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Ten Questions to Ask Your Wedding Caterer

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

It’s important to question wedding caterers before hiring their services. It not only ensures you pick the right service but helps the big day go without a hitch. It’s time you made a list of questions to ask potential catering services so that the best one can be found. So, what questions should you ask?

Do You Provide the Catering Staff?

A lot of people overlook this question as they assume servers and waiters will be provided by the catering company. While most caterers provide their own staff, this isn’t always the case. You must clarify the situation ahead of time so that you know whether to hire additional waiters. Never assume servers will be provided; ask the caterers.

Will the Event Be Covered by Insurance and What Does Your Policy Cover?

All wedding caterers should have insurance, whether they’re attending a small or large event. You must ask if they’re insured and what the policy covers. Get a confirmation also, either through email or letter. That protects you should something go wrong. Plus, it gives you peace of mind that the people you’re dealing with are professionals.

What’s the Total Number You Can Cater For?

Let’s be honest, if you have a sizeable wedding party with over 250 guests, the caterers must be able to accommodate them all. On the other hand, if the maximum number of people they cater to is 100, you have a serious problem. You either have to trim your wedding guest list down or find another caterer.

It’s also important to find out the deadline on the guest list. All wedding caterers have a cut-off point, usually a few weeks before the big day. You must know when this is so that you have the numbers ready for them.

Can You Cater to Special Dietary Requirements?

Some of your guests might have a specific or special dietary requirements, such as intolerance to wheat or gluten. You might have a few vegetarians or vegans on the guest list too. It’s important to know if the caterers can offer an alternative to those with special dietary requirements.

This is especially important to ask if you’re having a set-meal catered event. If you’re having a buffet event, you should ensure there are some options suitable for fussy eaters and those with intolerances.

Do You Provide Children’s Meals?

When younger guests are attending the wedding, their needs must be catered for as well as the adults. You should ask the wedding caterers about child-friendly meals and their costs. Children’s meals are typically cheaper than adult meals, but again, this is something you need to ask the caterers.

Do You Provide the Plates and Cutlery and is There an Extra Charge for Them?

Every caterer does it differently. Some wedding caterers will offer a full service that includes their own waiters, bartenders, and chefs, along with plates, linens, and cutlery. Others, however, will not. It’s necessary to know where you stand, and if they do supply a full service, is there an extra fee for it?

What Deposit Do You Require and When Must the Full Amount Be Paid?

It is likely the wedding caterers will require a deposit. It doesn’t matter how large the wedding party is, this is a business and to reserve their services, caterers ask for a deposit. So, it is important to find out the amount of the deposit and when the total catering fee must be paid. Some caterers will require full payment on the day of the wedding or the day after.

Is Clean-Up Covered in the Total Costs?

Most caterers offer clean-up as part of the package; however, an additional fee may be required. You should confirm this ahead of time so that you know what to expect. If clean-up isn’t included, you’ll need to arrange this elsewhere.

Will You Serve Alcohol?

Some wedding caterers will provide a full bar and bartender service – for an additional fee. This isn’t standard, however, and you need to ask about such things ahead of time. What’s more, if you prefer to organise the drinks yourself, you need to ask whether this is acceptable with the caterers and the venue.

What Happens if the Wedding Party Runs Late?

Caterers may work overtime if they are required to; however, this will incur a substantial fee. For instance, if your wedding party is late to arrive at the venue (and therefore late to start dinner) and the party runs over by 2-hours, you’ll be charged for that time.

It’s a different story when the catering company is late and there’s a delay in setting up at the venue. Overtime wouldn’t typically be paid out of your pocket. Again, this is something you’d need to confirm with the caterer and your contract with them.

Be Prepared

You might not initially like the idea of grilling the caterers, but this is your big day. You want it to go without a hitch, especially since you’re paying a lot of money for their services. The questions above, and many more of your own, will help you find the right wedding caterers to make your day perfect.

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