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Choosing a Catering Service

Hiring a catering service to prepare, deliver and serve food can save the hosts of a formal gathering a great deal of time and stress. However, since catering services can vary greatly in terms of professionalism, quality and cost, one should be thorough when choosing a company to cater a function. If you need to hire a catering service but are concerned about potential conflicts, the following five tips can guide you toward making the right choice for your needs.

Read Local Business Reviews
Many online business directories provide customers with the opportunity to leave feedback on local catering services. You can benefit from browsing through these directories and taking notes on the companies that have positive feedback from a number of previous customers. If you read through the comments carefully, you will have an even better idea of which catering services may be a good fit for your upcoming event and which ones are not worth the risk.

Get "Word of Mouth" Recommendations
Asking friends, family members or acquaintances for recommendations is another method that you can use when choosing a catering service. Additionally, if you have recently attended an event where you were greatly impressed by the food, then feel free to ask the hosts for the contact details of the caterers whom they employed. The "word of mouth" method can also help you to avoid hiring a catering company that failed to provide good service to others.

Determine Your Budget
Depending on the formality of your event and the number of people who will be attending, your catering budget may be tight, open-ended, or somewhere in between. When narrowing down your search for catering services, take note of the prices that each company advertises in order to determine which ones best fit your budget requirements. Keep in mind that some catering companies offer discounts and promotional offers that may ease the strain on your finances.

Ask Questions
When you meet with the staff members of catering services, be sure to ask questions about their business policies and procedures. You may wish to inquire about their experiences in catering events that are similar to yours in size, the number of people who will be available to serve food at your event and the manner of payment that is expected. Choose a catering service that is receptive to your questions and enthusiastic about working with you.

Taste the Food in Advance
It is important to never rely solely on photographs, displays or descriptions of food when interviewing catering services. Schedule food-tasting sessions in order to ensure that the flavors and tastes that you desire are in accordance with a caterer`s offerings. Sample all of the dishes that you are potentially interested in included on your menu and bring a few other people along so that they can offer their opinions as well. A reputable catering service will encourage this process and be eager to showcase their food.

When talking with catering services, it may also help to familiarize yourself with the type of equipment that is commonly used to prepare and serve your food. This allows you to have a better idea of which machines and devices should be expected at your event and where they should be set up. The CS Catering Equipment website is a valuable source of information on equipment used in the catering industry.



If you think you might like to work as a chef for your career, maybe you should look into it. Cooking classes and degree programs are offered at culinary schools in big cities across the country. It isn't always the easiest job, but it might be right for you. Learn more.




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