Planning the menu for your catering event is extremely important. Whether it’s an elaborate wedding reception, a casual corporate Christmas party, or a small client appreciation reception, food can turn your event into a smashing success or a total disaster.

Choosing the right catering company for your catering function is a key element in your event planning process. A knowledgeable and experience caterer can make your life a lot easier, so it’s worth the effort finding a catering company with which you can rely on, enjoy working with, and trust.

1. Have a budget

Before you start looking for a caterer, you need to define your budget. As in any other industry, catering companies come in all shapes and forms and cater to different markets. You don’t want to waste your time on a catering company that you won’t be able to afford. Nor do you want to settle for a neighborhood take-out, if you have the budget for something a bit more sophisticated.

2. Do your research

The catering business is extremely competitive. There are tons of catering companies, each having their own specialty. Take some time to search through the caterers in your area to find the ones that you think might work for your event. Look through their websites, menus, and prices. Usually you can get a feel of what the company is all about. Ask your friends, family members, colleagues – there’s a good chance that someone in your social network used a catering company in the past and might have some recommendations for you. There’s nothing better than a referral from someone you know and trust.

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