Here’s What You Should Tell Your Caterer Ahead of Time

Catering If you’re in the midst of planning an event, there is surely a litany of things on your to do list. Nevertheless, to ensure everything goes smoothly food-wise, it’s important you communicate properly with your catering service. What should you let them know prior to your event?

Things to Let Your Caterer Know

For starters, you have to tell them basic information as well as some extra details if you want them to meet your needs. Think of caterers like writers. If a writer has no information about a subject, how is he or she supposed to write a good story? A caterer, like any other professional, should be well-informed in order to do their job successfully on your behalf.

There are the basics. Caterers need to know what your event is, when it is (the date as well as when it starts and ends), and where it’ll be. How many guests will be in attendance? Ideally you’ll want to give the caterer your best ballpark estimate so they can plan the food and drinks accordingly. For instance, if you invited 100 people and you’re pretty sure 75 will come, then tell the caterer 75 “with the potential for 100 or more.” Also, describe the guests to the caterer in terms of age and interests. For example, will there be plenty of kids who just want pizza and soda pop? Or will there be people of a certain ethnic persuasion who want a certain type of food because it’s a staple of their celebrations? Details matter in this regard!

As for the venue, where will the event be held? What’s the traffic flow like? It’s best to share the location with the caterer well ahead of time so he or she can go there and get a feel for the layout. This will help determine where the food is presented in the room, how people line up/receive it, where tables go, etc. Also, with regards to the venue, what supplies will be on hand to be used by the caterer? For example, can they use dishes and silverware already there, or do they need to bring their own for guests to use?

Next, caterers have to plan the menu and you need to tell them details about what you want– the more specific, the better. Do you want hors d’oeuvres served before the meal while people are standing around and chatting? What kind of meal or meals do you want offered? Big or small? Fancy or informal? Buffet or served by waiters? Tell your caterer your “must haves” as well as what you do NOT want served. Regarding beverages, one of the main things to tell a caterer is whether or not you want alcohol available.

Finally, discuss the budget. What can you afford and what can they provide for what you can afford? Prices are often somewhat negotiable with caterers. And, to lighten things up, share a little bit about the event’s theme, including color schemes and planned decor. The more a caterer like R & R knows about an event, the better that event will be!