Unfortunately anybody can become a caterer. As much as we have rules and regulations (let’s face it, it’s not that tightly regulated).
So what do you need to know before you make a decision?
Have an idea of budget in mind? Once you have spoken to 2 or 3 different companies you can get an idea whether your expectations are realistic.
Be wary of anybody who is super cheap! They are possibly just heating and serving mass produced frozen food. You can do that yourself, and more cheaply!
Ask friends for recommendations and have a look online.
Once you have found a few ideas, start to enquire:
How long have you been a caterer?
What is your background or prior employment history?
What are your qualifications?
And then look at the customer feedback.
Don’t forget, it’s okay to ask for samples, to meet up and to frequently liaise.
Do you cook all of the food yourself?
Ask lots of questions.
Remember that you are the potential client. If you don’t feel comfortable from the start, perhaps you need to look elsewhere.
It’s important to get several quotes and also feel like you are valued!
If you are hiring out a venue that has preferred caterers it doesn’t necessarily mean you must use those mentioned.
Often the ‘preferred caterers’ offer a discount if use them, but that doesn’t automatically make them the most reasonable option. Shop around as you may find there are better or more cost effective caterers that serve your needs better.
Nothing is 100% guaranteed, but if you at least do your homework, I guarantee you the odds are going to be better and your function will be a success!