Catering is an absolute must in planning for an event. It’s one of the most important items to tick off your checklist. While the food is hardly the star of the event, it can determine how well your event is received by your special guests. But with so many suppliers catering in Manila, how do you choose which one to hire? To help you out, we’ve prepared a few questions to consider before signing that contract with your caterer.
1. What event am I preparing for?
Identifying the type of event you’ll hold will help you decide on the kind of catering you will need. Is it a wedding, a product launch, an exhibit, a book signing, a banquet, or a debut? There are probably as many as 20 to 30 different kinds of events or more. The kind of event is critical to choosing a caterer because some have no previous experience in catering to certain events. As soon as you’ve pinned down what your event is, you’re ready to answer the next question.
2. How many guests am I expecting?
As with any event, not all caterers are alike. Some specialize in small gatherings while others can cater up to a thousand guests. If you have a very specific number of guests, this will help you to determine the experience of the caterer in handling events as big as the one you’re preparing for. Be optimistic with your estimate but make room for no-shows as well. Statistics show that there’s a twenty percent drop off in guest appearances in any event. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. Some end up having more than what they planned!
3. What’s my budget on a per guest basis?
Knowing how much you can afford per head is an important factor in considering your supplier. If you have a minimal budget, then you need to look for suppliers that will not sacrifice the quality of the food in spite of it. You may need to cut down on the number of viands in order for the quality of the food to be as high as possible. If you have a budget within the P600-P1,000 per head, then you have a wider range of exceptional caterers to choose from. Be sure to strike a balance between quality and cost-efficiency.
4. Have I sent my catering quotation to at least three suppliers?
Even though you may feel confident about one or two suppliers suggested by your friends, it’s important to send your quotation to three or more. This gives you the power to negotiate for a lower cost based on the best offer from one of the suppliers. If you have five suppliers, this gives you even more leverage as the other suppliers will be scrambling to outdo each other with their quotations.
5. How is the reputation of the caterers I am considering?
Almost every good caterer has a website or at least a Facebook page to market their services. You can browse through the events they have already catered to and see if you can find any testimonials. Their Facebook page is a great place to read comments from customers who were happy (or not) with their services. Their reputation could make or break the deal for you so don’t underestimate the value of their previous customers.
These questions are just some of the many that you need to consider. But some of the most important ones are mentioned above. Go through them thoughtfully to help you in your decision making. Choosing a great caterer will leave a wonderful lasting impression on your event.
Julieane Hernandez is a Hotel and Restaurant Management graduate turned Wedding designer. She’s an advanced tri-athlete during weekends. She’s been in the Wedding industry for about 5 years now and She’s learned so much from all the experiences she’s been through. Follow her on twitter and google+