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Food

6 Important Questions That You Should Ask Before Hiring a Corporate Caterer

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Hosting a corporate event typically involves more than making sure there are enough meeting rooms and that any equipment needed for workshops is in place. You also need to think about the meal planning. That’s where hiring a corporate caterer Toronto will make things a lot easier. As you interview different catering companies, it pays to ask plenty of questions. The following six will help you get started. 

1. How Long Have You Been In Business?

There’s something comforting about knowing the people who will take care of the meals have plenty of experience. When the catering company has been around for several years and seems to be going strong, that’s a good sign. It’s even better when you find out that many of the current employees have been with the company since it first opened. That tells you a lot about how well everyone works together when there’s an event to cater. 

Keep in mind that even if the company has only been around for a short time, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Do ask how long the owner and staff have been in the catering business overall. You may find that the owner and staff have years of experience working for other catering companies and have now brought that experience to their own business. 

2. How Many Events Do You Cater Annually?

While you’re specifically interested in corporate catering, it never hurts to know that the company regularly caters a wide range of events. Along with corporate affairs, it’s nice to know the company is a capable wedding caterer or also does a lot of catering for birthdays or anniversary parties. 

Why is this important? Catering a wider range of events means more ideas for your event. That’s especially helpful if you’re trying to decide between sit-down meals where the plates are served to the attendees, or go with some sort of buffet. 

3. What’s the Largest Event You’ve Ever Catered?

One of the things that makes you anxious about your upcoming event is that several hundred people will be in attendance. Can the caterer handle a crowd of that size? When you find out that the catering company has taken care of crowds that are double your anticipated attendance, it’s easier to relax. That fact tells you that larger numbers don’t intimidate the caterer, and that the team already has some idea of how to structure meals for events that involve more people. 

4. Where Do You Prepare The Food?

Your goal with this question is to ensure all food is prepared in s facility that’s in compliance with current regulations and standards. For example, the caterer may prepare most of the food in their own facility. It’s easy enough to confirm that their space conforms to all current health and safety codes. 

When the caterer does much of the preparation at your place of business or at a space rented for the event, you also want to ensure that space meets current health standards. In fact, a caterer who plans on preparing the food at the site will likely want to confirm that it’s up to standards and includes everything necessary to ensure the food is fresh and safe for consumption. 

5. Can You Provide Options For People With Specific Dietary Needs?

It’s understandable that you want to keep the menu as simple as possible. At the same time, you want the event attendees to have access to food they can enjoy. That means making provisions for special dietary needs. This is something you definitely want to mention to the caterer.

You already know that some attendees have to be mindful of carbohydrate consumption or are on low-cholesterol diets. Others need low-calorie selections so they can stick with their diets. Others may prefer access to vegan or vegetarian options.

What you’ll find is that the right caterer can take all of this information and come up with a menu that includes options that work for just about anyone. Successful caterers routinely work with clients who must observe certain types of diets. Rest assured your requests will not be a problem.

6. What Supplies and Equipment Will I Need To Supply?

While the caterer will already have many of the things needed to manage the meals, you may need to come up with some supplies and equipment. For example, you may need to arrange for the venue to supply and set up the tables and chairs. If you’re doing an outdoor event, the caterer may ask that you provide equipment to keep the hot dishes warm and the cool dishes cold. Depending on where the event will take place and what’s already on site, the list of additional supplies and equipment may be a short one. 

Remember that questions are always welcome. Every one of them provides the caterer with more ideas of how to ensure nothing is left to chance. Once you’re happy with what the caterer has in mind, accept the quote, lock in the dates, and get back to dealing with other details related to your upcoming event.