A professional caterer typically will ask you to sign a work contract and even to submit a portion of the total payment up-front before locking in your reservation. While this is common practice, you should avoid hastily signing the contract before reading the details of the contract. Some people who use catering services naturally expect their caterer to provide certain services before, during and after the event, but the reality is that the services offered by a catering team can vary significantly from one company to the next. Look for these three factors particularly before you sign a catering services contract to ensure that you know what type of catering experience you are paying for.
Whether you are serving deli foods with a delicatessen buffet, you will be hosting a sit-down meal, or you have other plans for catering service, you understandably may expect your caterer to provide you with basic setup services. This may include help putting the tables together, setting the tables and more. You may even expect the caterer to provide dishware for your guests to use. These are not services that every catering team provides, so read the fine print to avoid being caught off-guard on the day of your event.
Food Serving Assistance
Another point to focus your attention on is food serving. Some catering teams may provide you with assistance from one or several servers or wait staff. Others may simply deliver the food and expect you to serve it on your own. The cost of services may reflect the type of food serving assistance you receive, so opting for the most expensive quote will not always yield the best overall experience with your catering team.
Some caterers will use disposal serving dishes, such as aluminum containers. They may expect you to simply throw the containers away after the event has ended. Others, however, may stay at the event until it is over or may return to the venue to help you clean up the area. This may include bussing the tables, storing leftover food in extra containers for you to enjoy later and more.
As you can see, the types of catering services you may enjoy can vary drastically, and the price of services does not always reflect the quality or type of service you may receive. You may be counting on your catering team to provide you with turnkey service, or you may be looking for a bare bones experience to save money on catering. Regardless of the type of experience you are looking for, read through the contract carefully to ensure you fully understand what the service entails.