In planning and organizing a party, you want everything to be perfect. But there is so much to think about and details to cover that you most likely end up completely forgetting some of them. It’s not surprising for first-time organizers to end up getting overwhelmed by the responsibility. Thinking about the mistakes to avoid when catering is perhaps the best way to cope with stress.
Fortunately, there’s a way to keep the planning stage as seamless as possible. You do it by delegating some of the tasks to your trusted assistants. However, there’s one aspect of organizing an event or party that you must cover on your own: catering.
It doesn’t matter what party you’re organizing; there’s always a high standard for food. Food that tastes below the standard, coupled with lousy service, ruins the event, and that’s on you. If you don’t want to experience this potential nightmare, you have to avoid these catering mistakes:
Mistake 1 – Lack of a Defined Budget
Don’t waste your time searching for prospective caterers if you haven’t figured out a budget for the food. Deciding on a budget doesn’t take a Herculean effort, but surprisingly, a lot of party organizers forget it. This is the top one item in your list of mistakes to avoid when catering.
Even if you’re not concerned about going overboard, you still need to come up with exact figures because it’s the only way for a professional catering service to give you suggestions.
If you allow the catering service to decide on the food and beverages without a definite budget to work on, you’re opening yourself up for a possible rip off. The way it works is that you tell the catering prospects how much you’re willing to spend, and then they’ll come back with an assortment of food choices.
Mistake 2 – Failure to Dig Deep
Since you’re fixated to a lot of responsibilities in preparation for an event or party, you forget to take a closer look at the catering service’s credentials. You can’t afford to hire a company that is responsible for the food without any verification. Take this item out of the list of mistakes to avoid when catering.
You can skip this part if a family member or close friend highly recommends the catering company, but generally the more information you get, the better. However, if you’re clueless about the company’s identity, then exercise caution by digging deep. It won’t take a ton of effort to seek out references.
Mistake 3 – Opting for the Lowest Bid
Organizing a party doesn’t come cheap, but don’t make it an excuse to look for a bargain for food. Choosing the lowest priced option could ruin an otherwise spirited event. Find some way to cut corners in other aspects of the party. Don’t ever make the mistake of hiring a cheap catering service since it typically means low-quality food.
Moreover, be wary of those outrageously low bids since there could be hidden charges that are only revealed once you make the down payment. The best approach is to do some comparison shopping. Get a handful of quotes for similar catering menus. If some of the bids look too good to be true, they probably are. There’s a reason why one catering service offers a contemptibly low price for the same menu compared to the others on your list.
Mistake 4 – Being Clueless About Your Guests’ Preference
You’re about to invite at least 30 individuals to a party. Some of those people have diet and food preferences, allergies, and sensitivities based on religion. So, it’s a big mistake not to consider your guests when choosing the catering menu.
If it’s impossible to figure out what your guests prefer, the best alternative is to offer a wide array of options to accommodate everyone’s tastes (and restrictions). This usually means incorporating standard choices, halal-certified food, vegan menu, and don’t forget the healthy picks, too! It’s not an easy feat, especially if you’re working on a limited budget. But you can make it work by choosing the best catering service.
Mistake 5 – Skipping on a Caterer’s Tasting
If you’re booking catering for the first time, be sure to schedule a tasting session. Don’t fall for a nicely presented menu on paper – there’s a big difference between what’s offered and how it is executed. Like all other contractors you choose for the party, selecting a catering service takes time. Even if you’ve got a lot on your plate, bump some time off for that tasting session. You only book a company once you feel like the food is worth the price.
It is when you’re caught up with the various responsibilities of planning a party that you forget about the small details, especially the catering service. Don’t think that all catering services are the same. The truth is that only a few out there can afford you with good food and service. So, be mindful of those mistakes we talked about; put in the effort to narrow down your list of prospects before you decide.