How to Make Your Events Memorable
When discussing options with your caterers, tell them about past events you’ve been to. Tell them what you liked and didn’t like, and you’ll also need to tell them exactly what you want your event to feel like then determine what style your caterer has. Ask for any pictures or videos of past events that they have catered for to get an idea of their skill sets. You may also want to inform the caterer about your favorite foods or restaurants so they can get a feel of what you would like and thus, be able to offer you a menu that suits your tastes.
Budget of course, is a major part of what will make your event memorable. In this light, do not be afraid to discuss costs with your caterer. They can give your suggestions as to what is best but remember that you are the one paying so you are the one in control. You can choose to accept some of those suggestions or disregard them altogether. You also need to ask for references as well as previous clients’ numbers.
Once you commit to a particular caterer, the next thing you should decide one is whether you want a seated setting, buffet, food stations or a cocktail service. If you’re on a budget, the seated setting can command the highest service cost so you may want to offset this by restricting your caterer from using expensive ingredients like caviar or just do away with the hors d’oeuvres.
If you go for a buffet meal where guests assemble their own plates, you need to have the caterer make sure they have extra staff on hand and be able to set up duplicate buffet tables in the event that your guest list increases. Food stations on the other hand, gives the guests more options with several food areas, each with their own theme. One may be for salads, another for meats and another for pasta. If you choose food stations, plan on at least three and another one for dessert.
Now it’s time to talk turkey, beef, chicken or fish. When coming up with the perfect menu to serve your guests, you should take into consideration each one’s dietary restrictions and preferences. A personalized menu designed to please each one can end up tasting bland. For personal gatherings like weddings, opting for simpler meals like a treasured family recipe will go over better than serving something with a name you can barely pronounce and with a taste that’s even harder to discern.
And since it’s all about keeping the costs down, it is better to think of foods that are best served at room temperature. Opting for hot food means they should be plated immediately and served within minutes, which means your caterer will be hiring more staff. Make sure as well that you schedule a food tasting as this gives the caterers a chance to adjust their flavors and refine a recipe. Purchasing your own wine and liquor also helps bring the costs down so make sure you ask for a shopping list from your caterer depending on the number of your guests.
Also, caterers these days offer to take care of the event management as well and often designate an event manager to coordinate the florist, musicians and waiting staff. They also take care of the décor so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Coordinate with your designated event manager, listing everything that will happen from start to finish. Make sure you get everything you agreed upon in writing, detailing everything from the exact menu to the total charges for rental and staff.
And last but not the least, don’t forget to ask your caterer to pack food for you after the event. You’ll be very glad you did this when you realize that it’s two in the morning and you haven’t had a thing to eat because you were so busy taking care of your guests and making sure your event was running smoothly.
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