Ask the Experts! Questions for Your Caterer

You have an event coming up and have decided to have it catered. Using a catering company in the San Jose area is no different from any other part of the country when it comes to what questions should you ask a caterer to make sure all of your bases are covered. Here are the top twenty most important questions to ask when meeting with a caterer:

  1. What is the company’s history? How long have they been in business, including employee work history? Any awards or special recognitions?
  2. How many events do they cater per year?
  3. What is their food type: fresh? frozen? canned? local?
  4. Can they accommodate special diets, like allergy-free or vegan?  
  5. Will they have any other events that day?
  6. Do they hold food tastings and is there a charge for this?
  7. Is there a set-up fee and drink rate for a separate bar? How long will alcohol be served?
  8. Is there a separate fee for their set-up and clean-up?
  9. Do they have any specials or package deals?
  10. What can be expected as far as presentation of food?
  11. What type of décor do they provide?
  12. Is there a reduced price for children’s meals?
  13. Is there a different rate for buffet service as opposed to table service?
  14. Do they have a portfolio that highlights past events?
  15. What are the names and phone numbers of three references?
  16. Can an outside baker be used and, if so, is there a rate to cut the cake?
  17. Do they have access to rental equipment?
  18. Will they provide linens, glassware, plates and flatware? If so, is there a separate rate for this?
  19. What is their leftover food policy?
  20. What is their server to guest ratio?
  21. What is the attire for servers?
  22. Do they provide their own coordinator for the services they provide?
  23. What is their policy if the event runs longer than expected?
  24. How much time in advance do they need for a final head count?
  25. What is their payment policy? Deposit?
  26. Are there any other fees that have not been mentioned?
  27. If selected, when does the signing of a contract take place?
  28. What is their cancellation policy?

At Handheld catering, we delight in making sure your event meets or exceeds your expectations. Let us know, not only what you need, but what you want, and, together, we will make sure your event is something you look back on with fondness year after year. Call Handheld Catering today at (408)692-4782 and let’s get working on making sure your event is a great one.

Share this