Whether you're planning a sizable family reunion, a work function or something in between, the right food and drinks can truly make the gathering come to life. One way that you can ensure that the food will satisfy your guests is by hiring a reputable catering firm to take care of everything. With so many catering companies in your city that are worthy of consideration, it's important to devote some time to finding the one that will best suit your needs. An effective way to accomplish this goal is to meet with catering representatives from a few businesses and discuss your needs. Beyond talking about the menu, the price and the availability on the day of your event, be sure to ask these three questions.
How Will You Handle My Guests' Food Allergies?
Any time you plan a large gathering, you're likely to have some people in your group with food allergies or sensitivities -- about 15 million Americans have food-related allergies, with many others suffering from sensitivities to some degree. You want to hear that the catering firm will handle these issues professionally. Typically, you'll need to supply a list of the guests with allergies and specify what allergies they have. The catering rep should tell you that the kitchen staff are accustomed to dealing with this situation and understand the need for avoiding cross-contamination by using dedicated cooking and serving tools for the people in question.
What Is Your Policy Concerning Tipping?
To avoid the risk of an awkward encounter with the catering staff at the end of the event, it's valuable to discuss the protocol for tipping in advance. You'll likely encounter a wide range of scenarios and knowing them is important. Some catering organizations will use a tip jar around the bar area for guests to fill with cash; others will request that you don't tip at all, but that you add a specific gratuity to your bill that will be equally divided among staff. If the latter is the case, be sure you know and are comfortable with the percentage.
Are Setup And Takedown Included?
It's necessary to know everything that will be included in the catering fee, and you can start with asking about setting up for the event and taking everything down afterward. Some catering firms will visit the venue in advance to set up tables, chairs, table settings and more -- others do not have the resources to perform this task and ask that you do it yourself. By knowing this information, you'll be able to assess whether the catering firm is the right one to hire.