One of the few things that can make or break your event is the refreshment served. For a wedding, this is of utmost importance and is a sign of your event planner and caterer’s competence. Being a member of the hospitality industry for several years now, here are some tips you should consider when choosing catering in Singapore for your wedding:
1. Capacity to handle your event
A caterer – with great repute – may not necessarily be the best fit for you, you need one with a lot of experience in wedding catering in Singapore. When interviewing your caterers, you need to share as many details as you can about the type of event you are planning. Some points which should be included are the nature and variety of the food and drinks, and how you would want it presented. As a rule of thumb, you may want to speak to at least three caterers to gain perspective on possible offerings.
2. Interest and Responsiveness of the Caterer to your needs
How responsive and interested a caterer is during your initial conversations is a straightforward indicator of how well they will perform. You caterer should be positively engaged with you, asking you specific questions that will enable them to understand your unique requirements better. Simply put, a good caterer should be eager to learn about your event, your theme, the purpose, budget, etc.
3. Budget, Payment and Extra Charges
Cost is a big factor in choosing a caterer. You have to look at what the caterer is offering, in terms of overall cost, additional service charges, sneaky hidden charges, etc. It is important to clarify the items you will be paying for and no surprise payment will be added at the last minute. Ask about any possible costs that may be billed to you, the advance payment needed upfront, the final due date, cancellation policy, etc. Also, also keep yourself informed about how often you can revise the proposal, and what would be its cost.
4. Detailed Explanation of Services
A professional caterer should be able to present you with a well-documented outline of its services. This should clearly spell out exactly the food, beverages and services the caterer will be providing. A binding contract should capture all these details and, depending on how big the contract you are getting into is, you may also want to consider having an attorney look at it.
Every detail should be included in the contract, including selected menus, the number of servings and/or people to be served, beverage/bar service details (if applicable), pricing, and additional services. A good contract should protect you from non-performance as much as it protects the caterer from non-payment.
5. Flexibility with the Menu Options
Caterers, who have been in the industry and are keeping pace with trends, always have a few different menu options which are constantly being updated. Many caterers have different menus to choose from and, more often than not, they provide some level of flexibility to adapt these menus to your specific needs. A good caterer should discuss these menu options with you upfront, giving you constructive suggestions along the way.
6. Readiness to Provide Tastings
Some people shy away from asking to sample the specific items they want for their event, but a good caterer should suggest otherwise. This is especially important if you have not tasted some of the menu items before. A caterer should also be willing to adapt their menu to allergies or religious customs. It is standard practice to ask for a taste of what you intend to order before you go into a binding contract.
7. Quality and experience of the kitchen Staff
One must keep in mind that a reputable and well-established catering company does not necessarily translate into great and tasty cuisine. The quality and skill level of the Chef and the kitchen staff is key here. You should also make sure that there are no health code violations in the history of the catering company you wish to employ. You may want to go one step further in making your own comparative assessment with every prospective caterer.
8. Familiarity with the settings of your Venue
Potential caterers should be familiar with your wedding reception venue and the settings you want to apply on the given day. This is a simple issue but should not be overlooked. This can get even more specific depending on restrictions of the venue itself- you want to be sure this does not present issues for your caterer.
9. References you can reach out to
You would definitely need to check out the reputation of the caterer you are dealing with. Online reviews can give you some pointers, however, see if you can track down some past clients of the caterers you are considering and reach out to them. People are often more forthcoming in private conversations about any disappointments and possible suggestions they may have about the food or overall experience with the caterer.
10. Any other little extras
Finally, one of the most important things to look for when comparing catering proposals is in the fine details of the document. Some catering proposals span several pages dedicated to covering those little details spelled out in terms of line items and quantities that will be available on the day of the event. This can include everything from linens, disposables, trash, food preparation, parking, permits, etc.
Remember, the food and drinks served on your wedding day is mainly a budgetary issue and can affect how much money you have left to spend in other areas. Plan this aspect of your wedding wisely.