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This Party Tip submitted by BizGirl - Oct 8th, 2008

    • Questions to Ask Caterers

    • The following questions to ask caterers will help you gather information to make a wise hiring decision.

      1. How long have you been in business?
      2. Where did you learn catering?
      3. Tell me about other events you have catered.
      4. Do you cater full time?
      5. What sets you apart from other caterers?
      6. Do you have references?
      7. Are you licensed and insured?
      8. What are some of the hot trends in the catering industry?
      9. How many other events will you cater during the week of my event?
      10. Who will be my contact and how do I reach them? What is their availability?
      11. What is your rate?
      12. How any hours does that include with your staff?
      13. How many hors d’oeuvres will be provided per guest?
      14. Do you offer any discounts?
      15. Are there any cleanup charges?
      16. Do you require a deposit? If so, how much?
      17. When is final payment expected?
      18. Can I make payments?
      19. What is your cancellation policy? Can I get a refund?
      20. If the party extends past the allotted time, what are our options?
      21. Are there any hidden costs?
      22. Will all of the information you shared be in a written contract?
      23. Do you provide a food tasting before we decide on our event’s menu?
      24. Do you provide ice? Can I supply it instead?
      25. Do you offer a children’s menu at a reduced cost?
      26. How do you handle buffets or sit down dinners as it relates to staff?
      27. If I supply the dessert or cake, is there a charge for your staff to serve it?
      28. What are your policies regarding a champaign toast?
      29. What are your policies on feeding the other vendors?
      30. Are you willing to visit the event location prior to the event date?
      31. Do you provide linens, tables, chairs, china, flatware? If so, what is the cost?
      32. Can I see the linens, tables, etc.. that you provide?
      33. Can you show me a typical setup?
      34. If I have a vision for how I want the tables setup, are you flexible?
      35. Can I visit at a later date to see you and your staff in action during an event? Do not be upset if they say “no”. It’s the other events special day and they deserve the full focus of the people working their party. If they sat “yes”, choose a time that is similar to your event time. Also, take into consideration the lighting and weather.
      36. How much time do you need for setup and food preparation?
      37. Can I bring in small food items such as chocolates, mints, etc.?
      38. Can we use candles?
      39. Is your staff willing to clean the premises including taking out the trash?
      40. Do you recommend any other vendors?
      41. What will the staff be wearing? Are the flexible to wearing clothes to match a theme?
      42. Will I be required to feed the staff?
      43. When do you need the final guest count by?
      44. Can you supply the bartender if I supply the drinks? What are the costs?
      45. What is your policy on alcohol?
      46. Do you have a liquor permit?
      47. Can I bring my own alcohol?
      48. Are kegs of beer allowed?
      49. Do you have a corkage fee?
      50. What are your costs per drink?
      51. Do you provide a bartender?
      52. How is the bartender paid?
      53. What do you do with the leftovers?

    • Tags: caterers money saving tips ask vendor catering questions
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