When booking an event, it is important to sit down with your caterer and talk about your event. Let them know the style of your event, any special requests you might have and find out what they can offer you. Here are five helpful questions to get you started.
1) Where is your food sourced from?
Does your caterer source from local farms, or are they buying in bulk from Costco? At Cloud 9, we are part of Slow Food Vermont and the Vermont Farm Fresh Network sourcing our food as local and organic as possible to bring the best quality ingredients into our kitchen. As food can be the most memorable part of an event for guests, it’s important not to skimp on quality. The more local and organic your menu becomes, the more the price does go up, so talk to your caterer about your budget and what you can expect with it.
2) Are you a “from scratch” kitchen?
It is important to know if they are making their meals from scratch, or just throwing frozen food in the oven. A reputable caterer won’t hesitate to tell you about their in house made bacon or hand rolled pasta. At Cloud 9, we make our own ketchup, aioli and kimchi to name a few things. Having a from scratch caterer gives your food more personality and makes the dining experience more unique for your guests.
3) Can you accommodate dietary concerns?
In todays age, it seems almost everyone has some type of dietary restriction. Ask your caterer about accommodations for allergies and other restrictions.
It’s always important to have a vegetarian option, a gluten free and dairy free option as well. Depending on the majority your guests, you can consider vegan, peanut and fish allergies as well. A good caterer can create a menu incorporating these dietary concerns, and often can make small adjustments to your plates per each guests dietary needs so your entire menu does not need to be adjusted.
4) What do your services include?
Talk to your caterer about what services they provide, how involved will they be with your event? Find out if they help order your rentals, or do the set up and break down at the venue. At Cloud 9, we offer full service event planning with destination consultations as well as our unique seasonal menus. We serve as your liaison between vendors, as well as create master time lines for all, and will manage your rental order. Cloud 9 is the first ones on site to set up your rentals, props and décor. We will provide a full event walk through, develop contingency plans, provide proper dining service as well as stay until the end of the event clean up and break down to remove trash.
5) What does your service charge cover?
Find out what the service charge covers. Many caterers use it to cover administrative and overhead costs such as equipment, insurance permits, etc., while for others it is used as a gratuity. Make sure to ask this question to find out what exactly your costs will be aside from the food so you aren’t surprised when you get your final bill.