Finding the Perfect Caterer Takes More Than Great Intuition.
Here Are Important Tips and Questions To Ask Straight From an Expert!
Alexis Fine DeAngelis has a lifetime’s worth of experience in the business beyond her years, as the 4th generation in a family of restaurant and catering specialists. As Director of Catering for Twenty Four Fifth and Bridgewaters of The Glazier Group, we asked her to come up with her top tips & questions to ask the caterer/venue for your wedding, bat or bar mitzvah, party, or any event.
TIP 1 – It’s important to really get familiar with your caterer’s service and food presentation.
Details add to the success of the event. Alexis gives some examples of how how no detail is too small – handmade sugar flowers for place settings, tiny decorated cupcakes, tuiles and specialized cocktails. ‘Cake Genius’ Lidiya Zdork creates these beautiful fondant flowers in various stages of bloom and color intensity as the final decorating touches to a cake.
Dont’ trust your eyes! These flowers are fondant. Talk about attention to detail!
Wow – How amazing do these flowers and cake look!
TIP 2 – When you interview caterers make sure that they have a good sense of the type of affair you are planning and any themes you would like incorporated.
Fine DeAngelis loves finding the right note of nostalgia for a special day. From a traditional seated dinner, to creating an over-the-top Vermont-style ski lodge, a country picnic or tea party, her enthusiasm and expertise make every event unique. Guests at one beach wedding were served these incredible petit fours!
You might say it’s Alexis Fine DeAngelis’ ‘Baker’s Dozen’ worth of tips! While there is no specific ranking order, it is important to get an answer to each question to make sure that you are not surprised by extra costs or restrictions. The questions are short. They are meant to elicit detailed responses. Listen to the answers and get as much follow up information as possible.
- What is included? What is additional?
- If there an off season? Or less expensive day/night to host an event? One of my friends saved $10,000 site fee by having the affair in the afternoon!
- What is your “kids” pricing? What age is considered “kids” vs “young adults”?
- Do you include a wedding cake or a Bar/Bat Mitzvah cake? – Ask to see some examples and find out about custom theme cakes.
- What is your staffing ratio?
- Are your menus set in stone or do you have flexibility to create something out of the box?
- What is the time period of the event? i.e. how many hours?
- What is your beverage service? Do you have upgradeable options?
- What is your waiter to guest ratio?
- Do you provide a VIP attendant or Bridal attendant?
- Do you have required or preferred vendors? Are we locked into using a specific one?
- Who runs the event day of? Do you provide an event planner?
- Is there a tasting session? Regarding the question of the “tasting”, some venues do not offer tastings and others offer a “chefs” tastings. Alexis recommends chefs tastings as the best way to taste what the venue has to offer. Make sure to find out how many guests are allowed for the tasting and when you should plan on the tasting.
Spirited Cupcakes – Not for the kiddy table – these cupcakes need to be carded!
Your caterer can definitely add lots to making your event a success and creating those special foods, drinks and desserts that go with your theme or color. Good planning will have your guests hoping to get seconds!
Mazelmoments™ helps you plan any Jewish-inspired event, such as a Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah or Jewish Wedding. Find Venues, Kosher Caterers, Chuppah & Ketubah Designs, Photographers, Bar Mitzvah Invitations, Centerpieces, Judaica, Rabbis, Mohels & more.