Questions to Ask Potential Wedding Caterers

One of the largest expenses at any wedding is the catering bill. Many times the choice of catering company is made for you when you book your reception venue by agreeing to use their exclusive partner. Depending on the venue though you may well find that you have a choice in this matter; thus starts the difficult position of selecting a a caterer for the largest dinner bill you will ever be faced with before sampling their food! Today I’m here to help by equipping you with a list of questions to ask potential caterers before booking them for your big day. 

 
Wedding reception catering questions sweets display
 

 

Working With Them

1. Have you worked an event at my venue previously? Are there any serving limitations I should know about in that space? 

2. What is your booking process like? Can I see a sample contract? What forms of payment do you accept? 

3. What is the tasting and final menu selection process like? 

4. What equipment and rentals are included with your service? Flatware? Linens? Tables? Chairs? 

5. When will I need to have my final guest count to you and how is the best way to provided this information?

6. Is service gratuity included in my final bill? If not what is the best way to pay?

7. What cleaning up elements am I responsible for at the end of the event? 

 

Food Service

1. What serving styles to you offer? Plated? Buffet? Stations? Family Style? 

2. What serving style would you recommend based on my guest count and event style? 

3. What entree items are your most popular and the best suited to my favorite serving style?

4. How many different entrees can I offer as choices to my guests? 

5. Can you incorporate seasonal ingredients into my wedding meal?

6. Can you accommodate non-traditional or themed meal requests?

7.  What cost and flow differences are there between tray served or station appetizers? 

8. How can you help me accommodate the varying dietary needs of my guests?

9. How long does a typical dinner service take? 

10. What fun add on options can you offer? Sweets stations? late night or departure stations? 

11. Can wedding cakes be done in house? Do you charge a cake cutting fee for outside bakeries? 

12. What regulations do you have on outside food such as favors and wedding cakes? 

13. What options do your have for children’s meals?

14. What options do you have for vendor meals? Do we need to provided a full dinner from our chosen menu for them? 

15. What happens with any leftover food? 

 

Bar Service

1. Is bar service included with dinner service? 

2. Are their any serving regulations I should know about based on your liquor license?

3. Can we provide our own alcohol? 

4. Can we work together to create a signature cocktail for my event?

5. What happens to un-used alcohol at the end of the night?

 

Still in need of a bit more guidance with vendor selections? Send me a note with your questions, I'm happy to help!