Monday, April 11, 2011

Caterer Questions | ASK BEVERLY

The best way to find a caterer with whom you feel comfortable planning your wedding, is through word of mouth, advice from recent brides, your wedding consultant, or other wedding professionals.  Book your caterer or banquet location twleve months before your wedding; the best resources will be engaged early.  Below are questions to prepare you before your visit with a caterer.

1. Do you have my date open?

2. How many weddings do you do per year, and how long have you been in business?

3. Have you done events at my location?

4. Are you licensed by the State of California? Are you licensed to serve alcohol?

5. Will I need any permits for my event? If so, will you handle obtaining them?

6. Will you provide a banquet manager to coordinate the meal service or an on-site coordinator who will run the entire event?

7. Can you assist with other aspects of the wedding like selecting other vendors, event design (e.g. specialty lighting, elaborate décor, theme events, etc.)?

8. Given my budget, guest count and event style, what food choices would you recommend? Do you specialize in certain cuisines?

9. Do we have to work off a preset menu or can you create a sushi menu for our event? If I have a special dish I’d like served, would you accommodate that?

10. Do you offer event packages or is everything a la carte? What exactly do your packages include?

11. Do you use all fresh produce, meat, fish, etc.? Can you source organic or sustainably farmed ingredients?

12. Can you accommodate dietary restrictions, such as kosher, vegan, etc.?

13. What décor do you provide for appetizers stations or buffet tables?

14. Do you offer package upgrades such as chocolate fountains, ice sculptures, cappuccino machines or specialty displays?

15. Can you do theme menus (e.g. barbecue, luau, etc.)?

16. What is the price difference between a buffet and a sit-down meal?

17. How much do you charge for children’s meals?

18. How much do you charge for vendor’s meals?

19. Do you do wedding cakes? If so, is this included in the per-person meal price or is it extra?
20. Can you show me photos of cakes you’ve done in the past?

21. If I decide not to serve cake, can you provide a dessert display instead?

22. If we use an outside cake designer, do you charge a cake-cutting fee?

23. Do you do food tastings and is there an extra charge for this?

24. Do you handle rental equipment such as tables, chairs, etc.?

25. What type of linens, glassware, plates and flatware do you provide?

26. Can you provide presentation upgrades such as chair covers, lounge furniture, Chiavari chairs, etc.? What would be the additional fees?
27. What is your policy on cleanup?

28. If there is leftover food from my event, can we have it wrapped for guests to take home or have it delivered to a local shelter?

29. Do you provide alcoholic beverages and bartenders? Can you accommodate specialty cocktails?

30. What brands of alcohol will be served?

31. Can we provide the alcohol and you provide the bar labor?
32. Do you charge a corkage fee if we provide our own wine or champagne?

33. How do you charge for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages? Per consumption or per person? Which is more cost-effective?

34. Is the champagne toast after the ceremony included in your meal packages or is it extra?

35. Will your staff serve the wine with dinner?

36. How long will you serve the alcohol?

37. Is coffee and tea serviced included with the per-person meal charge? What brands of each do you offer and do they include decaf and herbal tea options?

Beverly Harris Weddings & Events
(310) 487-9698

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