When  starting to plan your big event; whether it be a wedding, corporate gala, bar mitzvah, sweet sixteen, baby shower or any other type, it is important to know what to ask your caterer. So much effort and preparation is put towards making that special day perfect, and there are a few very important questions to consider in order to make things run smoothly. It is absolutely key that you and your caterer are on the same page so that the small details come together and the day goes smoothly. Below are some excellent questions to ask so that you can ensure your event is well taken care of and delicious of course.

1. What does the price include?
Catering companies all have different ways of determining price for an event based on a number of factors. Some may claim to have a package deals, but you want to make sure they include linens, kitchenware, glassware and plates, and all service staff including chefs, managers, and bartenders. Additionally, ask if there are any service fee’s or gratuity that you may not be aware of.  In order to stay within your budget, this is an important question so that you know what comes with your package and what things may end up adding to the cost. At Zeffert and Gold, our per person pricing includes everything you need for your event including all the things mentioned above and more. No need to hire outside staff, linens, dishware, utensils or anything else that some catering companies may not offer. Of course, there are upgrades that are available such as premium style linens and dishware, but those options are only if you chose to use those options. Nonetheless, we give you a price per person based on all of the things you want and need at your event.

2. Can I see a sample menu?
Catering companies should definitely allow clients to see sample menus, with pricing,  so that they can get an idea of what the company is capable of and what the associated costs are. This allows people to visualize their options and choose the appropriate items based on the type of event. Some catering companies also offer customized menu’s which brings me to the next question.

3. Do you offer customized menu options?
Catering companies must know how to tailor a menu for the client’s personal taste so that event remains unique and personal. A good rule of thumb, is that if you ask a catering company to make changes to an item and they say they are unable to do so, it is most likely because the product is bought and not made by the caterer.   Zeffert and Gold offers a one-of-a-kind menu design, where with the help of our event designers and chefs,  you can completely customize each item, or make an entirely new menu customized to meet and exceed your expectations.

4. Can we sample the chosen menu?
It is extremely important for a client to be able to sample the menu before the event so that they can make any changes to menu items. Although their may be a most popular manner in which a dish can be served,  perhaps something is a little too spicy, or another type of sauce would go better with an item to perfectly fit your preferences.  These types of adjustments can all be accommodated for during a menu tasting. That way when the event occurs, your food will be precisely what you were hoping for and will be able to enjoy.

5. Does the price include event set up AND breakdown?
Some catering companies are “full service” and include set up, service during the event and break down at the events conclusion. Others do not. It is important to ask your caterer what they provide for guests so that no matter what, everything is handled before, during and after an event. Zeffert and Gold never expects clients to help with set up or breakdown. Your only job is to enjoy your event and leave all the work for us.

6. Who will actually be running the event?
Some companies have a coordinator who will work with a client all the way up to the event, then the day the event arrives, and someone who you have never seen is now your point of contact.  Zeffert and Gold will always have an event coordinator  who will assist the client in creating a custom menu, coordinate planning in the months and days before,  and of course be present during your event. This way they are there to help with any issues or questions to ensure the event will run exactly as it was intended to.

There are many other questions and factors to consider when meeting with your event caterer. As you begin to plan your event, start jotting down any questions that come up so that when you first meet with the caterer, all of your concerns will be addressed. It is better to ask too many questions than not enough. Your caterer should be happy to accommodate your wishes and concerns so that your event is exactly the way you envisioned.