Party Catering 101: Important Questions to Ask Your Caterer

Nicole Fallon

The Cookie Cups catering spread

Image credit: Studio Laguna Photography

Whether you’re planning a family birthday party, a corporate retreat, or a wedding reception, the food you serve can make or break the event. You want to offer your guests a variety of delicious options that will satisfy their appetites and their expectations. Give them a unique and exciting culinary experience, and they’re sure to walk away raving about your party.

That’s why it’s so important to choose a high-quality catering company to prepare and deliver the food for your event. But how do you choose the right one?

There are a lot of factors to consider before you make a final decision. First and foremost, you have to decide what type of food you want to serve and what your budget is. With those two factors in mind, you can begin your research and find catering companies that suit your needs.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, your next step is to contact each potential caterer and ask the right questions to determine if they’re a good fit for your event.

Questions to Ask a Prospective Food Catering Company

If you’re getting ready to hire a caterer for your party, here are a few things you’ll want to know up front before you book:

1. Are you available for my event date and time?

Popular event catering companies book up quickly, so you’ll want to confirm that the one you want is available for your date and party time. Although some caterers can accommodate multiple events in a single day, it’s wise to plan ahead and book early so you can secure your top choice.

2. What are your most popular menu items?

Any caterer that has been in business for a while can provide historical data on their most requested dishes. While you certainly want to select menu options that suit your own tastes, knowing what a catering company’s previous customers have chosen can help you plan a menu that will have the broadest appeal for your guests.

3. Do you accommodate dietary restrictions?

Many individuals today have food allergies or other dietary restrictions, so you’ll want to make sure your caterer’s menu includes options for all of your party guests. For example, you may want to inquire about vegetarian or gluten-free options if you know someone on your guest list will need that type of food.

4. Will you deliver to my location?

Picking up your catering order may not be a big deal if you’re having a small gathering, but you probably don’t want to load up your car and haul food for 20, 50, or 100-plus guests back to your party location. Many caterers have a defined delivery radius, so make sure the one you choose will be able to bring the food right to your door.

5. Can I customize my party menu?

While most catering companies offer packages with pre-set menus, the best ones allow you to tailor the menu to your tastes. If your caterer doesn’t state on their website or brochure that their packages are customizable, confirm that you will be able to mix and match items from their list to create your perfect party menu.

The Cookie Cups offers a full catering menu for all corporate and social events in the Minneapolis area. We offer breakfast/brunch, lunch, dinner, appetizer minis, and desserts, including a selection of gluten-free options. Visit our Catering page to review menu items and packages, or get in touch with us for more details.

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