Mahima Bhatia Photography

Once you’ve made the most important decision of your life - choosing your spouse, selection of the right outdoor catering service is perhaps the most significant task you’ll have to perform, at least as far as your wedding functions are concerned! Nothing impacts the guests’ and your own experience of a wedding function as much as the caterer. The food quality, presentation, service staff and their demeanor…these are all important factors and must meet the mark for the function to be a success and remembered fondly. An outdoor catering service is one of the most elegant arrangements that your wedding may flaunt and we know the tricks and tips to make it big.

Did we just make a task you hadn’t been worried about seem daunting? Good! Now that you’ve realised what’s at stake, we'll ensure all your functions go smooth and wonderfully by helping you choose the ideal outdoor catering service! 

1. Make a list of suitable candidates

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Catering is one of the most expensive services that a wedding or related function requires. You can’t just decide on one particular provider without comparing the prices and services with the competition! Look online, ask your friends, family members and relatives if they know any good caterers and make a list of outdoor catering service providers that work for your venue, guest count and a rough budget. Once you have a list comprising several licensed, reputable and highly recommended caterers, you can start comparing their prices, the number of staff members and the services on offer. You can also work your way in by making a customised dessert menu

2. Meet the candidates face to face

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All that stuff about first impressions, that’s no hard and fast rule! The motive of personally meeting up with the service providers is to gauge their level of interest in your function. If you’ve done a little research about the market prices of the goods and services involved, you can test the person’s knowledge of his/her business in the process of a short conversation. Little things like quoting vastly different prices, skipping over details, even the rapport the person in charge shares with his/her staff can give you an insight into their work. 

One of the most common mistakes made during food-tastings is not taking it too seriously. The taste of the food and that includes all the items on the menu, snacks, salads, juices and mocktails included, has to be great. If you’re going with food items you’re not quite familiar with, it’s best to ask along one of your food connoisseur buddies (we all have at least one of those!) Snacks from Chinese cuisine, after all, should actually have Chinese flavour! Don’t stop at a few items, have a couple (or more) friends or family members join you in tasting the food.

If testing every item for taste feels like an excess, well, you don’t really have a choice! You do want it all to taste heavenly, now don’t you?! A good catering service provider would never have reservations about letting you have a taste. So if the person you’re meeting seems unwilling, it’s time you moved on to the next on your list. Before you leave the place or confirm their services for your D-day, make sure you have a clear idea of the quantity that is going to be served in the buffet or according to the per plate discussions that follow.

3. Meet the head chef and the staff

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If you approve of the food’s flavour and quality, meeting the head chef doesn’t really seem all that essential, you may already have seen him/her while food testing anyway!

The goal of having a direct word with the head chef is to relay any special requirements related to food preparation, together with any changes in the menu, if you so desire. The manager of the catering service isn’t always the best or the most knowledgeable person when it comes to these matters. It’s, therefore, best to have a frank discussion with the head chef. While at it, take note of the staff’s appearance and demeanour, check out the attire they will don during the actual event. Photographs or video footage of functions that the caterer has organized in the past can also give you a good idea of their service quality. You can directly ask to see these or simply check out their social media outlets. 

The chef is also the right person to contact when you need any special ingredients added or removed according to personal choices or maybe even health issues that you or your guests may have. You don't want peanut butter on the desserts? The chef will take care of it!

4. Seek references and have a word with them

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This, here, is one of the most important parts of selecting the right outdoor catering service provider. Unless the caterer is someone a trusted friend or relation has already had a good experience with, you must make sure to seek references that you can talk to regarding their prior performances. If you have a sizeable social circle, or if one of your friends or relatives has one, it’s not too difficult to locate somebody that knows somebody that the caterer had organised an event for! Or you can simply play spies and look for the previous clients’ contact information online! Take inspiration from this wedding menu as it's apt for any wedding and pre-wedding festivities. 

Food is the one thing that will be heartily talked about and it is also the one aspect that will be remembered for days to come. Guests leaving with a happy tummy is worth every effort that has been invested in making your wedding an event that is unforgettable for you and everyone else who was a part of it. If the food is lip-smacking then more than half of the day is won over. The finger-licking good food is something every guest, as well as the family members, appreciate in a wedding and an elegant outdoor catering service is an easy way out of the choice is made right.

If these outdoor catering service providers offer tents and decorations with a gorgeous food set-up, then your D-day is sorted.

Finding a trustworthy caterer for your functions isn’t really hard. It does, however, involve being attentive and putting in some time and energy! Try not to think of this as a hassle and you’re bound to enjoy the process. Even if you have somebody you can completely trust with getting it right as per all your preferences, it’s still advisable you remain involved in the process in some capacity and don’t miss out on the fun—it’s your very own wedding function, after all! Have a look at some of out catering vendors until you find the one. 

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