What to consider when choosing a catering company

There are a number of things to consider when choosing a catering company and it is not all about food.  Here are 6 things to consider when choosing a catering company:


For any event, whether it is a birthday party, wedding or corporate awards ceremony a budget needs to be set.  To set a budget you may first need to get some prices from various caterers to put the numbers together.  Consider the numbers of people you will be catering for, whether you will need to account for drinks and whether there are any extras such a cake or special meals (Halaal, Vegan etc) that you may have to cover.  Your budget will allow you to select a caterer that will work for you.


Caterers get busy and there are busy seasons for them, wedding season (summer), year-end Corporate Christmas functions and other such times of year.  Planning ahead will give you advance warning and allow for early booking. When selecting your caterer you must also ensure your cater can firstly cater for you on the day and secondly provide all your requirements on the day.


Experience is everything in catering and it is wise to get references before finalising anything with your caterer. Most caterers will have a selection of references and ideally the company should have experience and ideally a reference with someone or something similar to your requirements, size, theme, type of food etc. The other great thing to do is ask around, people you know who have used a caterer will generally give you a more honest opinion. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can be a fly on the wall at any forthcoming event where you can see the caterer in action.


You may have a theme or the caterer may have a speciality. It is wise to consider this when choosing your caterer, some may specialise in weddings or bar mitzvahs, some in certain styles of food barbeque or sushi for example.  If you have a theme in mind with a certain type of food it may be worthwhile considering a specialist but if you have something more general consider your guests and maybe a specialist in Sushi may not be the right caterer. 


An important consideration for any catering is the contract.  Make sure you read the contract and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  If you have quotations or contracts under consideration from a number of catering companies compare the contracts. Don’t sign anything until you are 100 percent happy and that you fully understand the contract.

Quality of the food

At the end of the day the food is very much what matters most. References will give an indication of the food quality but ask if there is any way you can arrange a tasting to get the best answer to this. 

It is your vision that is important and by taking your time and planning well choosing the right caterer for your next event or function should be straight forward. Don’t compromise on what you want and work closely with your caterer and you won’t go wrong - remember: your caterer wants to fulfil vision!

Just another "geek" phrase meaning "small business that acts like a big company that takes no shit"