Not only is the taste of the food important but the presentation of the food is equally important. A good caterer knows how to present and garnish foods.
To cut down on catering costs, avoid foods that require time-consuming kitchen preparation or foods that require carving at the table.
Ask your friends for referrals. It is a good idea to meet with at least three MA caterers and sample their food.
You may hire a caterer who will tailor the menu specifically to your preferences or you may choose a caterer that lets you choose from a specified list of dishes. This tends to be cheaper. A good caterer will work within your budget so donít choose a caterer on cost alone.
- How long have you been in business?
- Where did you receive your culinary training?
- Can I have a list of recent customers to call?
- What are your specialties?
- Can we request a specific menu or do you work from a set menu or package?
- Are you licensed to serve liquor?
- Is the cost of the service staff included in the price?
- What will the servers wear?
- Do you require a guaranteed number of guests?
- When is the deposit due? When is the balance due?
- When is the final guest count due?
- Have you ever catered a wedding reception at the reception site that we have chosen?
- Are there any extra fees for cake-cutting, linens, corkage, rental of furniture, setup charges, bar setup?
- Do you handle the cleanup and rental return?
- Do you provide the wedding cake?
- Do you supply the linens, china, glassware, silverware, tables and chairs?
Believe it or not, the cost of the reception meal will be almost half of your wedding budget! Whether you are having an on-site caterer, a catering company or a restaurant, you'll want to make sure that you have a contract that includes the following information:
- Vendor's Contact Info: name, address and telephone number. Include the name of the person who is representing the catering company.
- The date and time of the wedding.
- The location(s) of the wedding. Be sure to include the exact location and room as there may be more than one wedding going on at the same time.
- Services: length of their service - when will they start and when will they finish. Be sure that they include setup and breakdown of their equipment. An itemized list of ALL the services that the vendor will be supplying (ie: linens, dished, cake, etc). If a vendor promised you any 'extras' be sure it is listed in the contract.
- Goods: list the specific details. Include quantity, meal selections, liquor, delivery date and time, etc.
- The type of service you are having (whether it be a seated meal, French service, buffet, tea, cocktails, etc.)
- The staff-to-guest ratio.
- Proof of license.
- The total cost and what the payment schedule will be. List any sales tax, gratuities, bar and waiter fees, any over-time expenses.
- Date when the final payment is due.
- Date when the caterer will need the final head count.
- Be sure to get the contact information for the morning of the wedding (cell phone number where person can be reached in case you need to get in touch).
- Payment information: total cost, including sales tax, gratuities, bar and waiter fees, any over-time expenses. Payment schedule, such as deposit due date and final payment date.
- Cancellation policy.
- Refund policy.
- Dress code policy.
- Last dates to make any necessary changes.