Questions to Ask Your Caterer


Questions to Ask Your Caterer

The right answers to these questions will help guarantee an excellent working relationship with your caterers.  If you want to create an affair that will generate rave reviews from those in attendance, these questions will help you begin the planning process.

  • Who is the contact person when planning the event?
  • Who is the contact person during the event?
  • What does the chef prepare best?
  • What are your portion sizes?
  • When will coffee be served?
  • Will wine be poured by the staff or placed on the tables?
  • Is the champagne just for the toast, or will it be served from the bar?
  • When do you suggest we do the champagne toast and cut the cake?
  • Will you provide a cake table for the wedding cake? Do you charge a cake cutting fee?
  • Where will the place cards and gifts be placed?
  • Will you assist with valet parking, music, flowers, photography, etc.?
  • Is there a curfew at the event site?
  • How many staff will be working the event?
  • How is your staff attired?
  • What are your substitution policies?  Are vegetarian and special meals available?
  • Should we offer after dinner drinks on the bars?
  • Since all the guests are arriving at once, could you pass wine or champagne as they arrive?
  • How many bartenders will be serving drinks during the cocktail hour?
  • Will the bars be open during dinner?
  • Will cocktails be served by your wait staff, or will guests need to go to the bar?
  • Will you feed the band members, photographers and others working the event?
  • When can I expect your written proposal?
  • What is your policy regarding deposits and cancellations?
  • When is the final payment due?
  • Are there other charges for set-up, delivery, overtime, etc.?
  • Do you take credit cards?  Do you take personal checks?
  • When must I give you my final guarantee?
  • What percentage is overset?
  • What is the sales tax, and what are you gratuity/service charge policies?
  • What time can we have access to decorate the room/area?
  • What are the smoking policies?
  • Will you provide table numbers?
  • What size tables do you offer?
  • What are the options for linen, chair covers, china, stemware, flatware, charger plates?
  • What decorations do you provide for tables, buffets, and food stations?
  • Are there facilities available at the site for handicapped?
  • Can you provide bathroom attendants?
  • Can you provide a podium, mike and overhead projector?