We all know that food is an integral part of your big day and you may choose to get married in a marquee, tent or venue that does not provide an on-site catering service. In this case, you will need to choose a catering team that best compliments your ideas, handles all the heat in the kitchen and allows you to live fully in the moment, without sweating the small stuff, on your wedding day.
SA Weddings chatted to ‘The Flying Pan’- a husband and wife team, whose greatest pleasure is to serve you and your guests the very best in gourmet goodness. Their full service offering takes care of the entire catering process - from conception up until the moment the last dessert is served and enjoyed by your guests.
With years of experience in catering and a real knowledge of what works, they have been kind enough to help us provide you with a ‘caterer check list’. The top questions you should be asking your caterer before saying "I Do".
Is the quote per head inclusive of the caterer’s travel costs, staff, hiring of platters and on-site management? These sneaky hidden-cost items can add to the total amount and become scary when the budget is tight. Be sure to clarify all the specifics upfront.
Does your caterer offer tastings for you and your partner? Other than sampling the actual food, it’s essential to meet in person, where possible, to get a feel for personalities, ideas and themes.
This is a very valid first question to ask your caterer. The amount of guests attending, as well as religious and dietary specifications all come into play and it is essential to know that who you’re working with has a great track record with similar weddings to yours.
Avoid time-wasting by being as specific as possible from your very first point of contact and initial quote. The more information you can provide your caterer with, the smoother the process and less ‘to-ing and fro-ing’ the communication and quote process will be.
If your catering service is separate from the service staff, it’s a good idea to introduce everyone before the time, or go on recommendations for out-sourcing this, so that relationships are already in place before the big day, making everything run a little smoother.
Don’t be shy to ask for previous client testimonials and images from previous set-ups and menus. The small details are so important, even on a budget, it’s essential to see previous work to get a feel for your caterer and their standard of work.
A good thing to keep in mind when planning a wedding for the next calendar year is that prices quoted in current time, can go up and inflation and food price increases are things you should clarify with your caterer up front.
How far does your caterer’s service offering go, ideas to think about here are:
- themed food
- wine pairing
- token bar setup (for venues without a liquor license)
- foodie wedding favours
A final word from the pro’s - “Think about catering as a whole and not just the food element of your celebration- the staff, service, display and visuals you are creating through food all falls under the ‘catering’ category. Think of it as a consulting service too, be sure to maximize your caterer’s offering by asking questions and making sure you’re on the same page throughout the planning process. Create a relationship with your caterer, it’s essential for seamless service and outstanding food for your wedding.”