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.