Vetting Your Caterer: What to Know

Nowadays it pays to vet anyone in the Bay Area, and throughout the country, who is responsible for any major event in your life, including the caterer of your important upcoming event. This can make the difference between a positively remarkable event and one that could end up being one of life’s worst nightmares.

In addition to the many other questions you will want to ask your prospective caterer, you will also want to ask him or her questions to verify his or her legitimacy and compliance.

Following are some questions you might want to ask to guarantee the person responsible for providing the food at your event, in or around the Bay Area, is responsible and reputable;

Can the caterer provide the names and phone numbers of three references – this question is so standard that a good caterer would be surprised if this question was not asked.

Where can you read reviews of their services – typically reviews can be found on their website. If not, they might possibly have third-party validations from past customers who were pleased with their catering services.

Do they have a business license – a professional caterer must have a business license, and make sure their business license is current.

Do they have liability coverage – a reputable caterer will also carry liability insurance. If not, you could be responsible and held liable for any unexpected damages that occurred during the food services portion of your event.

Do they have a liquor license – a caterer can only serve liquor with a current liquor license.

Is the kitchen where the food is prepared licensed as a Food Service Establishment – some states require this, so that the kitchen and the caterer follow all health codes.

Is food stored, prepared and transported adequately – you will want to make sure your food is free from cross-contamination by dust, insects or other sources.

Is food stored and displayed at safe temperatures – this is not the time for people to get sick, so make the caterer is knowledgeable and compliant with food temperatures.  

What hygienic measures do they follow – this includes all cooks, servers and other staff members. Food, kitchens, equipment and vehicles must be sanitary.

Would that we could just trust everyone that comes our way, but, when it comes to a costly, time-consuming, one-time event, in the Bay Area, that’s meant to impress, entertain or inform your guests, one can’t ever be too careful when choosing a reputable caterer. Contact Handheld Catering today!

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