You’ll spend more money on wedding food than any other aspect of your reception, so you’ll want to work with a top-notch professional. When making appointments to interview wedding caterers, try to schedule a tasting of their wares at a later point. Don’t forget to ask them the questions below, and choosing a caterer will be as easy as pie — just make sure your taste buds have a say in the matter too.
**CWAT – HERE WE GO!!
Does the caterer specialize in certain types of food or service? (They should provide you with sample menus to review.) Find a wedding caterer who can make a memorable meal.
**CWAT – Part of our Twist is we like to get creative with our menu options, so you have a lot to choose from. We have even taken Family Recipes and re-created them for the BIG DAY-creating a menu that reflects who you are is our passion and vision! OOOO’ our services, this is an area that is like no other – we theme our displays to match your colors and vision, we wear Vintage Aprons to match the color and theme, we will dress in costume if that fits your vision, WE LOVE WHAT WE DO and it shows in every aspect!
Can the caterer arrange for a tasting of the specific foods you’re interested in prior to hiring? (They should.) Schedule a tasting if you get a good vibe.
**CWAT – Of course you can schedule a tasting of your specific menu. Let’s get that scheduled!
What is the caterer’s average price range? Are costs itemized depending on the foods you choose, or is there an all-inclusive flat rate? What would that include (linens, tax, and gratuity)? Does the caterer have printed price sheets for food selections? Make sure there’s room in your wedding budget.
**CWAT – Costs are itemized, from each menu option, to bar services, china packages, the level of art put into the display to your Onsite TEAM. We do have price lists of our food, just be careful because it is pretty intensive. As for our price range, we do have a wide range, however for an ALL inclusive price you are looking at a ball park of $70+ a head – this includes an entire menu with appetizers for cocktail hour, China Package (includes linen napkins, glassware, flatware, dinner plates, water and ice), Display Package, Bartending Services, the onsite TEAM, Tax and all else.
How involved is the caterer in a typical reception — does she work like a wedding coordinator or banquet manager, cueing the band, telling the couple when to cut the cake, adjusting the schedule if guests don’t seem ready to sit down to dinner? (You will need to find someone to fill this role — if your site manager or caterer isn’t going to do this, think about hiring a wedding coordinator.)
**CWAT – We do offer our Catering Manager, however this Team Member ensures that all things to do with your catering experience runs perfectly. Now, we do offer Day of Coordinating which would handle all else of the big day, such as what is mentioned. As well as we have our Preferred List of Coordinators that we would be happy to refer you!
Will the caterer provide tables, chairs, plates, table linens, silverware, salt-and-pepper shakers, and more? Ask to see these items to make sure they’re acceptable. Do you have to rent tables, place settings, or other equipment? Or will they arrange for the rentals? If not, find wedding rentals in your area.
**CWAT – We provide some of these items, such as any table we would need for your food display (buffet – but I despise that word so we say Food Display), Beverage Display, linens for these tables, plates, glassware, flatware, linen napkins, all items necessary for your food display – chafing dishes, salad bowls, platters for appetizers, serving utensils, etc. YES, we do provide salt-and-pepper shakers – they are the Bee Hive design and are glass. If you would like us to handle your rental order, we can certainly do this – this service would fall within our Coordinating Packages. =)
Who is the main contact? Will the same person you work with when planning also oversee meal service on the day of the wedding? (You want this to be the case.)
**CWAT – the main contact throughout your catering planning process is our Sales Team (Tara & Kassie) and YES, the person you worked with will be there to ensure everything is going perfectly!
Will the caterer work any other weddings on the same weekend, the same day, or at the same time as yours? (You want to be sure they will devote sufficient attention to you.) You may want to pass on a smaller outfit who indicates they have another job or two scheduled for that day.
**CWAT – We do not do more than 2 weddings in a weekend. We do know our limits and do NOT take more than we can handle. We ensure that our clients are considered “Extended Family” and doing so get the utmost attention!
Does the caterer handle all table settings? Will they put out place cards and favors?
**CWAT – Yes, Yes, Yes =)
Will the caterer provide wait staff? How many would they recommend for the size of your wedding? What will the waitstaff wear? (Top caterers say they always use their own serving personnel, even if the site’s staff is available, because they understand the caterer’s way of doing business.)
**CWAT – we do provide the wait staff, which have been interviewed and trained per our guidelines. Depending upon the requested service – Food Display (buffet) we provide 1 per 20 guests, Family Style Service we provide about 1 per 17 guests and Plated & Served we provide about 1 per 12 guests. We have it down to a science! Our team wear ALL black – Gentlemen in black pants, button up and when able ties that match your colors; Ladies wear black dresses with black leggings and Vintage Aprons that match the color and theme.
Will the caterer be willing to include a recipe you provide, like a special family dish, or an appetizer with some sort of sentimental significance? Can they prepare vegetarian, kosher, kids, or halal meals for just a few of your guests?
**CWAT – YES, YES, YES! The only challenge would come into play with the Kosher meal, depending how Kosher, as we do not operate a Kosher kitchen. We do offer Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Vegan and Kids Menu.
Where will the food be prepared? Are there on-site facilities, or do you, the caterer, and the site manager need to make additional arrangements? If the caterer must bring in his own equipment, is there an additional fee?
**CWAT – we have a full catering kitchen that we prepare the food, transporting it to each venue location with catering supplies that keep food CRAZY hot until your service. If the venue has on-site equipment, well bonus – however, if we do need to provide equipment we do have some in our inventory at no additional cost. So much also depends upon the chosen menu and the venue, if the venue does not have a proper staging area AND food must be prepared onsite then YES additional costs could apply. A little low down of “How We Roll” – the serving team arrives first to get everything setup 2-hours prior to ceremony. Then the kitchen team arrives as close to meal service as possible, so that your food is hot and delicious!
Does the caterer work with fresh (not frozen) food?
**CWAT – OOOOOOOO’ YES! Everything is purchased the week of the Big Day and prepared FRESH.
Does the caterer have a license? (This means her business has met health department standards and has liability insurance — make sure this includes a liquor license if you’re having a bar.)
**CWAT – OF COURSE, we have our Food License, as well as all insurance coverage needed.
Can the caterer provide alcohol? Or can you handle the bar separately? If you can provide it, is there a corkage fee? How and when will you get the alcohol to the caterer? If the caterer will provide it, do they have an flexible wine list, and can you make special requests? How is this list priced?
**CWAT – We do not have a liquor license, so we are unable to provide the actual alcohol. We do however, have TABC Bartenders and Liquor Liability Coverage so that we are able to provide Bartending Services. We do not charge a corkage fee. Regarding how to get the alcohol, usually alcohol is delivered to the venue and our Bartenders arrive ahead of time to get it all iced down and ready to go.
How will the caterer arrange the food on the buffet table or on plates? Can you see photos of previous work displays?
**CWAT – we arrange the food to your desired vision, if you would like a Family Style – then let’s do it, if you would like Plated & Served – we can do that too……THEN if you would like a Food Display (buffet) we always get creative and how creative we get is determined on the display level you choose. Our “POSH” display package is what provides you with our artistic strengths – creating custom display pieces, specialty items to throw your display into a new level. YES, of course you can see pictures!
Can you speak to previous clients? (Get at least two references that had a similar number of guests and a similar menu style.)
**CWAT – of course, you just let us know and we can get you a couple of references.
Does the caterer also do wedding cakes? Can you use an outside baker if you desire? Is there a cake-cutting fee?
**CWAT – We do not do the typical tiered wedding cakes, however we do offer cakes and desserts. You can certainly use an outside baker – we have some preferred bakers that we can send your way. Our Cake Cutting Service starts at $1 per person and includes clear acrylic plates, clear forks, cocktail napkins, silver cake cutting & serving utensils and the team to cut and serve.
**CWAT – we hope this helps answer A LOT of your questions and make you feel like you should be heading our way just as fast as you can! =)
Chat with you soon!!