catering company will have a vastly different price scheme than one up in the mountains. No matter what the costs, though, you should make sure that your caterer is upfront about them. Make sure to look over your contract carefully, and ask about any extra fees.

They Don’t Offer a Food Tasting
How can you possibly tell if you like a caterer or not if you can’t try their food? A good caterer should offer you a tasting to determine what you like best, free of charge. Even if they offer it, but charge you for it, that’s not a great sign.

Ultimately, you will have to judge based off your own impression. Do you like them? Do you trust them? If you do, and they don’t set off any of these alarms, congratulations on your new event caterer.

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