You have shortlisted the caterers that you would like for your events and then they start to invite you for food tasting – no doubted this is up there with one of the best things that you have to do for your wedding preparations….especially for foodies like me! First bit of advice – make sure you wear some clothes with a bit of give…you are going to be fed like you have never been fed before! It’s not good for the wedding diet but hey…we all deserve a cheat day!
But lets get down to the serious stuff. If you think about it the food tasting is the one opportunity for the caterer to seal the deal. This is why they may go all out to try and impress you. Excuse the pun but this is why you should always take food tasting with a pinch of salt! Food tasting is normally for a few people but the wedding and reception will be for 100s so it may be difficult to replicate the same quality.
Here are some general tips on how to navigate through your food tasting session and ultimately pick the perfect caterer for your wedding:
1 – Food Options
The best thing about going to a food tasting is that you are able to taste a wide range of food that is offered by the caterer. Try all the different food available and see what complements each other. Make notes about your favourite combinations and this will simplify your decision making process.
2 – Presentation
When the caterer presents the food to you, make sure you are happy with how it is being served and the way the food actually looks. Check and make note of the cleanliness of the area where the food is being served because this give you an idea of the standard that the caterer is working to. Catering will be one of your biggest expenses along with your venue so make sure you are diligent in checking on all the details. 3 – Your time
Your time should be considered valuable to the caterer because you have selected them out of many other caterers. It is also one of the most important days of your life so make sure the caterer welcomes you in and gives you a lot of attention. If the caterer is inattentive now then they are more than likely to continue in the same manner as your wedding planning process continues.
Whilst you are food tasting and making comments, the caterer should be taking notes of your discussion. If they are not – they will almost certainly forget the. Make sure they email you the notes they have taken so you can reconfirm that they have captured everything correctly. On the day of your food tasting there may be other families there. Make sure there is always one person from the catering company assigned to you to explain to you how the food is made, the ingredients and how it will be presented (plus any questions you may have). Remember you will be paying a lot of money for wedding caterer and they will need to please a lot of people.Although the food tasting session can not give you a direct indication of what the service is like, if things are poorly organized or the service at the food tasting is below par it may be an indicator of what is to come.
Other ways to find out more about caterers outside of the food tasting include:
1 – Catering at other Weddings
The next time you go to a wedding/reception find out who the caterers are and keep a close eye on the service and quality of food. This is where you will see first hand what it will be like to be a guest if you were to have these particular caterers.
2 – Recommendations
Ask your friends and relatives who they used for their weddings and grab their feedback regarding quality of service leading up to the event. For example:
– Did the caterer respond quickly to e-mails/messages
– Were they accommodating/flexible to the Brides & Grooms requirements
– How was their service on the day? were they efficient and well organized
– How was the quality of the food and service served to the guests
As I mentioned above, catering is going to be one of the bigger expenses for your wedding and its also one of the things that will determine how much your guests enjoy the wedding too. So don’t rush into any decisions and be confident that the supplier will deliver on all your requirements before signing on that dotted line!