Wedding Checklist-Questions to ask your Caterer

16
2011 May
Bride and Wedding Caterer

Wedding Checklist-Questions to ask your Caterer

by Louis Gervais / In Tips & Advice

Planning the biggest day of your life can be overwhelming and sometimes details get missed simply because you don’t know the right questions to ask. We asked our Sales & Event Manager, Heather Wright to create a handy ‘Wedding Checklist of Questions to Ask Your Caterer’ so there are no surprises and you can relax and enjoy your Wedding Day!

Wedding Catering Checklist

  1. Who is the main contact person?
    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
  2. Will the Caterer work any other weddings on the same weekend, the same day, or at the same time as your?
    *you want to be sure they will devote enough attention to you
  3. Menus
    Does the caterer offer custom menu design?
    Is there an additional charge for creating your own menu?
    Can they prepare special meals for just a few of your guests to accommodate dietary concerns; vegetarian, kosher, kids, gluten-free, vegan, low-sodium, halal etc.?
    Does the caterer offer a menu tasting?
    If they do charge a tasting fee will that fee be applied as a credit to your final order?
  4. Food Preparation
    Does the caterer have a license?
    *This means the business has met health department standards and has liability insurance
    When and where will the food be prepared; at the venue or off-site and warmed up?
    How far in advance will the food be prepared?
    Does the caterer make all their own food?
    *If any elements of the menu are outsourced ensure you look into the reputation of that company as well
  5. Presentation
    How will the caterer arrange the food on the buffet?
    or if you are having plated service:
    How will the caterer arrange the food on the plate?
    Can you see photos of previous work displays?
  6. Staffing
    Does the caterer have their own team of service staff or do they outsource to a staffing service?
    How many staff would they recommend for the size of your wedding?
    What will the waitstaff wear?
    *Top caterers will always use their own serving personnel, even if the site’s staff is available, because they understand the caterer’s way of doing business
  7. Beverage Service
    Do they charge for beverage service?
    If you want to provide your own wine, champagne and liquor do they charge a corkage fee?
  8. Venues
    Has the caterer worked at your chosen venue previously?
    *this is important as many facilities have hidden nuances that can provide challenges to caterers who are new to the space
  9. Equipment Rentals
    Can the caterer provide tables, chairs, linens, plates, silverware, glassware and more?
    Do they sub-contract these items or have their own supplies?
    *In either case; ask to see these items to make sure they are acceptable
  10. Hidden Service Costs
    What service costs are included and what are additional?
    Are set-up and clean-up included?
    How much is overtime if the reception runs long?
    Are gratuities included?
  11. References
    Can you speak to previous clients?
    *Get at least two references that had a similar number of guests and a similar menu style

**Download our Wedding Catering Checklist PDF

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About author

Louis Gervais

Louis Gervais is the award winning Executive Chef of Louis Gervais Fine Foods. His dynamic personality, passion for fine cuisine, and high standards are evident in every aspect of his business. Find Louis Gervais on Google.
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