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How to Hire a Caterer for an Event

Whether you’re planning a wedding, birthday celebration, or just fancy getting everyone together for a good, old-fashioned knees-up, catering may not be at the top of your list.

After all, you can just do it yourself, can’t you? It’s just a case of preparing a bit of food, serving it on the day, and then lobbing everything into bin bags once everyone has cleared off.


Trust us - it never ends up like this when you cater for yourself! You’ll end up stressed, out of pocket, and without any time left to enjoy the event yourself. And then who will be on washing up duty?

So, it’s time to get some caterers in - here’s what to look out for.


Speak to the venue first

First things first. Have you spoken to the venue? Depending on the type of business they’re running, they may have a resident caterer or a list of preferred caterers. It’s important to bear in mind that some will allow you to bring your own catering company, while others won’t.

Even if you’d like to forge on and find your own caterers, it’s still a great idea to speak to the venue. Ask them what requirements they have for catering, and what needs to be taken into account for food preparation and waste on the day.


Think about the style

What kind of style is your event going to be? This will dictate the type of food you serve, so it’s important to confirm the style before hunting down the perfect catering company.

It’s at times like this where a mood board is a great idea. Think about the words, sights, and smells that you want the big day to be full of, and focus your catering requirements in that direction.


Speak to guests

You’ll probably have to cater for a variety of dietary requirements and tastes, and one way to ensure you do so efficiently is to ask guests what they’d like to eat and drink at the event.

When sending out invitations, ask people to get back to you with their ideal event food choices and any dietary requirements they have.

You probably won’t hear from everyone, but it’s a great way to suss out what people like and to give you some ideas for the type of caterers you’ll need on the day.


Look for social proof

This is a bit of a marketing term, but it’s an important one to be aware of when looking for your ideal catering company.

Every website you reach will wax lyrical about how great the company behind it is. That’s fine, but what you need is some proof that their words aren’t just the work of a master copywriter.

Look for social proof in the form of customer testimonials, social media mentions, and reviews on other websites. Google or Facebook reviews could be a good place to start. If you’re staging a big event and likely to spend a lot of money on catering, don’t be afraid to ask if you can speak to previous customers, too. The best caterers shouldn’t have a problem with you doing so, and it’ll offer ultimate peace of mind or even inspiration once you’ve seen or heard about what they ordered!


Final tip: don’t leave it until the last minute

This usually results in bad choices and a limited pool of caterers from which to choose.

So, to avoid this, make sure you start your catering search and plans right at the beginning of the process. And if you need help at all, you know how to get in touch with the Plato team!

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