5 Steps to Finding the Ideal Christmas Caterer
With Christmas now just one month away, it’s time to start thinking about catering. Everyone hopes for a spectacular end-of-year event, but every year some are disappointed. Here are five tips to ensure you’re not one of them.
Catering companies don’t like to say no. Generally speaking, when a customer calls, we try to meet their requests. But Christmas is a busy time. Leave it too late and we could be fully booked.
We’re not suggesting you place a booking as soon as it starts getting frosty. But calling your first-choice caterers early helps to avoid disappointment. Even if you’ve yet to finalise the guest list, find a venue, or even pick a date, you should at least call to check the caterer’s availability. In fact, this will give you something to plan around.
Check Special Dietary Requirements
Chances are you’ve got a few vegetarians, probably one or two vegans, and some religious requirements as well. Then there are the allergies —the gluten- and lactose-intolerant, and those who cannot eat nuts. Not only do you need to make a list of these requirements for Christmas; you need to find a caterer that meets them.
Whatever you do, don’t take anything for granted. Prices, minimum orders, and notice required may be different for special dietary menus. Some caterers have limited alternatives on offer; others pride themselves on their broadly inclusive options.
You can download a guide to food allergies here. (Provided by National Charity, Allergy UK)
Check Reviews and Testimonials
Yes, the demand for caterers companies increases at Christmas—but it’s still a buyer’s market. You don’t have to settle for the first one that matches your needs. That’s what Google’s for!
Search for reviews and testimonials and have a look on Facebook and local directories. Also, check the company’s own website. While reviews here will obviously be cherry-picked, they’ll at least give you an idea of the best the company can do.
While scouring these reviews across platforms, prioritise any that mention Christmas. Companies with a great track record for the rest of the year aren’t necessarily ideal for Christmas caterer —and vice versa.
Taste the Food
Don’t wait for the day of your event to see if the proof’s in the pudding. People tend to associate a menu tasting with weddings, but a decent catering company will happily arrange one for any event. It all comes down to how important the event is to you—and to all those expectant guests.
Be aware, though, that few catering companies will volunteer this service without you asking. So ask! And if they refuse, you may want to look elsewhere.
Match Your Budget
Another thing you shouldn’t take for granted is the inclusion of tableware, linens, furniture, service, etc. in the cost. Many catering companies treat these essentials as extras. And there’s a good reason for this: you might want to hire your own.
This is why it’s so important to figure out and keep to a budget—before you settle on your caterer. Once you have a budget in mind, you can find a company to help you stay within it.
Some things to look for include:
- Free glass hire
- Drinks supplied “sale or return”
- Equipment hire
- Staff, tableware, and furniture.
Planning a corporate Christmas get-together is easy with the right catering company. Indeed, they’ll pretty much do it all for you—as long as you pick the right one.
For more information contact one of our catering staff here. They will be more than happy to help you with your Christmas caterer needs.