Planning a Conference or Seminar
Choosing the Right Catering Service
When you are thinking of having an event catered you should not limit your thoughts to the food only. Catering involves the food, drinks, table linen, and decorations.
You should always have a minimum and maximum budget in mind that you want to spend per person and try not to go over that amount.
Other costs to consider are:
· do you want your food in stainless steel or disposable chafing dishes
· plastic or stainless steel utensils
· cloth or paper napkins
· plastic or crystal drink ware and
· plastic, paper, or china plates.
All these things could increase your costs from 50 cents to 2 dollars a person.
Your caterer should be able to give you menu ideas that cover either a passed hors d oeuvres event, sit down dinner, or buffet meal plan.
You should also have in mind what not only you like to eat but what the majority of your guests will eat. You should also ask your caterer if they cook to the exact number or over by a certain amount.
With hors d oeuvres you can be as simple as cheese and crackers to high end such as shrimp cocktail or caviar.
As far as your sit down menu is concerned; it can include light hors d oeuvres or a salad, meat selection and 2 sides dishes with a roll.
With a buffet you are giving your guests more choices and can include a carving station of ham, turkey or roast beef.
With any caterer should you ask for references and a sample tasting of some items on the menu. Above all your caterer should make sure the food and service are not only a reflection of their company but your event.
Here are some tips on choosing the right caterer for your conference or seminar.
Make sure that your catering company has the ability to meet your overall budget, and get it in writing that you will not be charged more than that.
Get the resumes of the catering company as well as the cooks that will be preparing your food.
Make sure to check that the catering company is listed with the Better Business Bureau.
Check and verify that the catering company has a good history with other clients.
Make sure that the company has previous experience catering the type of event that you are hosting.
Check to see if the company offers specials or discounts for conferences or seminars (many do for corporate events).
Get the credentials of the head chef.
Take a tour of the catering company. This is invaluable because if the building is not up to health code standards or if the kitchen is dirty would you want to eat the food?
Be sure to look at the “portfolio” of the catering company and ask about reference letters from customers