Planning the Catering

If you are organising an event, consider this. The guests who attend may not remember what was discussed, but they will remember the food!

Here are some top tips for planning your catering.

Choose your caterer well in advance and shop for items you need to purchase, to ensure availability.

The best caterers are usually recommended or are located within the venue you are using and word of mouth is a good indication of quality.

Discuss all of your event plans with your caterer, so that they really get involved. Study their suggested menus, wine lists and bar prices. Good advice here is to always use the same company for catering and the bar.

When visiting a restaurant at a venue, consider the menu, the food, the service, table decor, ambience and lighting, sound systems, disabled facilities and access, fire exits and general security, location of cloakrooms and toilets. Find out about bar times, staff to guest ratios, staff experience, breakfast, hygine procedures, recycling policy, consumption controls and corkage charges.

An unannounced visit to the venue (or the caterer if mobile) should give you a good indication of their standards. Are people who are eating the food enjoying it? A request to visit the kitchen area is again, a good pointer towards the capabilities of the caterers.

The quality of food on the day should always reflect the quality of a tasting session. If it does not, then you can take this issue up with the caterer, although we hope you will not need to do this!

Stock taking (particularly on bottles of wine) is a very good idea. Do this before and after the event and have the caterer join in with you and sign. The last thing you want is your budget blown!

If you take all of this valuable advice into consideration when planning your catering, you should have a memorable event on your hands! Good luck!

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