Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hiring Your Wedding Caterer

The caterer is one of the pillars of a wedding party's success. The taste and presentation of the food and the service provided will be remembered for a long time. Most caterers offer event planning and coordination, which is either included or an additional coordination fee. The caterer is responsible for buffet table decoration. Some prefer to do the other table decorations as well in order to ensure an aesthetically coordinated effect. Some caterers will work with florists, while others prefer to create the total look. 

For best results, the food is prepared in their commercial kitchen and the finishing touches are added at the event site. Some caterers service only one event per day, while others do ten simultaneously. Both can be equally good in service and quality.
Caterers usually bring along 10% more food than required, as running out of food is a nightmare for them. Leftover food is sometimes left with you, sometimes taken back. Caterers may prefer to keep the excess food since they consider it food you have not paid for. They also want to make sure you don't eat spoiled leftovers. If the food has been on display for several hours on a hot day, the caterer will dispose of it. Regardless of the reason, the caterer determines how the leftovers are to be dispensed with.
Steelhead BBQ Co. serves the bride and groom at Centerville Estates
Most caterers do not have a liquor license, but they will either serve what you provide or subcontract with a licensed bar service. Caterers with full liquor licenses run a bar or restaurant. Regardless of whether or not they have a liquor license, they will usually help you with beverage planning and also do the ordering. Note that the liability for serving alcohol rests with the party providing it; caterers carry insurance if they do. Some caterers have a license to serve only beer, wine and champagne.
We Recommend:
  • If you choose a larger catering establishment, make sure you get to know the person in charge of your event and record the name in the contract.
  • Take the time to carefully review every little detail with the caterer in order to avoid disappointments and unpleasant surprises.
  • Rental items can be provided by the caterer. While this may be a more expensive way to go, you save the hassle of having to locate and rent them on your own.
Minding Your Budget:
  • Caterers have different price structures. Be sure to ask about all the extra and hidden charges, and calculate carefully.
  • Prices depend on food selection. A sit-down dinner is more expensive because it requires more staff.
  • Though gratuities are usually optional, several caterers itemize service gratuities separately. A gratuity or service charge is a mandatory "tip," which is taxable.
  • Consider a tea for your wedding reception.
  • Serve more vegetables than meat.
  • Reduce the number of service personnel.

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