39 Questions to Ask your Wedding Caterer
When it comes to your wedding day, food and drink will be an integral part, from succulent roast dinners to fresh Mediterranean platters and street-food style burgers – there’s a vast array of options available and whilst it will usually take up a significant proportion of your wedding expenditure, it’s important to get it right!
Must Ask Questions for your Wedding Caterer
To keep you on track for a mouth watering wedding day that’s set to impress, we’ve put together a handy guide containing a list of important questions to ask potential caterers.
Where to start
Before researching and making contact with wedding caterers, consider some of the options below;
- Would you prefer a sit down meal or a buffet?
- How many courses would be suitable?
- What type/style/theme of food do you like and is this suitable with the wedding you are planning?
- Will you need special meal options, for children or dietary needs?
With these areas considered your search for suitable caterers can be narrowed down allowing you to create a shortlist of potentials and then it’s all down to asking key questions to make sure that they are right for you and your wedding.
The Good to Know
Introductory questions should not only include the obvious such as are you free on my date but should also focus on the caterers business, to give you the trust and assurance you need before committing to booking their services.
- Are you available on my wedding date?
- How many guests can you cater for?
- How long have you been in business?
- Would we be the only event you would be catering for on that day?
- Is there a charge for setup and take down?
- How much time do you need to setup and take down?
- Where is the food prepared and cooked?
- Have you catered at my wedding venue before?
The key questions when booking a wedding caterer are of course going to be around food. You can discuss menu options, available choices and the option to tailor uniquely to you.
These questions will vary depending on the caterers you are considering and the food options you are looking for.
- Can we create a custom menu, or tailor a set menu?
- Can you create a menu for our wedding theme?
- What seasonal menu choices do you offer?
- Do you use fresh produce, locally sourced?
- Do you offer event packages and what do they include?
- Can you cater for Kosher/Halal/ any other dietary requirements?
- How do you display and set up the buffet tables?
- Are labels and signage included for the food on the buffet?
- What options are available for children and the costs for this?
- How much do you charge for vendor/supplier meals?
- Do you offer food tastings and is there an extra charge for this?
Presentation and Logistics
Catering isn’t just about the food, many will also take care of the furniture and serving too, so be sure to ask the following, so you know what is fully included when you hire your preferred caterer.
- How many servers would be assigned to my guest list number?
- How will the servers be dressed?
- Do you handle and arrange rental furniture such as tables, chairs, etc.?
- What types of linens, glassware, plates and flatware do you provide?
- What happens to any left over food?
- What happens with regards to cleaning up at the end?
Drink and Beverages
If your wedding venue doesn’t have an on site bar many wedding catering companies will be able to provide this service alongside supplying your food.
Discuss with them your requirements fully and ensure you understand what they can offer. Keep in mind there are lots of bar companies you can hire so having your caterer could work out to be the easiest option but may not be the cheapest or the best.
- Do you provide alcoholic beverages and bartenders? Can you accommodate specialty cocktails?
- What brands of alcohol will be served?
- Can we provide the alcohol and you provide the bar staff?
- Do you charge a corkage fee if we provide our own wine or champagne?
- How do you charge for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages?
- Will your staff serve the wine with dinner and for the toast?
- How long will alcohol be served?
- What is the per-person cost for tea and coffee?
When you feel you have covered everything and you’re ready to book, here are the final questions to ask…
- What does the total price include? And what’s not? (Does it include VAT, gratuity)
- What happens if my wedding schedule runs longer than planned?
- What is the last date by which I can give you a final guest count?
- What is your payment policy and terms?
- How much of a deposit is required to hold my date? When is the final payment due?
- What is your refund or cancellation policy?
This guide not only helps by providing questions to ask caterers, but by also supplying topics to ask yourself when considering the type of caterer and food you really want.
As with any wedding decision there are countless options available and by doing your research and asking the right questions discussed above you will find the perfect wedding caterers for your big day.
Got a wedding catering consultation booked? Download our catering question checklist, use this to help you decide who to hire when talking to different caterers.