“The ultimate guide to choosing an amazing wedding caterer, and how to avoid the bad ones.”
It can be tough to decide who cooks your first meal as a happily married couple.. here are my top tips on choosing one who will make your tummies love you and your wedding the best ever!
1) Have you been to their place?
Make sure you visit their premises. Is it clean? Are there any issues with maintenance and/or pests? Ask to see your caterer’s food hygiene certificates; only 5***** will do. You can search for your caterer online via your local authorities online portal.
You can find ours here http://ratings.food.gov.uk/business/en-GB/673189/Thomas-The-Caterer-Syston
If your caterer doesn’t invite you to see their kitchens, I would smell a rat (maybe quite literally!)
2) What do their clients say?
Have you seen testimonials from their past clients? Do they have a wall of thank you cards and emails? Have they “shown off” all their amazing brilliant stuff? It may seem a little crass but if they have it, they will be showing it off too!
Ask if you can speak to previous brides and grooms, they should have at least a handful of past customers who are more than happy to sing their praises.
3) Are they award winners?
Have they won any awards? What are they for? Because let’s be honest.. if they are hugely sponsored awards i.e magazines, have they paid to win? Have they won any awards for their food outright?
After all it is the food that is most important. Did I tell you I won an award for my pies last month 😉
4) What about customer service?
An engagement and planning a wedding can be a long relationship between you and your caterer; you need to know they are tip top at answering your emails – after all if they keep you waiting in cyber space how long will they keep you waiting for your treacle sponge and custard?
5) Can you taste it?
Do they offer tastings? Paid or non paid? You should definitely taste something your caterer has made.
A good caterer will be more than happy to invite you both along to taste their food.
6) What’s their team made up of?
Does your wedding caterer have team behind them? Don’t get me wrong everyone starts somewhere but credibility is having a team built behind a caterer. Do they have a dedicated team or use agency staff?
Having a larger team ensures their is cover if anyone is ever ill or an emergency crops up and that the standard remains the same.
7) Where can they be seen??
Does your caterer get out and about working at wedding events?How did you hear about your wedding caterer? Did they come via word of mouth or have you at least heard of them before contacting them?
Ask around other suppliers in the industry for their recommendations – your venue or Tipi supplier will see first hand the different standards of food and service and will be able to point you in the direction of the best.
8) Can you read all about them?
Does your wedding caterer have a brochure of past weddings like a portfolio they can show you? Do they use social media and post lots of pictures of yummy food they have served?
Follow them on social media and see updates from recent events, testimonials and of course photos of the food.
9) So who looks after the guests?
Most caterers start as chefs So, Does your caterer have a dedicated front of house manager? Will they be at your wedding?
Your chef will be very busy on the day so you should have a dedicated point of contact on the day who will be there to ensure everything front of house runs smoothly. You don’t want to be in and out of the kitchen on your wedding day if you have any questions, do you?
10) Clarity is king
When you get a quote make sure you understand it and it states clearly what the quote does and does not include. Each caterer builds quotes differently so what does it include: cooking equipment? glasses? linen?, serving staff? etc, etc.
Sometimes a quote might seem too good to be true until you realise that staff, travel, ovens etc are all additional charges.
Hopefully that helps but for more advice or to talk through your wedding plans, email firstname.lastname@example.org