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5 Qualities to Look for in Your Catering Company

It can be a bit overwhelming when deciding which catering company to select for your event, and lets be honest, if you love food like we do, they probably all sound great! From fine dining to paper plate pig roasts, the options are endless. Selecting the right caterer for your event will set the vibe that you wish to accomplish for your event and help ensure that all your guests (and you) are enjoying the party!

We've composed a list of what we believe to be the top 5 qualities you should look for when selecting a catering company for your event. There are MANY more, but these should help get you thinking in the right direction!

1.) Experience

Take into consideration the consideration the experience of the company and team you are looking to hire. How long have then been in business? Did you get a recommendation? Are you able to learn about their company online? Its also important consider their experience doing the type of event you are hosting. All events are different, but look at the type of experience they have. Do they have a specialty? The requirements are very different when it come to catering a child's birthday party vs. office outing vs. a wedding. Be sure that the caterer is able to handle your specific type of event!

2.) References

Its always great when a friend refers a catering company to you! A rave review from a trusted friend makes your job of finding a caterer a lot easier and can set your mind at peace before event day! If you haven't gotten a referral from a friend for the catering company you are considering, it can also be helpful to ask the catering company for a reference. If they are reluctant to give a reference, this is a red flag...

3.) Tastings

Have you requested a tasting? It's always great to do a tasting of a variety of the menu options prior to making your menu or caterer selection. Some caterers will offer free tastings, some may require a small fee, but it is certainly worth your time and little bit of money to do a tasting, especially for larger events! If the catering company is also a restaurant, just stop in!

4.) Responsiveness and Communication

This should probably be number 1. If a catering company has poor communication in the early stages when booking your event, I wouldn't expect it to be any better after you have made a deposit, or on the day of your party. Everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes a phone call or email can slip away, but if there is a repeated pattern of un-attentiveness, or you feel like you have to call/email multiple times to get answers to questions, be concerned.

5.) Cost

It can get expensive to throw a party. And often times the caterer is the biggest expense, especially for wedding receptions, birthdays, or large company outings, so its important that you make the right selection. Ask yourself if your are getting the right VALUE. Don't shop on just price, measure the value!

Price shopping is good to an extent, but remember that there are a ton of costs to a catering business beyond just the cost of the food. When hiring a caterer, you are hiring their service as much as you are paying for the food. All catering companies will be subject to similar food costs (obviously this fluctuates dependent on the menu you choose) so a significant portion of the price you will pay is for the service, venue, etc. What is more important to you?- bare bones cheap food to fill up your guests? Good food but skip the frills? Middle of the road? Fine dining service with a plated dinner? The price difference between $18 per person and $250 per person can often be the same food, so if your considering the higher priced, make sure your getting what you pay for in the service!

Next time your planning a party, whether it be for a wedding, birthday party, office event or the entire town, we hope this gets your thinking in the right direction and you find the right fit for your event!

Flat Waves Food Shack offers fun, fresh, professional, catering services in and around RI. Our ​​​​specialty buffet style fusion bbq, and taco bar catering! Start with one of our packages or customize your own unique menu. We look forward to helping you with your next event!

For more information:

Phone: 401-847-9283



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