The Captivating Culinary Delights of Saint Germain Catering

The 5 Essentials Questions You Should Always Ask Catering Companies

5 questions to ask catering companiesDo you find yourself browsing through list after list of event catering companies and still unsure who to hire? Mina Ebrahimi has a few expert-level questions can help narrow down the possibilities and choose the culinary crew that’s right for you.

1. Are You Licensed?

We’d like to think that anyone marketing themselves as a professional caterer would have all their legal and liability-related ducks in a row, but that isn’t always the case. Ask your caterer about the following:

  • Business license
  • Health permits
  • Liability insurance

You’ll want to check out local regulations too, and if you’re working with a caterer who offers bar or liquor service of any kind, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll need extra permits to cover that.

2. What Do You Do Better Than All the Other Catering Companies?

It’s great to offer input that helps inspire your caterers’ menu planning, but remember to ask for their ideas too — after all, they’re the experts. What kind of cuisine do they specialize in? The dishes they love to cook will always be over-the-top delicious. It’s like injecting a bit of their history and experience into your special day.

3. What Rentals Are Included, and What Do I Need to Provide?

Ask that your proposal includes an itemized list of the items your caterer will provide and those you need to source yourself. Often, caterers will bring their own chafing dishes, serving utensils and other items directly related to food service, but tables, linens and dinnerware may not be part of your quoted price. If there are extras you need to supply, ask the catering company if it has any recommendations for rental businesses. You’re more likely to have a stress-free experience when you’re hiring multiple vendors who have worked together before. This is especially true when you choose a caterer who has an existing relationship with your venue.

  1. What About the Children? And the Vegans? And the Gluten-Intolerant?

    We live in one of the most diet-conscious societies ever, and one glimpse at a restaurant menu illustrates how much attention chefs are paying to special needs guests. It’s an important issue, especially since you don’t want any of your friends, family or coworkers to feel left out. Providing snacks for the younger partygoers isn’t too problematic, but other restrictions could require advanced planning.

Often guests with very strict needs will give you a heads up during the planning process, but it doesn’t hurt to automatically include at least one vegetarian and gluten-free appetizer and main dish. Some caterers will even volunteer to tweak their recipes, for instance, swapping out the chicken broth in a butternut squash recipe in favor of vegetable broth or using coconut cream to top the fruit cobbler instead of traditional whipped dairy.

5. Where Do Your Ingredients Come From?

The local food movement is stronger than a blue cheese and durian smoothie, and there’s good reason for that. Locavores believe local food tastes better because it’s generally much fresher and handled far less than your typical grocery store buys. It’s also less taxing on the environment thanks to a serious cut in fuel usage and storage needs. Supporting nearby farmers and other food producers boosts the local economy, and for businesses having a catered mixer or client event, showcasing that kind of regional focus can be beneficial on multiple levels.

Need some irresistible edibles for your next event? Thanks to our dedication to customer service and inspired menus, Saint Germain consistently out-cooks other area catering companies, and our list of loyal customers proves it. Check out our summer catering specials to see what we have in store!

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