How to Choose Your Perfect Wedding Caterer
So you've found candidates for your perfect wedding caterer. Now you have to choose.
The five important things to consider at are: budget; communication; the food; staff; testimonials.
Go no further until you have set a budget. Then, are they within your budget? As a hang over from our stiff upper lip British heritage there’s an air of slight awkwardness when it comes to talking money. But, everyone has a budget, whether or not you know the exact figure yet. Some just have the fortune of having a higher one than others. Be realistic when you are looking at caterers, and send off a couple of enquiries to find out how much they cost. Pro tip: put your minimum number of guests so that you know what the maximum price per guest will be (prices will tend to go up per guest the fewer guests that you have).
I understand that as a group we don’t make it easy for you guys as a lot of us (The Wild Oven included) don’t put their prices up online. Despite popular belief, this isn’t because we wait to find out if it’s a wedding or a party and adjust the prices accordingly. Instead it’s because every event is individual and the price is effected by the number of guests and the distance we have to travel. At the risk of someone coming back and saying, but why is it ‘x’ much more per guest when we’re only 20 miles down the road: here are some guide prices.
Though we don’t have any hidden charges, but some people may not include the VAT, or the hire of kitchen equipment so watch out for these!
How do they communicate with you
This one isn’t particular to caterers, but if you approach someone as a potential customer how and when they respond is an indication of how they will be throughout the build up to the big day. I would expect a response within 2 working days, sooner is better. Keep an eye out for attention to detail. Ok we are all human and all make mistakes, but if your proposal is riddled with them then this shows a lack of attention to detail which could be carried through to the day, and catering is all about the detail!
This may be an obvious one, but do you both like the food that your caterer has on offer? Can you see it not only fitting in to your day, but adding to it?
Where do they find their staff?
Are their staff going to help them deliver what you are expecting? Some caterers work have built up a solid base of staff, whereas others have to look to agency staff. Neither is necessarily better than the other, just different. Agency staff will have worked at lots of different events so have a breadth of experience, but in house staff will have a greater knowledge of the caterer that they are working with and in our experience, a greater passion for the food that they’re serving. If you have a preference, ask your caterer what they do. Here at The Wild Oven we are lucky enough to have built up a solid team with a shared love and passion for what we do.
Have they got any testimonials from previous clients? If you found your caterer via so,done you know this step is easy – if someone that you trust is happy to recommend a caterer to you then you’re one step ahead. However, it’s still worth having a look around and reading some testimonials. Preferably somewhere validated, such as Google Plus or Facebook. A lot of our testimonials are hidden in Facebook comments, so have a look through your caterer’s page for customer’s thoughts.