Whether you are planning a wedding reception, charity gala, or corporate seminar, the one thing you don’t want to leave up to chance is your catering service. To find the best wedding or corporate caterers in Atlanta, check out this shopping guide from the Art of Food.
Word of mouth is oftentimes your best source of information. Ask family members, friends, and business colleagues about local catering services they have used before. How was the quality of the food and service? Was it reasonably priced? Was the caterer able to meet specific requests and custom orders? The next time you attend a catered event, take a moment to actually talk to the catering coordinator and ask for their card.
In the initial shopping stages, take note of how quickly a potential caterer responds to phone calls and email inquiries. To remain competitive in today’s business market, slow response times are an inconvenience. Businesses must be on top of their game. They must demonstrate a genuine interest in your needs and concerns.
Not all caterers are created equal. Some caterers may have a set menu or style of food while others may not be able to handle larger groups. You wouldn’t exactly want a barbecue buffet at a black-tie affair, for example, unless country western happens to be the theme of your event. It is important to first determine the size of your wedding, the budget for food, and the style of catering you prefer, and match these criteria to your shopping list.
Most caterers have a set of standard items and services; however, the ability to be flexible with menu options is a plus. Does the caterer have menu options for vegans, vegetarians, children, and guests with special dietary restrictions? Does the menu reflect current trends in the industry? Do they take special requests? Do they cater outdoor events and, if so, how do they handle sudden changes in weather conditions?
Don’t wait until the day of your event to try the food, especially if you have never used a particular catering service. Arrange a tasting with the top caterers on your shopping list and specifically ask for items on your event menu, not generic menu items. Also, request a sampling of the wines that will be offered for the event. A good caterer will know what wines will compliment your menu items.
Ask questions and always read the fine print before you sign the dotted line. What is their cancellation policy? Do they require a deposit or full payment up front? The contract should itemize all the details of your venue, including the number of staff on hand for the event, the finalized menu, and any rentals for tables, chairs, and place settings.
For more on the best caterers in Atlanta, contact the professionals at the Art of Food.