• Our New Meat Rubs Have Launched!

    Same flavor but with a bold new look! Both our Pork and Beef Meat Rubs have been refurbished with a professional new design that is perfect for a holiday gift or to treat yourself and your family! We offer a combo pack if you want to try both flavors, but you can also get either flavor by itself, in a 2-pack, or 4-pack! 

    Sleeping Boar Dunes (Pork)

    Our Sleeping Boar Dunes pork rub is inspired by the Sleeping Bear Dunes, a 35-mile-stretch of parkland covering two islands and a sizable chunk of Lake Michigan’s eastern coastline. Dunes are only one part of the equation, and the park is also known for its outstanding forests, beaches, historical landmarks, and even ancient glaciers. Here at Saddleback, we use it on our pulled pork, baby back ribs, deviled-egg filling, and our housemade chips. However, this rub is extremely versatile, and goes great with unexpected flavors like mac and cheese and potato salad.

    Moo Locks (Beef)

    Our Moo Locks beef rub is inspired by the Soo Locks, a major shipping canal used to travel from Lake Superior to Lake Huron and vice versa. The locks date back to the mid 1800s, and are located between Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Ontario, Canada. Both places have a city named Sault Ste. Marie, the basis of Soo Locks, which is sometimes referred to as the “Sault Locks.”  Here at Saddleback, we use it on our beef brisket, but this isn’t a BBQ exclusive rub. We recommend using it on steaks, prime rib, tri-tips, and all things beef.

  • Saddleback's Christmas Feasts 2021

    For Christmas Saddleback is offering two different sized packages to accommodate any family!


    Large Holiday Platter – $249- Feeds 5-8 People – Prime Rib – This package includes Smoked Prime Rib with Au Jus and Horseradish Cream Sauce. Sides of Mac and Cheese, pan of Corncake, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Sweet Potatoes, and Dinner Rolls.

    To order use this link – Look under Holiday Specials.


    Small Holiday Platter – $165 – Feeds 2-4 People – Prime Rib – including a Small Prime, with Au Jus and Horseradish Cream Sauce. Sides of Mac and Cheese, pan of Corncake, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Sweet Potatoes and Dinner Rolls.

    To order use this link – Look under Holiday Specials.


    Prime Rib Only – Large – $199 – Cold Pickup - Smoked Prime Rib with Au Jus and Horseradish Cream Sauce.

    To order use this link – Look under Holiday Specials.


    Prime Rib Only – Small – $100 – Cold Pickup – Small Prime , with Au Jus and Horseradish Cream Sauce

    To order use this link – Look under Holiday Specials.


    All packages will come with reheating instructions that can be found on our website. Pickup is available at BOTH Saddleback locations.



    1. Just go to our online ordering page and select the location you wish to order from.

    2. Select the date that you want to order and if you want Pick Up or Delivery. Remember, the Xmas meals are only available the 23rd, 24th and 25th. Make sure to select one of those days.

    3. Go to: “Choose a menu” select “Holiday Specials”.

    4. Complete your order!




    We are also offering folks to make donations to feed people in need this Christmas!

    The meals include enough food to feed two people, or one person with leftovers. Saddleback will be doubling all donations. So for a donation of $25 you can feed 4 people this Holiday season! If you’re interested in donating, just use this link, and look under “Give a Free Meal!”


  • 926 Free Thanksgiving Meals Distributed! Donate now for Free Christmas Meals from Saddleback BBQ

    Thanksgiving Meal Donations from Saddleback BBQ 2021


    Thanks to our amazing customers and employees, we donated 926 FREE Thanksgiving Meals this year! Today we launch our Free Christmas Meal donation program!

    A question that always comes up is: "Can I donate my Saddleback Rewards Club Points to feed people in need?" - NOW YOU CAN!

    Donating your rewards points is quick and easy and can be done online in a couple of minutes. You can even do it from the couch watching the amazing Detroit Lion's game.

    As a reminder, we will be providing FREE Christmas Meals for those in need within the mid-Michigan area. The meal will be designed to feed 2 people a meal. Or provide 1 person with a meal and lots of leftovers. The meals will be served cold with reheat instructions. For every meal donated, Saddleback will donate an additional meal!

    To donate a Free Christmas Meal Simply Follow These Instructions:
    Go to the online ordering page for Saddleback BBQ Okemos. Select "Pickup" and a day/time for your order. (If you are ONLY doing a donation, you don't need to worry about the day/time) Then select the menu "Holiday Specials - Christmas" then select "I Want To Give - Christmas Feast for 1-2 People In Need". The cost is $25.

    Or, this link should take you right to the donation item. (This doesn't work sometimes)

    To see how many Saddleback BBQ Rewards Points you have, go here!

  • Black Friday and Cyber Week Deals

    Saddleback BBQ is excited to announce that it will be offering our customers a variety of Black Friday and Cyber Week Deals! Here are the details:

    Black Friday - Codes Valid Through November 26th Only

    • BOGO Sauce
      • Buy a bottle of one our signature BBQ sauces and get a second bottle for free! 
      • Choose between our Sweet & Savory and Michigan Mustard.
      • No limit on how many times you can use this code.
    • BOGO 50% Apparel
      • Buy one of our pieces of Saddleback apparel and get a second for piece 50% off.
      • No limit on how many times a customer may use this code. 
    • Brisket Class
      • Get 35% off a Brisket Class with Saddleback Matt. 

    Cyber Week - Codes Valid Nov. 29th - Dec. 5 Only

    • 25/15
      • Spend $25, get 15% off. 
      • Applicable to all BBQ Products.
    • 40/20
      • Spend $40, get 20% off. 
      • Applicable to all BBQ Products. 
    • 60/25
      • Spend $60, get 25% off.
      • Applicable to all BBQ Products.
    • 75/30
      • Spend $75, get 30% off. 
      • Applicable to all BBQ Products. 
    • There is no limit on how many times customers may use these codes. 

    **Link to all our BBQ Products**

  • Preferred Vendor for the Best Venues

    Since 2015, Saddleback BBQ has delivered countless catering's for Weddings, Corporate Events and Social Gatherings in the Greater Lansing Area. We believe catering is more than just delivering food to an event. It is also about building a relationship with our customers, listening and understanding their needs and delivering an unforgettable meal for them and their guests.

    We serve venues and private residences and are honored to have been chosen as the 2021 Best Caterer in Lansing by ​​City Pulse Magazine. We are equally honored to be chosen as a preferred vendor for many of our favorite venues.

    We are professionals with a high level of commitment to providing the very best quality food and service. Our team of friendly, experienced staff will fully assist you, allowing you to relax and be a guest at your own event. 

    We offer Pick Up, Delivery and On Site staff. Ordering from Saddleback is simple and stress free. Call us at  517.306.9002 or simply follow this link to get a custom order immediately

    About Us
    Saddleback BBQ has been Smokin' since 2015.

    We smoke our meat onsite in reverse-flow, wood-fed smokers with simple, yet powerful housemade rubs. A lot of time and passion goes into everything we do.

    There's nothing like mouthwatering, slow smoked BBQ to make your next event a success.

  • Thanksgiving Donation Meal Reheating Instructions

    Each meal kit comes with:

    • 1lb of turkey
    • 1lb of Mashed Potatoes
    • 1lb of Stuffing

    Our recommended reheating instructions are as follows:

    1 pound Turkey comes wrapped in plastic wrapping.  Remove from plastic wrap and microwave on high for 1.5 minutes or until turkey reaches desired temperature.
    Mashed Potatoes:
    Leave Mashed Potatoes in the 16 oz microwaveable safe container.  Remove lid and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stir after 1.5 minutes and continue.  Butter can be added for additional creaminess 
    Leave Stuffing in the 16 oz microwaveable container.  Remove lid and microwave on high fro 1.5 minutes or until stuffing reaches desired temperature.  If desired temperature is reached and the stuffing seems dry, add 2 oz of water to stuffing and stir



    If you do not have access to an oven or all of the appropriate equipment, the microwave will work fine. We recommend using your own dishes in the microwave. Heat each item 30 seconds to a minute at a time or until you reach your desired temperature.

  • 2021 Thanksgiving Meal Reheating Instructions

    Thank you for purchasing a Thanksgiving Meal from Saddleback BBQ! Here are our comprehensive reheating instructions: 

    Whole Turkey

    1. Put whole turkey in deep aluminum pan
    2. Add about and inch of water
    3. (Optional) Put a small amount of chicken stock in the water
    4. Put in oven at 300F
    5. Check after one hour, you’re looking for internal temperature of 165F
    6. If not done, place back in oven checking every 30 minutes
    7. This process can take up to three and a half hours for the turkey to reach 165F


    Half Turkey

    1. Put half turkey in deep aluminum pan
    2. Add about and inch of water
    3. (Optional) Put a small amount of chicken stock in the water
    4. Put in oven at 300F
    5. Check after 50 minutes, you’re looking for internal temperature of 165F
    6. If not done, place back in oven checking every 20 minutes
    7. This process can take up to two hours for the turkey to reach 165F


    Mashed Potatoes - Place in a saucepan, bring stove to medium heat. Add butter and milk and stir until you reach your desired consistency. Continue to stir occasionally until you reach your ideal temperature (5-10 minutes).  


    Mac & Cheese - Place in a saucepan, bring stove to medium heat. Add butter and milk and stir until you reach your desired consistency. Continue to stir occasionally until you reach your ideal temperature (5-10 minutes).  


    Gravy - Place in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally and pull off heat once you reach you desired temperature (3-6 minutes) 


    Sweet Potatoes - Place in a saucepan over medium heat. Add milk and butter until you reach your desired consistency. Continue to stir occasionally until you reach your ideal temperature (5-10 minutes).


    Corncake - Place the tin container in the oven at 350 degrees. The corncake will come slightly undercooked, we like to keep the corncake fairly moist so we don’t recommend baking for very long (7-15 minutes).

  • Saddleback BBQ Awarded Best Catering Service In Lansing!

    Each year City Pulse magazine conducts its Top of the Town Contest to award the best establishments in Lansing across 9 categories ranging from bars and dining to hangouts and local arts. For 2021, there were 32,000 nominations with over 84,000 votes cast by over 9,000 people.  Saddleback is honored to be awarded for the best Catering Service!  We value our customers above all else, and our catering service is designed to make any special event that much better with delicious food.  Our catering service continues to get better each and every day, and we encourage everyone to give us a chance if they haven’t already.  We caterer formal and casual events, large and small groups, and have a wide variety of food options that everyone can enjoy!

    See the City Pulse article here:,18811

  • Lease Terms Restaurant Tenants Need to Understand

    Standard commercial leases are generally 25-35 pages, and can be over 50 if a complex deal. As a restaurant tenant, you want to get into the center and start making money as soon as possible, but this is no reason to rush the negotiation process. Landlords want security in the deal, and the less negotiating power you have as a tenant the more likely it is a landlord will reserve extensive protections in the lease that could end up severely financially harming tenants who perform poorly. This blog highlights important lease terms in connection to commercial restaurant leases. Tenants should strongly consider hiring a lawyer and going over the entire lease with them, with specific attention paid to the below terms.

    Delivery Date
    Receiving the building from the landlord is obviously a critical component to being able to start operating your restaurant. The typical lease will present this as a specific date of time, but tenants need to be wary of things going wrong. Old tenants might not be out in time, the landlord might not finish their work in the building by the delivery date, construction might not be completed, permits not obtained, and so on. As a tenant, you should have the goal of negotiating termination rights if the building is not delivered on time, as well as commitments by the landlord to reimburse out-of-pocket expenses that may occur due to late delivery, including the return of any security deposit.

    Opening a new restaurant requires several levels of government approvals, licenses and permits. What can really hurt a restaurant tenant is not having the necessary permits to start selling food on the first day of your lease term. To avoid this, tenants should focus on negotiating a right to terminate the lease if they are unable to obtain needed licenses or permits. This contingency will have a variety of factors, including the length of the contingency period, a list of necessary approvals, whether additional time can be granted to seek the license/permit, and any fees in the event of termination.

    Gross Sales Termination Rights
    If you’re opening a restaurant, you should already have an idea of what your annual sales need to be to make a profit, and you should negotiate around this number before signing a lease. Typically referred to as a “gross sales kick-out clause”, this provision allows a tenant to terminate the lease if sales do not reach a breakpoint number. This is an exit strategy that obviously benefits the tenant, but you should be able to convince a landlord of its benefit to them as well. A landlord doesn’t want a failing tenant, and is almost exclusively concerned with collecting rent. If sales aren’t on track to meet the annual breakpoint, both parties have benefits in ending the lease. Important pieces of this provision should include the breakpoint number itself, the measuring period, lead-time before termination, and any fees associated with termination. As a tenant, you want to be able to exercise this right as early as possible, so you can terminate with as little lost money as possible.

    Assignments and Subleases
    A tenant’s ability to assign (transfer the lease interest to a new tenant) and sublease (lease out a portion of your space to another tenant) are important provisions because it allows for greater control of a tenant’s ability to exit the lease. Tenants should try to negotiate in a way that limits to the furthest extent possible a landlord’s ability to deny or delay assignments/subleases. Moreover, Tenants should try to carve out requirements that would not require landlord consent to transfer. Often, landlords allow tenants to transfer to subsidiary or affiliate companies under tenant’s control. If a landlord demands that their consent is required, tenants should focus on negotiating more specific rules for when a landlord may or may not withhold consent. These clauses should revolve around the financial situation and management/operating experience of the prospective transferee,

    Exclusive Uses
    An exclusive use clause restricts the landlord from bringing in business that competes with the tenant. For a restaurant tenant, how much you’ll reasonably be able to restrict the landlord in this way will depend on how national of a brand the tenant’s business is, how big the center is, and the landlord’s reputation. However, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to prevent other restaurants from operating in the center. However, a tenant should strongly negotiate for the right to be the only restaurant of their type in the shopping center, and prevent similar restaurants from coming into the center for the duration of the tenant’s lease. Other things to consider include the scope of the landlord’s obligation to protect exclusive use rights, and any termination rights in connection to exclusive uses.

    If your restaurant is located in a mall, or if free samples is a critical component of your business, then it’s important to get rights to sample food in the lease. Tenants who adopt this business model should request the right to offer free samples, and define in the lease the areas where they can offer such samples.

    Landlord’s often will have provisions in the lease giving them the right to relocate you if they wish, and this is often a restaurant’s tenant’s worst nightmare, as we can assume a tenant wants a specific space for good reasons. Your first goal as a tenant should be to remove this clause altogether, but this isn’t always possible. If you cannot convince a landlord to eliminate a provision like this, then you should have the following goals: restrict how often landlord can do this to once during the term; require advance notice; require the landlord to pay for everything relating to the relocation to the fullest extent possible; require that the new site be as similar as possible; and obtain the right to terminate in the event of relocation.

    Percentage Rent Exclusions
    Sometimes a landlord will demand a tenant to pay, in addition to other rent under the lease, “percentage rent.” This is simply a percentage of gross sales or revenue generated at the restaurant. Tenants should try to avoid having to pay percentage rent, but if you’re dealing with a landlord who has a good bit more negotiating leverage, it might be unavoidable. If a tenant has to end up paying percentage rent, try to negotiate the following exclusions:
    • Excise taxes on sales or services where such taxes are paid by the tenant directly to the taxing authority.
    • Any cash or credit refunds from sales that are later returned by the purchaser and accepted by the tenant.
    • Transfers of merchandise between the tenant’s restaurants solely made for the convenient operation of the tenant's business.
    • Any returns to shippers, distributors, or manufacturers.
    • Sales of equipment, fixtures, or other property after they have exhausted their substantial use in the tenant's business, but this does not include any stock sales or transfers.
    • Gift cards before they have been redeemed.
    • Insurance proceeds or other sums/losses received or paid in connection to a settlement or legal claim.
    • Contributions/donations to nonprofit or charitable organizations unless such contributions result in profit to the tenant.
    • The value of any promotional sales.
    • The value of automatic gratuities, tips, service fees and commissions, including any ATM service fees. 

    Common Area Charges
    If a tenant is operating in a shopping center, there are going to be areas designated for common use, and a landlord will almost always charge the tenants to repair and maintain these common areas. In negotiations, a tenant’s goal should be to minimize such charges. A tenant can try to do so by limiting the following expenses:
    • Exclude certain costs from the definition of common area charges.
    • Reduce what is included in the definition of the common areas.
    • Limit the landlord’s ability to exclude certain portions of the shopping center.
    • Implement a cap that prevents a tenant’s share of common area charges from increasing on a year-to-year basis by more than a specific percentage.
      • This might be a fixed percentage.
      • Or, this might be a variable number, based on a consumer price index.
      • Landlords will want to exclude from any cap uncontrollable costs such as taxes, insurance, and utilities.
      • Landlords will also want to apply caps on a cumulative basis, and a tenant should try to avoid this because it allows the landlord to carryover costs from previous years. 

    Personal Guaranty
    Landlords often require tenants to obtain a personal guaranty - someone who will perform the tenant's obligations (mostly its monetary obligations) if the tenant fails to do so. Depending on the bargaining strength of the respective parties, there are a few ways a tenant might be able to limit liability under a personal guaranty.
    Implementing a burn-off clause terminates personal liability of the guarantor if the tenant does not default in a certain amount of time (e.g., the first two years of the lease).
    Implementing a rollover clause that terminates the personal guarantor’s liability after a certain amount of time and only up to a certain amount of rent (e.g., up to two years of rent for the first four years).

    Security Deposit
    While security deposits are often the first month or two of rent, sometimes landlord’s will require large security deposits to feel safe entering into the deal. If a landlord is demanding a tenant to pay a particularly large amount, try to negotiate a provision that requires the landlord to refund the tenant if it does not default on the lease after a certain period of time (e.g., 50% of the security deposit will be refunded after one year of no uncured defaults, with the remaining 50% to be refunded after three years of the same).
  • November 2021 Saddleback

    Saddleback has a ton going on in November! 


    November 4th & 5th PASTIES

    November 11th & 12th PASTIES

    Pasties are by far our most popular special. We are offering pasties with Brisket and Chicken, they will all be served with housemade gravy.
    1 Pasty - $9.99
    6 Pack - $54.99
    These will only be available on November 4th & 5th. You can pre-order now:
    To order, select the location you would like to order from, then pick either November 4th of 5th for your date, they will be under Thursday or Friday specials.




    Last year Saddleback was able to donate over 900 meals to folks in need. We would like to give away even more this year! 

    How it works:
    - For $25 you can donate a meal (The meals are designed to feed one with plenty of leftovers, or for two people to share)
    - Saddleback will match every donation by giving another meal
    - Example, if 200 meals are donated, Saddleback will donate another 200, for a total of 400 meals

    Donate Now


    November 23rd & 24th THANKSGIVING FEASTS

    Thanksgiving Feasts from Saddleback BBQ are now available for Pre-Order. We have packages for families of all sizes and we have pick-up available on November 23rd and 24th. We also have Only-Turkey packages for groups that don't need side dishes. Giving you the ultimate in flexibility.

    Smoked Turkey - Whole Package - Cold – $249
    Includes a whole smoked 15-18lb fresh Otto’s Turkey, large containers of Mac and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Sweet Potatoes. A plentiful amount of Gravy, an assortment of Dinner Rolls, and a tin of corncake. Feeds 5-8 people. (ONLY AVAILABLE for pickup 11/23/2021 or 11/24/2021 Picked up Cold.)
    Smoked Turkey - Half Package - Cold – $129
    Includes half of a smoked fresh Ottos Turkey around 8lbs, containers of Mac and Cheese, Mashed Potatoes, Stuffing, Gravy, Sweet Potatoes, an assortment of Dinner Rolls, and a tin of corncake. Feeds 2-4 People. (ONLY AVAILABLE for pickup 11/23/2021 or 11/24/2021 Picked up Cold.)
    Full Turkey Only - Cold - $199.99
    For people that don't need sides. This is a 15-18lb Otto's Turkey. This comes with one full turkey smoked to perfection. (ONLY AVAILABLE for pickup 11/23/2021 or 11/24/2021 Picked up Cold.)
    Half Turkey Only - Cold - $104.00
    For people that don't need sides. This is a 7-8lb Half Otto's Turkey. This comes with half of a turkey smoked on our all-wood smokers. (ONLY AVAILABLE for pickup 11/23/2021 or 11/24/2021 Picked up Cold.)
    Leftover Package Add-On - $49.99
    This add-on gives you double the sides so you have leftovers!

    TO ORDER! Just go to our online ordering page and select the location you wish to order from. Under “Choose a menu” select “Holiday Specials”. MAKE SURE to select the actual day you want to pick up. All meals will be served cold, you can choose to pickup on November 23rd or 24th.

    *Pickup is available at BOTH Saddleback locations.

  • Important Questions to Ask Before Picking Your Wedding Venue

    Choosing your wedding venue sets the stage of the entire event, and it’s important to do your proper diligence when deciding on a location. We’ve put together some categories of questions that you should consider asking when narrowing down the location for your special day.

    Initial Questions

    These will help rule out certain venues immediately, even without a tour.

    1. Is my ideal date available? 
    2. How far in advance must we reserve the date? 
    3. Are there any other events at this venue on the same day? 
    4. How many hours can I rent the venue for?
    5. What’s the maximum number of guests your venue can accommodate? 
    6. Is there any outdoor space? 
    7. What do your different wedding packages entail? 


    You want to make sure the venue can accommodate your style by asking these questions both before and during your tour. 

    1. What are your policies, including restrictions, on decorations? 
    2. Do you provide any decorations? Are these included or for rent? 
    3. Does the venue provide place cards, table numbers, and seating charts?
    4. How early can we start decorating? 
    5. Can we go in the day before to store items? 
    6. Does the venue provide signage to direct guests? 
    7. Can we customize the facility's decor? 
    8. What is your policy on sparklers and confetti? 


    Make sure to ask your venue about their policies for entertainment. 

    1. How many people can fit on the dance floor?
    2. What times are we allowed to play music from? Are there noise restrictions? 
    3. Does your venue have a high-quality sound system? 
    4. What is the typical sound setup? 
    5. Can we bring a DJ or live band? When can they start setting up? 
    6. Can entertainment be set up anywhere in the venue? 

    Set Up and Break Down

    You do not want to be worrying on your wedding day about whether things will be setup on time, and you especially don’t want to waste effort on breaking things down.  Make sure these questions are answered before you commit to a venue. 

    1. Does the venue provide these services? 
    2. Are there fees associated with this process? 
    3. Do you have examples you can show me from past events? 
    4. Who is in charge of the setup and breakdown process? 
    5. How long does these processes take?
    6. What time do vendors begin setting up?  When do they begin breaking down? 
    7. Who will be our main contact on the day of the wedding? 

    Staff and Vendors

    You want to make sure you have the proper staff to service your event, and these are questions that should be handled before you start hiring florists, designers, or caterers.

    1. Do you provide an on-site coordinator? 
    2. Do you offer security for the event? 
    3. Do you offer valet services? 
    4. Do you provide a coat-check service? 
    5. Do you provide bartender services? 
    6. What is the service charge for any provided staff? 
    7. Is there a tipping policy for staff? 
    8. Do you have a list of preferred vendors? Must we work with this list? 

    Payment and Insurance

    Payment should be among the earlier conversations with your potential vendor, and is something that can make or break a venue. It is also important at this time to cover your bases by asking about cancellation policies as well as any offered insurance. 

    1. Is there a contract I need to sign? Can I see a sample? 
    2. What’s the total cost for your venue? 
    3. Do you offer payment plans? 
    4. What’s included in the total venue fee? 
    5. What’s not included that we should plan on paying for? 
    6. Are rates different depending on what day of the week our wedding is on? 
    7. Do I need to pay a deposit? When is a deposit due? 
    8. Is my deposit refundable?
    9. What’s your cancellation policy look like? 
    10. Do you have liability insurance? What are the insurance requirements for me and my vendors? 

    General Questions

    There are a variety of other questions that will be important to consider before choosing a venue.  You want to make sure you and your guests are going to be comfortable and accommodated, and these questions will ensure that everything operates smoothly for the duration of the wedding.

    1. How does parking work? How many vehicles can the venue accommodate? 
    2. Are services like Uber and Lyft easily accessible from the venue? 
    3. What are the nearest hotels to the venue? Are shuttle services available?
    4. Is there a backup plan if it rains? 
    5. Are children allowed?
    6. Are there changing tables for babies? 
    7. How many restrooms does the venue have? 
    8. Are there any outdoor restrictions? 
    9. How many electricity outlets are there? 
    10. Will we be able to control the air conditioning or heating? 
    11. Is there a secure space for gifts?
    12. Are there separate spades for the ceremony and reception? 
    13. Is there a specific room for the bride to change? 
  • Questions You Should Ask When Choosing a Wedding Caterer

    You shouldn’t be stressed about food on one of the most important days of your life.  Having a professional catering service takes a lot of the hard work off your shoulders, and it is vital that you ensure your wedding caterer is the right choice for your special day.  Here’s a list of important questions to help you choose amongst potential caterers, and to help you find the perfect match for your wedding. 

    1. Is the caterer available on the date of your wedding? Can the caterer accommodate all of your guests? 
    2. Can the caterer service your venue, and have they worked with your venue before?
    3. Does the caterer have a license? 
    4. What references can the caterer provide, and how long have they been in business? 
    5. What amount of catering events do they do per year? 
    6. What is the gratuity policy? 
    7. What is the total cost for the event and what forms of payment are accepted? 
    8. Does the caterer provide payment plans? 
    9. How do your deposits work and what is the cancellation policy? 
    10. When does the caterer need a final decision, including food choice and guest count? 
    11. What equipment can the caterer provide? Do they provide things like napkins, plates, silverware, etc.? 
    12. What options does the caterer have for food and how is it priced? 
    13. Does the caterer offer food and drink packages? 
    14. Does the caterer provide desserts? What about wedding cakes specifically? 
    15. Is there a cake cutting fee? Will the caterer serve cake? 
    16. Where does the caterer get their food? Is it fresh, frozen, locally grown, organic, etc.?
    17. What options does the caterer provide for serving food? Buffet, individual plates, etc.? 
    18. Can the caterer create a themed menu? 
    19. Can the caterer provide specifically for children?  What about other special requests like kosher, gluten-free, etc.? 
    20. What is the policy on leftover food? Will the caterer box-up leftovers for guests? 
    21. Does the caterer allow for tastings?  If so, what do they cost? 
    22. Is there a fee associated with setting up and breaking down the equipment?
    23. Does the caterer have a food service business permit? 
    24. How many servers will be provided? 
    25. How are the servers dressed? 
    26. Does the caterer provide beverages and alcohol? Do they have a liquor license? 
    27. What brands of alcohol does the caterer provide? 
    28. How does the caterer charge for alcohol? 
    29. Will the caterer bartend? 
    30. Does the caterer have liquor liability insurance?

    It’s important to remember that even with the best planning and the highest-graded caterers, there are some things simply out of everyone’s control. This is why it’s important to consider wedding insurance, and to ask your caterer if this is something they offer.  If not, there are plenty of third-party providers that you can go to for wedding cancellation insurance.  Further, wedding liability insurance should be considered as well to protect you from guest injuries or property damage. 

    We hope these questions are a helpful guide to finding the best catering service possible for your wedding day.