What You Should Consider When Choosing a Caterer

Good food can elevate any event, but unless you plan on cooking a variety of dishes for numerous people, the way to guarantee delectable treats for your guests is to hire a caterer. The good news is that there are plenty of caterers to choose from. The bad news is that not every one of them is worth your while — and budget. This is why you must be careful when it comes to choosing the caterer for your event. In that regard, you can use the following criteria to narrow your list down, and then make that final choice thereafter. Take a look:


Yes, even caterers have their own areas of specialization. Some specialize in black-tie events, others in weddings, and a few in casual get-togethers. So, don’t assume that all caterers can fully accommodate everything that your event needs, from the menu to background decorations and table setups. This is why you need to talk to every one of your prospective caterers and ask them which events they specialize in. Better yet, look for well-rounded caterers that have demonstrated the ability to cater to different types of events. We at Tim The Girl Catering, in particular, have extensive experience in a wide range of events, including weddings, corporate functions, birthdays, and baby showers.


Expertise in the food business industry isn’t just about the number of years a business has been operational. What goes on behind the scenes is just as important. As such, ask those in your shortlist what kind of cuisines they’re used to making, and, just as important, what tools they use to make them. Even simple items like rice cookers and food processors can give you a lot of insight into the processes that go into making the food. The use of high-quality equipment, in particular, along with a skilled staff who know how to operate said equipment, is a good sign, as it ensures optimized and efficient performance in the kitchen — a hallmark of a reliable caterer.


Your early dealings with your prospective caterers will give you a good idea as to the overall quality of their service. Specifically, you want to see a responsive staff who are alert to your every need and proactive with everything. Such responsiveness is indicative not only of a knowledgeable, well-trained, and service-oriented team, but also of a staff that is fully capable of solving any problem that might crop up. By finding a responsive staff, you are assured of excellent service right from the planning stage and all the way to the event proper.

Planning flexibility

Some caterers have plans that are set in stone, leaving you little wiggle room to make alterations as you deem necessary. This is the reason you need to find flexible caterers who will allow you to tailor their offerings to suit your needs. If you can, look for service providers that let you create your own catering plan, as it’s a setup that gives you the most control over every aspect of the service, particularly the menu and pricing. Just as important, consider a caterer that offers a cancellation policy, as that will give you a contingency and an extra layer of protection in case you need to — knock on wood! — cancel your event.

Now, as you prepare to start your search for a caterer, do consider recommendations from people you know, and search online for caterers that are either popular or have received multiple rave reviews. Put them in your initial list, and then trim it one by one using the criteria above (plus whatever additional criteria you may have).


Jenny Miller