We get asked to quote for a great many weddings and events, and we don’t always get to provide the catering. Sometimes, the date is not available, sometimes our prices are too high, sometimes our menus don’t suit, but every enquiry we receive we respond with a few simple questions in order to ensure that we provide the correct menu, for the correct price to suit the couple who have enquired. When you enquire about menus, any professional caterer will always ask you a number of questions, if you want your catering to be exactly right and to a high standard make sure you consider the questions carefully and have the answers to hand, this could make the difference between your wedding breakfast being perfect or going disastrously wrong.
At initial enquiry we always ask:
1. When is the wedding? – There is no point in quoting if the date is already set and your caterer is not available. Sometimes a couple will tell us it is in May 2017 for example. In which case we can provide a quote but then make it clear to the couple that we only have certain dates in May available , otherwise when menu’s are sent, we are giving you the couple the impression we are available for any date you choose.
2. Work out a realistic budget. What budget have you set aside for the food and sundry services such as staff etc? – Again if the budgets are within certain constraints and our menus and services cannot fit the budgets we would rather not waste your time. You as a couple have a lot to do and reading through menus which you are likely to discount on cost is a waste of your precious time. Speak with the caterer see if the menu you have your heart set on can perhaps be tweaked slightly to accommodate your budgets, Any reputable caterer will know how important this day is to you and if possible will work with you on price.
3. What and where is the venue? – Your venue choice will reflect what is possible for your wedding breakfast. For instance, if your reception is in a small village hall with hardly any kitchen facilities, take the advice of the caterer, we know what is practical and what can be achieved with limited facilities. Always offer to meet the caterer at the venue, a reputable caterer will always want to view the venue beforehand, just to make sure they have access to certain facilities. If for instance a ‘Town Hall’ is booked as the venue, we would need to be sure that the kitchen is booked for our use too. Always pass on the contact details of the venue co-ordinator to the caterer and vice versa, make sure your caterer has liaised with the co-ordinator at your venue, this is vital.
4. Choose your meal wisely and take on board the advice of your caterer. We know what is achievable what is practical and through experience we know what people generally do not want. Whilst your wedding breakfast is your choice, like it or not there are always going to be other considerations, for instance if the venue does not have grilling facilities don’t insist on having a ‘grilled’ dish, this will only lead to problems and stress for all parties. There may be caterers out there who tell you can give you exactly what you want, for the price you want it, we would advise that you don’t take that on board until you have spoken to several caterers. Also, make sure your caterer can accommodate all dietary requirements. Vegetarians, Vegans, Coeliac, are commonplace these days and accommodated easily, but serious nut or fish allergies take very careful consideration and kitchen practices, make sure this can be done.
5. If you are booking sundry services from other suppliers, it is always a good idea to introduce your suppliers to each other, we will always liaise well with other suppliers, and we are happy to work with others for the good of your special day, this relieves you the couple from stress. Any professional caterer or other company will do the same. If you do not have knowledge of sundry suppliers, your caterer will always have names and numbers of companies they have worked with in the past. We have links on our web site to Wedding Dress suppliers, cake makers, Gents wear, Venue dressers, all of whom we have worked with before and all of whom work to our own high standards.
6. Always ask the advice of your caterer on table plans, you may want 10 people on a 6ft round table for instance, however, if there is to be a lot of table decor, or there are several courses requiring several courses of cutlery, you may only be able to fit 8 on in order for your guests to be comfortable. Your caterer will know what suits the room and what is the most practical and best solution to effect a smooth service of the meal.
7. Stay in contact regularly. Your caterer will want to stay in touch with you right from the start. Avoid a caterer who sends a menu, agrees a cost and then leaves it at that until the day. We have wedding bookings 2 years or more in advance and whilst a current wedding booking for 2019 doesn’t need as much contact as a wedding booking for early 2018 or late 2017, it is still good to remind the couple that they are on your radar and if they need any help, you are here to help.
8. Choose a caterer who is flexible. As a caterer we understand that from point of booking to the day of the wedding, there are going to be many changes, numbers will go up and down, dietary requirements will start coming in, timings will change and sometimes, menus may even change. We understand this and so should any reputable Wedding Caterer. Do not accept anything as standard, it is your day and it needs to suit you. If a caterer tells you it can’t be changed, revise your choice of caterer!.
9. Cheapest is not always best. Sometimes, to secure a good reputable caterer you need to take into consideration that they have got that reputation by offering a best value service. Look at the price of the menus, take into account the sundries you get as part of the price. Look at the quality of partners they work with, ask about the wedding and events they have catered previously. Be cheeky, ask about the hardest wedding, if they can overcome obstacles, they will be worth the money. Bites to Banquets Wedding & Event Catering, catered a wedding several years ago, in a barn in the middle of a field in Derbyshire with no kitchen available. We took with us, ovens, fridges, freezers and an army of staff and produced a four course dinner, with choices for 70 people. It is still talked about by the ‘Mother of the Bride’ as being one of the best wedding and wedding breakfasts I have ever had the pleasure of eating. We weren’t the cheapest… but we were the best!!
10. ALWAYS ask for testimonials, we have testimonials for weddings, charity balls, VIP events and numerous private functions, we back these up with photographs which can all be seen on our Gallery page and we work with local companies who provide associated services such as venue dressing, Wedding Gowns, Menswear, Cakes, all of these companies are linked through our website on our Partners page and feature in the photos. Know who you are dealing with and if the company does not have a web site, check their Facebook page!!
All of these considerations make for a stress free day enabling you to enjoy your day as it should be enjoyed. If you would like further information about Wedding Catering please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org