Tips For Interviewing Caterers In Sydney

Jan 23, 2014 by

The very first step towards hiring a caterer in Sydney is to first discuss what your budget is over the phone. If you find that the company is willing to work for you within that specified budget you can short list them. However, your budget has to be realistic and it pays to be flexible in terms of what foods you want. Most caterers will be able to give you an estimated price based on the number of people you need the food cooked for and what dishes you need. They should also give you a ballpark estimate of exactly how much more it will cost you for alcohol, décor, rentals, staffing etc.

Complicated events

If the event you’re arranging seems a bit complicated with multiple vendors i.e. for lighting, entertainment and floral arrangements you should hire a caterer who will manage all these for you. Opting for a one stop solution should help free your time up for other things, plus having a professional do this extra work will certainly help yield better results than you having to do it yourself.

Varying catering prices

Prices for catering services vary quite a bit in Australia. Smaller caterers are generally cheaper than larger more established ones. The reason being that newer or smaller caterers have a lot less overhead to deal with so they can price their service more competitively without hurting profits. That said you should always choose a caterer based on the quality of their food and service as opposed to their low price. You should also obtain references from a business in order to double check their credentials.

Once you have reviewed all the background materials it will make it a lot easier to further shortlist the best caterers based on experience dealing with similar events, budget and their personal compatibility. You also need to have good chemistry with the caterer. However, if everyone on your list gets an “A” then you’ll need to rely a bit on instinct. That said below are a few more things you can do to narrow down your list.

  • Ask the company for a proposal. Think about if the caterer listened to your request or demands carefully prior to coming up with the proposal? Are you fine with the menu? Have all your requests been addressed? If you’re really serious about three or two finalists then ask for a proposal from everyone of them.
  • Meet the company representative in person. Meeting personally at his or her kitchen or place of business is important. However, don’t agree to meet when they are catering someone else’s event. You may want to see them in action but this will mean that the event being catered does not get their full attention. Besides if the caterer makes it a habit of meetiing prospects during an event they may do the same with you so you don’t get the attention you deserve.
  • Always meet your day to day contact. Ask the catering company who will be your day to day contact on site for the event. You need to feel comfortable dealing with this particular person. You’ll want to work with an event manager who is both confident and enjoys working. It also will help if the person is client service oriented, is relaxed and inspires confidence. When you meet with this person don’t forget to ask for a list of references of people who have worked with him or her in the past during previous events the company undertook. You should make it a point to first call and speak to the people he or she refers to double check their story and get live feedback. Even though caterers always give the best references you should ask these references what could have been done better. This will help to open up the person you are speaking to and reveal what they otherwise either don’t remember or want to mention.

Hiring the best caterers in Sydney requires a bit of time and research. You can always ask friends and family for references to start off with and then work on narrowing down the list from there.  The idea is to get a feel for the quality of the food and the service they provide prior to hiring them.

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Mark is a certified and experienced chief. When he’s not cooking he is mentoring his team of experienced chefs who prepare over 30 different cuisines for their clients. 

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