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4 Questions To Ask Potential Caterers Before Choosing Who To Work With

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Hiring a caterer for your event is a great way to ensure that all of your guests' personal needs and preferences are simultaneously met, making for a memorable experience that everyone involved can appreciate. But not all caterers are created equally, so it's a good idea to ask a few questions of potential caterers before you choose which one to ultimately work with. Consider incorporating the following four questions into a list of your own:

What Alternative Food Options are Available?

It's important to determine whether or not a potential caterer offers alternative food options for those with special dietary restrictions. While gluten-free, kosher, and vegan food items don't necessarily have to be incorporated into your event's official menu, there should be a couple of dishes available for those who request them. At the very least, your caterer should be willing to prepare a casserole or pasta dish that is plant-based and gluten free to accompany your event menu.

How Does Your Tipping Process Work?

Some caterers combine any tips they get and then split them up among their staff after the event, while others allow staff to keep any tips they are given throughout the event. Furthermore, some caterers don't accept tips during events at all. It's important to understand how your caterer's tipping process works so you tip accordingly. If tips are accepted and the staff keeps what they personally receive, set up a small table at the event so they can each place a small tip jar or bowl on it.

This will allow you and your guests to tip their favorite hosts, servers, and dishwashers as they see fit. Otherwise, you can collect tips from guests in one large container and give it to your caterer at the end of the night so they can split it up for their crew. If no tips are accepted, make sure your guests know this upon arrival so there aren't any misunderstandings as the event progresses.

Do You Provide any Utensils or Accessories?

It is also important to determine whether or not your caterer provides utensils and accessories with their services. If so, you shouldn't have to worry about plates, serving dishes, or even napkins when planning your event. If not, you'll need to decide how you want to present and serve the food when it's time to eat. It is a good idea to inquire about cooking dishes and accessories too. While many catering companies will want to use the kitchen and accessories where your event is being held, you should find a few who can provide their own portable kitchen and accessories if your event establishment doesn't come equipped with a kitchen.

What Does the Cleanup Process Entail?

It can also be helpful to find out how the cleanup process works when discussing the services you need with potential caterers. Will you need to do clean the event space yourself, or will the staff do it before leaving? Should you provide garbage bags and boxes for cleanup, or will your caterer bring cleanup tools with them? What about cleaning supplies for things like dishes, tables, and flooring? Getting answers to these questions will help you determine whether or not you need to gather volunteers to help with cleanup after the event, or whether you need to purchase anything particular to support your catering team as they get everything cleaned up.

By having these questions answered by any potential caterers you consider working with, such as Silicon Valley Corporate Catering and Event Management, you should quickly be able to determine which service provider will meet all of your needs, as well as those who will be attending your event.