Cindy's Scoop - 10 Questions To Ask Your Caterer

I know you have endless questions tumbling through your mind while you’re planning your wedding – and they all seem to fight for space to get to the front right when you’re trying to fall asleep don’t they?

The best thing you can do to keep on top of everything for your wedding is to keep a list of questions for each supplier you’re working with, and tick off their answers when you meet with them. So, when you meet with me, or any other wedding caterer, you can set your mind at ease with these few questions:

1. What is your experience with wedding catering?
This is a question every supplier will be asked by every couple they meet, so your caterer should be able to tell you their story, outline their experience, qualifications and certifications while making you feel at ease and confident in their abilities.

2. Do you have insurance?
While it is a very rare possibility, food reactions could occur at your wedding. This is why you need to work with a caterer who has full insurance to protect themselves, and you.

3. Are your staff fully qualified?
Staff who are handling, preparing and serving food should have full and up to date food safety certifications, which you can ask to see. Staff serving alcohol should have their Responsible Service of Alcohol accreditation too. Also ask about a uniform and the presentation of the catering staff, and whether the style and level of formality will fit with your wedding.

4. How much freedom do I have?
This is one you may not think to ask, but is a question and opportunity unique to wedding caterers, when compared to an in-house chef at a venue. A caterer is not constrained by the style of the venue or the dishes already on the restaurant menu in the way an in-house chef may be. A caterer is free to tailor a menu directly to your budget, your tastes, your cultural influences or any other ideas you have for the way you want your wedding menu to look.

5. Are you equipped?
Make sure you choose a caterer who is familiar with the venue you have chosen, so they know what equipment is already there, and what they will need to bring. This includes everything from the kitchen set up, oven, deep fryer, the serving platters and tongs, to the fridge and freezer. If your caterer does need to hire extra equipment for your wedding, find out whether you need to pay or share that cost.

6. What’s the word?
A wedding caterer is in the uniquely valuable position of working at a range of venues, and with a range of suppliers. They know which suppliers can be relied upon, and which venues are ideally setup for ease of use. So don’t be shy about asking your caterer their advice on your venue, your cake maker, your florist or your stylist, they’ll know what works, and what to look out for.

7. Who’s the point of contact?
A caterer may work at more than one wedding on the same day, so if you’re meeting with a host or head chef, make sure you have their contact details if they’ll be the one running your show on the night.

8. What’s on the side?
You’d never sit down to a lonely piece of steak at home, and you shouldn’t at your wedding either. Make sure your wedding menu includes sides, salads, vegetables and dinner rolls, and ask whether they’re an extra cost (they shouldn’t be).

9. What about my wedding cake?
You can use your wedding cake as the dessert in your menu, or you can add your cake to your menu with tea and coffee. Your wedding caterer should ask you about the style and flavours of your cake, and be in contact with your cake maker, so they can tailor accompaniments such as coulis, cassata or crumble to your cake flavours.

10. What are we drinking?
Your wedding caterer will often have beverage packages for you to choose from, which will generally be structured on a per head cost in addition to the menu price. Also ask about other drink inclusions, such as a champagne toast, and tea and coffee at the end of the night.

And don’t worry, if you have any other questions or concerns about your wedding catering, add them to this list and give me a call on 0414 618 433, I’ll be happy to help you through them.

Until next time,

Cindy's Classic Gourmet

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