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6

How to Guide 2017

How To

choose the right caterer

Having a great caterer can make

the difference in whether your next

party or big event is memorable for

its great food and relaxed hosts — or

whether it ends up being memorable

for all the wrong reasons.

Hosting a sizable party is a lot of

work. Hiring an experienced caterer

can give you tremendous peace of

mind as you plan a wedding, Christ-

mas party or milestone birthday

bash.

Using the right caterer not only

lightens your workload; it also helps

ensure your event will be the right

kind of memorable.

In addition to providing awesome

food and drinks, your caterer will also

serve as a great source of advice for

taking your event to the next level.

Good caterers are able to help you

zero in on the best type and quantity of

food for your guests, and they can clue

you in to a wealth of other resources

— including professionals like florists,

photographers and even musicians —

who can help transform your party

into something truly special.

Not only will the right caterer boost

the success of your event — they’ll also

free you up to enjoy your own party,

when the special day finally arrives.

Think about the following tips

when you’re ready to look for a great

catering service:

Event Information

Have a solid grasp of everything

you know about your event before

you approach a potential catering

service.

As much as you’re able, be ready to

provide them with details: date, time,

location, number of guests and budget.

If you plan to center your event around

a theme, describe your vision and let

them know specifically what you’re

trying to achieve.

And be sure to tell your prospec-

tive caterer whether your event is

formal — say, a business party — or

something more laid back.

Know what kind of food you’d like

to serve, and let the caterer know.

It’s also helpful to give the caterer as

much information as you can about

the venue, including its interior fix-

tures, amenities and decor.

Interview

The people you already know can

be great starting points for gathering

information about potential caterers.

Ask the people in your social network

whom they’d recommend.

Your friends, family and colleagues

may have used a caterer in the past.

You can also check the phone book

and the Internet to find and research

local caterers.

Your local newspaper will likely

have advertisements from local cater-

ers. This is also a good resource to find

coupons and special deals.

After you have compiled a list of

possibilities, schedule a meeting and

prepare your questions. Ask about

delivery, time frames and budget.

The caterer might have ideas about

your event. Listen with an open mind.

Since these professionals are in the

event business, they will likely draw

from past experiences.

References

Asking for client references is al-

ways a good idea. You should receive

a list of names and contact informa-

tion.

Don't be shy. Call these references

to inquire about the company's work.

Sometimes, a caterer has a book

of food and dessert pictures. Look at

their work. Be sure it pleases you.

Record

Caterers are subject to the health

rating regulations of the local health

department. Know how your caterer

fares in these ratings.

A positive record demonstrates

their commitment to safe food han-

dling practices. It is also an excel-

lent indicator of the caterer’s overall

quality.

Scheduling

Be clear in communicating to your

caterer the timeline and overall sched-

ule you expect for the preparations, as

well as the event itself.

Caterers who have packed sched-

ules are a risky proposition. Use a

company that can spend time and

effort on your event.

Sample

The caterer should allow you to

sample the food. In fact, it is common

practice for caterers to bring selec-

tions from their menu to an initial

interview.

If they don't offer you samples,

request them prior to paying deposits

or advancing funds. It is only fair that

you know what you are buying.

You can also ask for a list of their

events that you might be able to at-

tend before you make your decision.

This will give you a great oppor-

tunity to see how they interact with

the party goers as well as see the food

presentation and taste the food.

Some caterers specialize in elabo-

rately themed parties. These compa-

nies will offer suggestions on food that

will complement your celebration.

Other caterers have expertise in

crafting menus that are customized

to your guest list.

Caterers who can help you with the

entire planning process of your meal

ranging from hors d'ouevres to des-

serts are well worth the money.

They can guide you through the

whole process with professionalism,

confidence and even a sense of humor.

Because you have thoughtfully chosen

your caterer, your special occasion will

be a rousing success.

Tiny’s Big Taste food truck is well-

know around Montague County for

bringing the great taste of barbecue

with all the fixings, but the company

also caters.

He can provide food for a special

party or a business event. Call 940-

366-0082 for information on catering

or visit the company’s Facebook page

for updates.