Top Tips: Outside Caterers

If you are having a marquee event or hiring a barn then more then likely you will need to hire some outside caterers. Due to the high number of marquee events I organise I am well versed in selecting the best caterer for my clients.In my opinion a caterer can make or break the event, no point having beautiful tables if the food tastes horrendous or is slow as this is what everyone including you will remember from your event.

champagne-reducedBelow are my top tips for selecting the best caterer for you:
Like with all suppliers meet at least 2 caterers before making a decision on who to use. When comparing quotations check whether it includes:

  • Staff for the wedding breakfast, drink reception, bar, wine serving & clearing
  • Cutlery, crockery and glassware
  • All cooking equipment & refrigeration trailers
  • Details on whether corkage is free of will there be an additional service charge for them to serve your drink?

Additionally I advise:

  • Asking whether their staff is agency or regular waitresses they have worked with frequently. This can make a big difference on the day.
  • Ask your caterer how many staff they need to cater for your wedding in a timely manner, this is not an area to save costs on. As a guide a ration of 1:10 is perfect for plated service.
  • Reiterate to the caterers that all wastage, including water from the urn should be taken off site and disposed of, otherwise you may be looking at a hefty bill for damage to the lawn

If a marquee event:

  • Check with your caterers what size catering tent they need to service your wedding proficiently. I normally have a 20 x 30 for my weddings of 130 guests.
  • Ensure your caterers have access to fresh water, this can be simply an extendable hose into the catering tent. This is to fill urns with water not to do the washing up!
  • Ensure there is a 13amp socket for them to plug their refrigerated trailer into.
  • Ask them how many trestle tables they need for the kitchen + service tables in the garden.

Photo credit: Lloyd Dobbie

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