There are people who attend weddings only and only for the food. No matter how much time and energy you put in your wedding outfit, the dances, the venue or even the decor, the only thing your wedding guests are going to remember is the food. And that makes your caterer a pretty important person. From the quality to the quantity, the variety and the presentation, everything should be spot on. So here we have a few questions you should ask your caterer before you finalise them. But trust us, even after all that you do, somebody or the other would go back complaining… And that’s okay!
1. Is my date available?
The very obvious first question. But what you really need to ask him is that how many other functions/weddings does he have on the same day and around the same time. If a vendor is taking up too many projects for the same day and not catering to you exclusively, the work quality might suffer.
2. How big is your team?
If he answered yes to the above question, then you must check with him about his team size. If he has already got prior bookings or if he plans to take more bookings for the same day, then does he have a team which can manage everything without giving you any stress?
3. Who will provide the food table?
Some caterers provide the table setting whereas others require the tent or decor vendors to do it for them. If you want something super fancy, chances are that you’ll have to ask the decorator to do it. Let there be no confusion and figure this out with your caterer before you book them.
4. Is the per head charge inclusive of taxes?
Every caterer takes a per head charge but what you need to ask them is whether this charge is inclusive of all the taxes or if the tax is separate? We suggest you take this in writing from them.
5. Will you be present yourself?
If yes, then great and if he is busy that day, ask them to arrange a meeting with his team member who would be there himself on that day.
6. How much in advance is the food prepared?
Peak wedding season means the vendors will have their calendars packed with back-to-back events. And it’s no hidden fact that from flowers to salads and desserts, leftovers from the previous event do get carried forward to the next event. Check with the caterer how much in advance is the food prepared and make sure they prepare fresh food. This is even more important if you’re having a summer wedding.
7. What do you suggest?
Ask him what his specialities are and what does he recommend as his best dishes. Make sure you spend enough time to come up with a well put together menu.
8. When can we do the food tasting?
Do book a food tasting session with him. Try out all the dishes recommended along with other specialities of his. You can’t really judge a caterer unless you’ve tasted the food.
9. What is the minimum guarantee that you need?
You need to provide your caterer with a minimum guarantee when it comes to the number of people attending the wedding. Figure out how much in advance he needs the headcount and what if the guest list exceeds at the last minute.
10. How much advance do you need?
You need to be very clear with this. Get it all on paper and signed by both the parties. From the booking amount to the balance to be paid on or after the date of the function, be clear about the mode and date of payments to avoid any fuss later.
11. Extra time?
Indian weddings are a never-ending affair and can go on until early morning. Check and confirm with him if there are any extra charges in case the function goes on until late. Also, in case you need any special food arrangements during the pheras, discuss that as well.
12. What do you do with leftovers?
I hope you don't throw away all the leftover food? I would want to donate it.
Feeding India is an NGO that works towards ending hunger and malnutrition in India and their volunteers are happy to pick up leftover food from weddings to feed those in need.