Never underestimate the importance of having just the right caterer for your event. Hiring a professional, experienced catering service who takes their work seriously and provides beautifully-presented, superior food can make all the difference when planning any event. Whether it’s a wedding feast, food for a corporate gala, gourmet snacks for a fashion event, or any other type of important gathering, choosing wisely with your gourmet catering service can take a lot of pressure off of you. There are a few basic points to consider that will help you find the catering service that’s best suited to your needs:
Set Your Budget First
Well before you begin interviewing prospective agencies, set a budget. One of the most common mistakes that people make when booking a catering service is to begin looking for a provider before they’ve settled on a budget for their entire event. Setting your budget restrictions before consulting any catering company will put you in charge of negotiations—and will make it much easier to settle on menus, food costs, and staff requirements.
Too often customers put themselves entirely at the mercy of their caterers by not setting strict budgetary boundaries, and as a result they find their final costs ballooning out of control. Before contacting any catering service, figure out how much you intend to spend per guest for your event. Having done that, you can now sit down with a caterer and focus on what they can provide within the financial restrictions that have been set. Deciding on a budget beforehand puts you in the driver’s seat. Once your budget is set, your caterer should be able to walk you through a number of sample menus that fit your price range.
There are many catering services to choose from—especially in Los Angeles—and not all of them are created equal. Never be afraid to ask questions, and don’t hesitate to ask for referrals or recommendations. You want the best catering possible for your event, and you’re in charge, so be sure you have all the information you need before making any final decisions, and before signing any contracts or paying any advances. Compare tasting, pricing, serving, and service options before you sign anything. it’s absolutely critical that you feel confident in your caterer.
Go With Fresh, Unique Food
If you’re looking to impress your guests, make sure to select a catering service that creates food that is a combination of healthy, delicious, well-presented, and fresh. If you want all-organic ingredients, your caterer should not act like this is impossible or even inconvenient. A good caterer will offer diverse menu choices, and should be willing and happy to provide you with any type of cuisine, from Greek to Persian to Indian to Mexican to Lebanese to all-American.
Menu tastings should be provided, and should include everything from the hors d’oeuvres through to the desserts. The final menu will depend largely on the style of your event, whether it’s a cocktail party, buffet, or formal sit-down dinner for a gala. Through close consultation with your caterer, you will be able to sample and finalize the menu, and should be able to confidently leave them to work their magic.
Ask About Staff
When interviewing caterers, be sure to ask about what they can provide in the way of service staff. Depending on the event, you may need to arrange for waiters and bartenders, as well as the requisite cooks, prep-chefs and dishwashers. Behind-the-scenes operations of any catered event is what makes it a success, and it’s important before signing any contract to be sure that the catering service you choose can provide everything from set-up to service and clean-up.
Ask About Additions
Sometimes, depending on what type of event or theme you may have, you may want extra-special catering additions, such as sushi stations, caviar displays, fruit bars, ice sculptures, and champagne towers. Having special touches such as these can add an above-and-beyond element to your event that will elevate it to the next level and amaze your guests.
These general rules of thumb can save you a lot of time and headaches that can come with planning a catered event, and following them can give you peace of mind that your catering needs will be met, and that your guests will enjoy themselves to the absolute fullest.
On top of Taglyan’s other outstanding services and opportunities for event customization, we’re proud to provide our clients with our catering service, Divine Food & Catering. This team of hardworking professionals offers everything we have mentioned in this article, including countless delicious gourmet entrées, appetizers, cocktails, desserts, hors d’oeuvres, and other refreshments for a wide variety of cultures, and for any type of dietary restriction. Divine Food & Catering is for both events booked at Taglyan, or off-site events as well. If you’re interested in what our catering service has to offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!