5 Things to Ask Your Caterer

catering los angeles

We know that choosing a caterer is a big part of planning your special event. We want to help you ensure that you can make the best decision possible. Here are a five questions you should ask before choosing a caterer.

How many other events will you have scheduled on my event day?

Obviously the fewer the better however the size of the catering company may be adequate to service multiple events. This is probably not a deal breaker question though it could be a factor to consider if you are deciding between two caterers.

When does the caterer need the final choices and head count?

You’ll want to be certain to set your RSVP date prior to your caterer’s finalization date. They will need some lead time to get the ingredients and staffing arrangements made.  Get this date as early as possible and in writing.

Have they done events at the venue you’ve selected?

Any good caterer should be able to adapt to the facilities at the venue. The venue may be better suited for certain types of service. A long walk across uneven terrain at an outdoor event might be a bad idea for plated service. Distance from the kitchen to guest seating or the serving area is worth considering. A caterers prior experience at the venue may be a big help.

What services are or are not included?

There are many things that will need to be handled that fall into an ambiguous category. Find out what your caterer will handle during the event such as; setting out place cards or menus, wine pouring during the meal, pouring the champagne for the toast, cutting the cake, etc.

Are there any fees or amounts that will not be reflected in the quote?

Ask about taxes, services fees, gratuities or anything else that will move the quote upwards. Get estimates of these additional costs and use them when evaluating the catering quotes.





  1. scott on September 15, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    I like that you recommend to ask how many other events they have that day. I can see why this would help you know how busy they’ll be should you need them earlier or later than expected. You might also ask how much time they expect it will take for travel.

  2. Tiffany Locke on January 27, 2018 at 2:31 am

    Your advice to ask the caterer about when their finalization date is in order to make sure they’re able to get the ingredients and make the staffing arrangements would be useful. In order to ask them these questions, you’d probably want to make sure you meet with them so that you can make sure you understand their services. Before choosing a catering company to meet with, you’d probably want to research the different restaurants that offer the type of food you want, such as Italian or Asian, so that you can figure out if they’re the ones you want for your event.

  3. Ellen H. on January 9, 2019 at 6:28 am

    I agree that it’s important to get estimates on possible additional costs such as taxes and service fees when hiring a catering company. My husband and I are planning to hire a catering company for our wedding anniversary party. We want to make sure that we won’t be surprised by additional fees that we’re unaware of because we have to stick to our budget. We don’t want to ruin our monthly budget, so we’ll make sure to get written quotes. Thanks!

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