Selecting a Caterer that is a Good Fit
What to look for in your proposal
The catering proposal is an estimate
First Questions They'll Ask...
Number of guests
This is probably the #1 factor that affects your overall catering investment. Why? Because this dictates the number of staff you will need, your rentals inventory, and of course how many people will be served dinner! The simplest way to manager your catering proposal is through the size of your guest list. The number of guests attending affects every line item on your proposal.
Buffet or plated
Not sure which serving style best fits you? Ask your catering rep to create a buffet and plated proposal. The number of service staff you will need will depend on which style you choose. I know some venues are better suited for plated, and others buffet works beautifully. Other options of service are stations and family style.
Why Full Service?
Value of a full service caterer
I’ve had plenty of couples want to select their favorite restaurant to cater their wedding, or even food trucks — it seems like a great way to add personal significance and your own style. I get that! Here’s the thing. Many restaurants, even ones that offer catering don’t necessarily have the resources that a full service event caterer does. There are so many things that a full service caterer includes that your fave restaurant might not be equipped (or typically do) — from cutting and serving your cake, to providing rentals, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, offer top-notch hospitality staff to serve your guests. I find most of the time, that slow dinner service on a wedding day mostly occurs when a couple did not select a full service event caterer.
Inside the proposal
Should I select rentals through my caterer? Absolutely. Want to upgrade beyond the standard dinner plate? That is almost always an option.
What does a room flip mean & how it matters for staffing
A room flip is when your ceremony and your reception (dinner and/or dancing) will be held in the same space. Typically while the room is “flipped” or transformed guests are invited into a separate space (such as a terrace) for cocktail hour. The room flip typically takes place in a short amount of time, so definitely ask your caterer if this will affect the number of staff on site!
This will depend on what your venue and your state require. Often times, even if you will provide the alcohol, you will be operating under your caterer’s liquor license. Other times, the venue will require that you, the couple, apply for the liquor license
If you’re providing the alcohol
A common question – should we provide it or ask our caterer to? Well, it depends on quite a few factors, but if you have the option to, it’s a huge benefit! By providing it is a definite cost savings, andd you can select your personal favorites. That being said, I always recommend including the mixers and ice in your catering proposal. You do not want to be worrying if you will run out of ice or ginger ale on your wedding day.
Quite simply, you are paying for peace of mind and an amazing guest experience. A catering proposal is 30% about the menu selections and 70% about the staffing, the rentals, and the service experience throughout your wedding day.