7 Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Wedding Catering Service

April 21, 2022

With the average wedding catering costing $75 per person, you can’t afford to make the wrong choice. And guests will remember, and talk about, the food.

But how exactly do you choose a good wedding caterer? Most people have little experience in choosing a good caterer. They may go into the process blind, but you don’t have to make the same mistake.

Here are 7 factors to consider when choosing your wedding catering service.

1. The Number of People They Can Cater For

Before anything else, you need to know how many people you need food for. Some caterers may be willing to stretch what their upper limit is to accommodate your wedding, but that doesn’t mean they have the experience necessary to handle large weddings.

2. The Cost

Most people expect that catering for more guests means an increase in catering costs. But that’s far from the only factor you need to consider.

Ordering foods that are out of season can also make a huge dent in your budget. Talk to your caterer to see if they can suggest any substitutes for out-of-season items. 

When you discuss costs with your wedding caterer, also ask about the payment method. Some require the full amount upfront, while others require some in advance and the rest later. 

Also, ask about everything that’s included. Some may not include tax. Others may not include gratuity or other hidden fees.

3. Menu Customization Options

How flexible is the caterer with their menu options? Depending on your guests, you may want to serve vegan, vegetarian, or other menu items that cater to a specific allergy. If a guest has a food allergy, that needs to be taken into consideration too. 

If they do offer customization options, ask about the costs. Good wedding catering is about making great dishes for all of your guests.

4. Kids Options

While your ideal menu may be perfectly tailored to adults, kids’ tastes are far different - and pickier. Ask your potential caterer if they have catering options for kids. 

5. Sustainability

What happens to the leftovers? Where do they source their ingredients from? Do they use a lot of single-use plastics?

If you’re concerned about sustainability, bring up these questions when inquiring about a caterer.

6. Taste Tests

Don’t go with catering services that don’t offer taste tests. Do you really want to risk serving boring, bland food at the most important event of your life? 

Plus, the taste test isn’t only about seeing if the food is good; it’s a time to hone in on your food likes and dislikes. 

Is there a specific dish that is special to you and your future spouse? If so, you may want that included on the menu - and you may want to taste test it to ensure they get it right.

7. Their Reputation

Check online reviews for the caterer’s reputation. Read through both positive and negative reviews and make note of what clients are saying about the caterer’s food, communication, and overall performance during catered events. 

Don’t go solely by online reviews. Many online reviews are fake

Inquire if the caterer has references they can provide. Ask your friends and family if they can recommend any caterers.  

Take Your Time When Choosing a Wedding Catering Service

Hiring someone for your wedding catering isn’t easy, but it’s important that you don’t rush the process.

Otherwise, you might end up with bland food, a struggling service, or sticker shock from hidden fees.

For more advice on wedding planning, check out the rest of our blog.