While planning the major parts of your wedding, selecting the caterer is that one aspect that you would want to put more thought than the rest, because Khatirdari is a real thing at the grand Indian wedding. The special treatments in form of different varieties of cuisines, innovative dishes and showstopping desserts is what gets the crowd going “Wah, kya khana hain!”.
Let’s be honest, good food along with the good vibes only makes it better for everyone who is here to celebrate.
Obviously, selecting the caterer is a crucial decision but once you’ve asked your questions and got the clarifications, you’ll only feel more satisfied and relaxed about your choice!
Even though, We all have a background of the caterer before we set out (If you don’t, it’s important to read up on them or get a few references from friends and online too) but, it’s best to accredit those by asking them the questions too.
We’ve listed down the most important questions that you need to ask your wedding caterer:
1. Are you free on the date of the wedding?
Give the details of the dates and time for the different functions. Let’s begin the discussions.
2. What types of weddings have you done before?
Go beyond what they put up on the social media, look at the pictures they haven’t shared with the world. Visuals always help you make decisions faster and also give you confidence in the person you are interacting with. Ask for some references of clients and venues they have previously worked at for a better understanding.
Image Source: Dot Dusk
3. What is your specialty?
Let them tell you a little bit more about what they do best, it’s always better to understand what they are famous for, it helps them add their secret recipe into the wedding! Maybe their chat stalls are the best or even the kulfis for dessert, a chocolate fountain that they could install maybe? Get that on the menu for sure! A good caterer will be able to tell you where their strength lies.
Image Source: Natraj Cuisine of India
4. What kind of packages do you offer?
Get a complete understanding on services that are included or not, from them so there isn’t any confusion on what is part of your selected package. They may have wedding cakes included for a nominal fee, they also may throw in hors d’oeuvre at an additional price that isn’t too much! It’s best to be clear about it at the beginning itself.
Image Source: Moets Catering
5. For the area at the venue that is available, what type of a spread do you suggest?
If they’ve worked at the venue before, they’ll be able to guide you on what all to add to the list and help you make decisions on your budgets accordingly. Let the experts give you their opinion first. This will not only ensure that the food display along also looks good at the spot selected at the Venue.
Image Source: Devasyah Studios
6. Do you have the appropriate licenses that are required?
Make sure they have a liquor license, along with being certified by FSSAI. This is mandatory if you are looking to serve alcohol at the function and also ensures that cater’s quality is good.
Image Source: The 21 Gun Salute
7. Can we go for a preset menu or will you customise it for us?
Some caterers have ready made menus and the rest are willing to pick and choose and create as per the guest’s requirement. It’s actually not a bad idea to go for a fixed menu as they will have the best selling items on it. But make sure to see what kind of permutations and combinations are available.
Image Source: Feeding Concepts
8. What type of arrangements will I need to make with other vendors?
This is very important, you need to understand what all will they arrange for. Tables, chairs, bar stools, linens, cutlery, displays, counters etc. This is an added cost and a lot of coordination. So make sure to have this conversation before going to another vendor.
Image Source: The Basil Kitchen
9. How can we go about the food tasting session?
This is of utmost important. Maybe they invite you to a tasting session where they make you have a mini meal with a majority of items included. This is the best way to try them out unless you’v+9e tried some food from them at another wedding. Even then, you must organize this.
Image Source: Tandoori Nights Catering
10. What are the policies for minimum guarantee and maximum number of guests?
This reveals what they are comfortable with in terms of minimum and maximum guests. It shouldn’t be overwhelming for them so it’s important to give this minimum guarantee and let them prepare food accordingly. Best to give the final list at least one week prior.
Image Source: Moets Catering
11. What is the number of staff you will allocate and who will be incharge?
It’s imperative to understand what the server to guests ratio is going to be. Also, best to have a clear understanding on the number of bartenders, waiters available on the day along with the people in charge so that it’s all in order and you know whom to reach out to. This also shows their professionalism. You could also suggest what ratio you are comfortable with.
12. Where will the food be prepared?
This is an important matter so that you can coordinate with the venue vendors to know from when the place will be available and where to set the kitchen up. Cooking in a healthy environment is vital and all the parties involved should be informed about it.
Image Source: Orchard Cove Photography
13. What about the cancellation, advance and refund policies?
Try to sort this out in the first meeting itself, because you may not have the time to figure it out after you’ve made up your mind about which caterer you are going to work with. Everybody works differently and these policies shouldn’t be a barrier.
Image Source: Satkar Caterers
Feature Image: Tandoori Nights