Food and drink will consume the largest portion of your budget. Usually this cost is charged per person and usually does not include everything. Tax and gratuity (sometimes called service charge) may be extra.
When planning your menu be realistic about what you can serve given your budget and the size of the guest list. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING!
Following is a list of some questions to ask your caterer for your event or wedding:
- Are you licensed by the state of Texas?
- Are you licensed to serve liquor?
- Is my date available?
- How many weddings do you do per year?
- How long have you been in business?
- Have you served at my venue before?
- What food choices do you recommend for my budget? Do you specialize in certain cuisines?
- Do we have to work from a preset menu or can you create a custom menu?
- Do you offer event packages or is everything `a la carte?
- What exactly do your packages include?
- Do you use all fresh produce, meat, etc.? What about organic?
- Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?
- What decor do you provide for appetizer stations or buffet tables?
- Can you do theme menus, [e.g. lua, barbecue, etc.?] Would you provide the decor?
- What’s the difference in cost between a buffet and a sit down meal?
- How much do you charge for children’s meals?
- How much do you charge for vendor meals?
- If we use an outside cake designer, do you charge a cake cutting fee?
- Can we schedule a food tasting prior to the wedding? Do you charge a fee?
- Do you provide sample menus?
- What types of linens, glassware, plates and flatware do you provide?
- What is your policy on clean-up?
- If there is leftover food from my event, can we have it wrapped up for guests to take home?
- What is the ratio of servers to guests?
- How will the servers be dressed?
- Are there any fees for setting up and taking down? How much time do you require?
- If my event runs longer than contracted, what are your overtime fees?
- What is your payment policy? What types of payment do you accept?
- What is the last date that I can give you a final guaranteed guest count?
- Are there any fees that won’t be included in the proposal that we should be aware of?
- What is your refund or cancellation policy?
- Can you provide a list of recent references?
Again, GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING.
This is not an exhaustive list