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Planning catering for your event

Planning any event can be daunting. With a wedding, it's a flurry of excitement at booking suppliers, followed up with the ache of having to manage all the spinning plates over the months preceding the big day.

Here are some of our top tips for selecting a caterer for your event:

Check List. Build a list of all the "things" that you think you would like for your event, and present them in a table that you can send to potential suppliers. At a minimum it would include: address of the function, time requested for service, number of expected guests (or a range), allergies or special diets. Ask for a BALLPARK budget, or if you have a budget, let them know so you're not wasting your time.

From this check list, you can send out requests for information to multiple suppliers, and consolidate the data in the SAME format.

Talk to suppliers. Once you have a shortlist of caterers, do call them - getting a feel for how they handle your initial enquiry and questions will give you an insight into how they might be on the day.

Get everything on paper. As a mater of course, we include ALL line items on the estimates we provide, so that you can see exactly what's to be included. It helps us plan your event as well as provide you with the knowledge you need.

Check for documentation. Asking the supplier to provide a risk assessment, as well as copies of hygiene certificates, allergen training and insurance for general, public and professional indemnity MAY seem like overkill, but it will help you sort the professionals from the cowboys.

Aim to wrap everything up early.A good caterer will OVER communicate with you in the early stages of the planning process, before TELLING you that they will go quiet a week or two before. This is to ensure that YOU can focus on last minute changes to your event. If there are any issues with the site or location, use the What3Words app to highlight where you'd like things, or better yet - invite the caterer for a site visit. A good caterer will never charge you for a site visit.

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