Caterers can provide services for a range of events, such as weddings, corporate meetings, and major events. When hiring a caterer, there are a number of factors to consider. These factors include menu options, packages available, food station options, and accreditation of the catering company. The catering company may also offer venue hire and styling services. These items are discussed in greater detail below.
Different catering companies will offer slightly different menus. Some may offer a bespoke menu option where you can choose dishes to suit your event. This can include pieces such as plated meals, tablet buffets, canapes, food stations or cocktails. A bespoke menu can be a good option for weddings.
Some caterers may offer a focus on a specific feature, such as local produce, botanical ingredients, or sustainable food sources. If you have an interest in being environmentally friendly, this is an important element to consider.
You can ask for a sample menu to see if the caterer's style suits you. This may include small pieces of food from set dishes or food that has been created specifically for your event.
Caterers can offer food stations for your guests. This can include a selection of cocktails or items from the menu that are professionally decorated. Food stations can be used for events such as wedding receptions and corporate celebrations.
Catering companies may offer packages for different events. For example, for a wedding, they may offer a package that includes a cocktail reception or a dining experience. You should check this before booking your caterer. You may like to compare the costs, services, and features of packages from one caterer to another.
Some caterers may offer a venue hire service or they can recommend venues to you. This is something to consider before booking your venue.
Some catering companies may provide a room styling service. For weddings, this can include furniture, centrepieces, décor, props, layouts, lighting, and audio-visual production. For corporate or major events, this may include providing furniture and layouts.
Caterers may hold a gold licence which demonstrates the quality of their service. In order to obtain a gold licence, the caterer must demonstrate a suitable level of professionalism, work safety, and food safety. The licence is active for one year and then a new application must be submitted to renew. The application includes a health inspection report, a certificate of liability insurance, a certificate of workers' compensation, a food safety program, a resume, and a food safety certificate (in some areas).
Make sure to do your research and compare the features of each catering service near you before booking one for your event.