We work a lot with businesses in Bristol, providing all types of food from canapés and feasts to sandwiches, cheese boards and soup deliveries. Chatting to many of the people who organise these lunches / events, we realised that it’s not always easy finding the right caterer, so thought these frequently asked questions might help.
If I Google “caterers” or “catering” on Google, I am spoilt for choice. How do I go about choosing! I don’t want to spend hours on a simple task.
Sometimes, the best thing to do is ask another business for recommendations. If you have a friend working in another department or company, give them a ring and ask if they use a caterer. For something like a small working lunch, you might find your local cafe will bring over sandwiches, so it’s worth asking them (and you can try before you buy at their cafe!).
For a larger scale event, it’s worth getting a catering company who really knows what they’re doing. An event for your business or company is a reflection of how you work and projects an image to others, so you will want to ensure that you won’t be let down and that the catering company is professional and seamless. Here, word of mouth is a good way of finding a caterer, or be a bit more specific on Google – perhaps try “event caterer” or “canapés and events”.
Most caterers don’t have prices on their menus online – why not?
We do make sure there are prices on our menus as we think it’s really important for our customers to be clear about cost as it’s a big part of the decision making. We do understand why some companies don’t put prices on, as catering is such a varied bag – it’s hard to give one price for every type of event. For example a drinks and canapés party for 20 is going to be different in terms of preparation, staffing etc to one for 300.
What if I have been given a tight budget?
Always let the caterer know what your budget is and ask them what they can do for that. Bear in mind it might not be exactly ultram what you thought you might get but most caterers will do their best to accommodate you.
I need to organise a big showcase event for my company to impress clients – I’m worried that the catering company might let me down. What’s your advice?
Go and visit 2 or 3 caterers. You’ll get a good feel for how they work just by visiting their premises. Ask them about previous events and if they can provide you with references. It’s worth making the effort for your own peace of mind.
What if I want to taste before buying?
Most caterers will invite you in to taste. It’s good to meet face to face and chat through all the requirements. It’s a good time to ask any questions you have too.
I have never organised an event before – I’m a bit nervous. How much will a caterer get involved in the planning of an event?
This depends on the individual catering business. We will in the course of discussing the event make suggestions, put customers in touch with venues, crockery suppliers, suggest menu ideas. We have catered for a huge range of events and are always happy to share our experience.
I want to get something a bit more quirky than the usual sandwich lunch – any ideas?
People are increasingly aware of diet and nutrition and often look for something a bit more creative than sandwiches. We specialise in big, flavoursome salads made from a range of pulses, vegetables, cheese, nuts etc. Soup is another very underrated lunch choice. One customer has a monthly directors lunch of an artisan cheese board, seasonal fruit, homemade tartlets, salads – not a sandwich in sight! We love it when customers ask for original ideas.
What about food intolerances?
All caterers have to be careful about customers’ needs and allergies. We list all potential allergens on our menus and will make sure there is no cross contamination where possible. Make sure you make it clear to your caterer if there are allergies. They will usually be able to help you to choose suitable dishes that will suit all tastes.
If you have any questions about your business / company event or lunch, email us firstname.lastname@example.org.