Selecting a wedding caterer

In any celebration, especially one as important as a wedding, foods and beverages are the "gracia" the added grace to the event. What and how you serve says a lot about your consideration to your guests and the importance you give to the matters of nourishment and reception. Whether you are having a full sit down dinner or only wedding cake, champagne and coffee, it is highly recommended that you give some careful consideration and research to the caterer you select.

Not only do you want to be assured quality and service from the vendor you select, but also safety and health to any and all who are involved and to those who will partake.

How to Select a Caterer can be a bit disconcerting if you haven’t ever used one before nor have many friends or acquaintances that have used one recently. Obviously, if it were just a matter of picking one out of the yellow pages your choices would be easy but it could also prove to be disastrous. Here are some recommended sources of finding a caterer to fit your needs:

Friends, acquaintances, relatives, work associates, clients, employees are all the sources of possible "catering experiences" that you may be surprised with how much information they can provide.
◾Wedding reception halls, rentals, destination sites that often don’t have their own catering service are usually happy to refer you to caterers that they have worked with in the past.
◾Event planners and wedding coordinators are a great source of referrals even if you are not using them for your wedding. They are after all in the business and as long as you pass on their name they are usually happy to oblige.
◾Specialty bakeries that specialize in wedding cakes are an excellent referral source for caterers who they have worked with in the past.

Once you have received three or more referrals there are some considerations that you should use to evaluate the right caterer for you. Use these points in conducting an interview with the caterers you select to call on. Obviously, it may be impossible to find one caterer who can meet every consideration perfectly, but at least you will be able to recognize the one with the best fit.
◾Time in business
◾Specialization
◾Referrals that are similar to your reception plans
◾Location of business (avoiding logistical problems)
◾Do they out source or do all the work in house
◾What level and type of service can they provide
◾Guarantees
◾Staff
◾Price
◾Quality
◾Who is the Chef? Resume overview
◾Delivery, setup, teardown and cleanup
◾Table setting
◾Choices available
◾Innovation in menu