Are you looking for professional assistance in terms of outside catering? Then this article will serve as a good guideline for you during your search.
If you are thinking of hiring cooking services, then the first step will be to do a proper research. First, sit and consider what event you need outside caterers for. Second, carry out the research. Do one online and ask around from people who have hired such services before. This is important as it will not only help you narrow down a few good company names, asking around will also give you knowledge on hoe the process is carried out.
Once you get the names and contacts of these professional caterers, visit their offices. Here, you can check on their food, taste it, and even have a glance on their preparation methods. While in the office, check to see if the company is registered, and check on their employees and see how they relate to each other. Employee spirit can contribute a lot to the general ‘feel’ of your event. You can also check on the cleanliness and the organization of the caterers themselves.
While in the office, communicate with the caterer, let them know the type of event you are hosting, and ask them if they have ever catered for such an event before. If they have, ask them for the contacts of the people they catered for. This is important as the references can give you more information about the caterers than the caterers themselves are willing to give.
After acquiring contacts, the next step will be to discuss a menu. Write up a list of things you would like to be served at your event, and the caterer can then draft a budget depending on your menu. Be sure to indicate whether there is anybody in your guest list who has a certain condition or who requires a special diet. Once the menu is done, the next step will be drafting a budget. Review the budget and try to bargain. If you are able to bargain, then well and good, if not, then proceed to the next step.
Ask questions. Ask about the down payment. This is the money you will be required to pay as a deposit. In most cases, this is seventy percent of the full payment. Ask about when you will be needed to make this payment and when the other thirty percent, or more depending on the caterer, is required. Take time to ask more questions concerning where the food will be prepared. Will it be prepared in the caterers’ office or will it be prepared at the event venue itself. If it will be prepared at the office, ask if that would mean you are charged an extra transportation cost.
Inquire if the delivery will be made in time, and if the food will still be served hot when it arrives. Ask what happens in case the food is late or if it is cold. Would it mean less payment from your side? A professional caterer will at this point reassure you that the possibility of this happening is very limited. After doing all this, and asking these questions, the next step is to compare and contrast the caterers you have visited, and choose one depending on the food you liked, the budget you can afford, and the professionalism you have witnessed.
After making a choice, go back to the caterer you have chosen and try to bargain again. It may not serve a big purpose or make a big difference, but it is always good to try. At this point, the caterer will give you a pre drafted contract that you will be expected to sign. This contract contains in it the terms and conditions of his or her services. It also contains the amount which you have agreed to pay. Despite knowing all this, take your time to carefully read the contract. Look out for areas that are not very clear. Areas that are generalized can often serve as loop holes in case of poor quality work. Ask for clearance and better explanation of such areas before signing the document. Also make sure that your specific menu has been indicated in the contract. You, as a customer, are able to add a few things to the contract or to draft one of your own. If you both agree on the terms and conditions, then you can go ahead and sign the contract.