1 April 2022 – 3 Minute Read

How to find a good caterer

To find a good caterer suitable for your event or occasion requirements, browse the guide for local providers. Sort through by capabilities, specialisms and costs, and obtain quotes. If you have lots of catering companies to choose from, don’t be afraid to create a shortlist and set up interviews. Caterers are used to pitching for events and being interviewed – particularly for large scale events.

What to look for in a caterer

When looking for a caterer, there’s lots to think about. Ask yourself the following questions of each supplier on your shortlist:

  • Do they fit your budget?
  • Are they able to meet any dietary requirements?
  • Are they experienced in working events of your size and type?
  • Do they attend the event and cook on-site?
  • Do they provide all the equipment to cook?
  • Do they provide dining equipment and glassware?
  • Do they provide bar and drinks service?
  • Do they provide waiting staff?

How to interview a caterer

To interview a caterer adequately, attend with a written list of questions ready to ask. Stay open minded, talk exact figures, and make sure that you connect with the staff on a personal level – if you don’t get on, then it’s unlikely that all will go well in the event of something unexpected happening!

How far in advance to book caterers for a wedding

Caterers, particularly those servicing weddings, get booked up years in advance. It is customary to book your caterer at least a year in advance but dependent on their calendar, it may be possible to book them with less notice.

What to ask a wedding caterer

Experienced wedding caterers will be well versed in providing food and drink to please a formal audience, but you should ask them the following:

  • What dietary requirements can you cater for?
  • How far in advance must a set menu be chosen, and how far in advance must pre-orders be made?
  • How do we pay for the catering?
  • How is the food served?
  • What is and isn’t included in the catering package?

How much does it cost to hire a caterer?

Catering costs vary hugely due to the amount of variables in their services, but many offer package prices. Greetings caterers offer party menus from less £5 a head for a low-cost option and Affordable Occasions offer wedding buffets from just £16.50 a head!

How much to tip a caterer?

In the UK, there’s no set etiquette on tipping caterers, but if they do a good job it is often customary to give them a bunch of flowers or thank you card to express your gratitude.

Can a wedding caterer increase their cost?

Unless a contract has been signed that specifies an exact figure to be paid for catering services, a wedding caterer can increase their fee at any time. It is imperative therefore, that specific details are all agreed upon ahead of the wedding and put into writing to protect all parties.

Do you pay a caterer in full before an event?

Lots of caterers require at least a deposit in advance of an event, with the balance of payment to be made on the day of the event. However, it is not uncommon for caterers to be paid in full ahead of the event – particularly if they are popular and likely to be booked up in advance. Ask your caterer before you hire them how and when you should pay them.