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460 High Street Medford, Massachusetts 02155

Key Questions to Ask Your Caterer - Winchester, Cambridge, Somerville, MA

Key Questions to Ask Your Caterer

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Simple Fare Catering, Medford, Somerville, MACatering can make or break your event. Find out if your catering company in Boston, MA is up to the task by asking these important questions.

1. Which catering styles do you offer?

When it comes to serving style, you’ve got a few options. The style you choose will have an effect on the overall vibe of your event as well as the cost, so you’ll want to think this through. The most popular options are:

Plated dinners: The most traditional (and expensive) option of the bunch which involves waiters and waitresses delivering meals to each individual table.

Buffet: If you’re okay with something a bit more casual, you may opt to have a buffet where guests serve themselves. The benefit of this is that you won’t be wasting a ton of food as guests can decide on their own portion sizes.

Cocktail style: This involves serving h’ors d’oevures or stations instead of full meals.

2. Are menus fixed? Or can we choose our own?

Caterers are usually willing to make menu adjustments to suit you and your guests. Would you prefer fish to chicken? Are your guests more likely to be wowed by truffles than brownies? See if your caterer is willing to make these changes or they may not be the one for you. Some caterers like to keep menus as they are, so you’ll want to get this question answered at the get-go.

3. Do you offer options for guests with dietary restrictions?

Accommodating your guests' food allergies and dietary restrictions is important, so you’ll want to check that your caterer is able to provide alternatives for gluten-, dairy-, meat-, and nut-free diners.

4. Can guests choose their entrees?

Before you give your friends and family the option to choose between seafood, chicken or steak, you’ll want to ask your caterer if they’re cool with this. Giving your guests options means that they have to create different mains, so it’s better to let them know sooner rather than later.

5. Is there a way to cut the cost?

Your caterer is versed in the world of food and will know what’s in season (and cheaper) and how you can omit and add certain dishes to lower the price tag a bit.

6. Have you catered an event at our venue before?

You'll want to know if they have experience with the venue kitchen and facilities. Not only will they know what works well in the space, your food service will likely have fewer mishaps which is why many venues have a preferred list of caterers that they work with. Caterers who are not familiar with a venue may appear to be cheaper at first glance, but you may have additional charges or penalties due to a lack of understanding of the venue policies or extra hours on site.

7. Do you provide the drinks?

Does your caterer have a liquor license and more specifically, do they provide the wine, beer and liquor? If your caterer doesn’t have a liquor license you’ll have to hunt for a bartender to get the drink situation in order.

8. Can you supply flatware, glassware and dinnerware?

You’ll want to arrange this early or your guests are going to have some serious issues when dinner rolls around.

9. Has your staff been trained?

Though this seems like a no-brainer, you probably want to ask if the waiters and waitresses have received proper training. Your caterer should be able to verse you in what his or her staff has been taught. You'll also want to know who will be the point person on the day.

10. Is there any additional fees?

While their main job is bringing the food, you probably want your caterer to be there for the set up and stick around for the breakdown. Time is money, so this may cost a few extra bucks.

For more information or to set up a tasting, contact Simple Fare Catering.