Planning a menu for events or occasions such as company parties, a birthday celebration, or your own wedding can consume a lot of time. That is why getting some help from a catering company is important.  However, since it is about food, you have to make a thorough selection to get the best quality for your guests, wherein hiring a reputable catering company is crucial. You can research a lot of them online by going through a catering website and checking out the deals that they offer.

Here are some of the questions that you should ask before hiring a catering company in Buffalo NY:

1. Do you offer other services?

Mostly, catering companies doesn’t just provide menus for events; they also offer other services such as:

  • Bartending services
  • Waiters and party hosts
  • Tables and chairs
  • Silverware
  • Flower arrangement
  • Making cakes and desserts
  • Music for the entire event
  • Photo and video packages
  • Rehearsals for weddings
  • Decorations for the whole event
  • Bachelorette parties or bridal showers

Check if the catering you’re eyeing to hire has the services mentioned above, and if these come as a package deal. Getting different services from just one company will not only save you time and effort, but it can also save you a lot of money since there will typically be discounts for those types of packages compared to when you get a different company to handle each one.

2. How are you going to run my event?

This question is important as it can make or break your event. You have to know the caterer’s plans when the day of the event comes. Make sure that they’ll do everything to run the event smoothly, and that no problems will emerge.

For example, you should ask the caterer about the size of their staff or the number of servers that will be present in the event. Also ask if the food serving will happen individually or if it will be done in a buffet style. You don’t have to tell the caterers what they have to do, but knowing how they’re going to operate everything is important.

3. How much will your services cost?

To know if their services will be worth it and if it will fit your budget, ask them about the list of fees and charges. A reputable catering company will be happy to break down the estimated expenses and won’t include hidden charges to take advantage of you.

Make sure to double-check all of the things included in the list. Ask if their rate is on a per-head basis, and if this is inclusive of only the food and drinks. If yes, then there will most likely be some other charges for the bartender and chef’s wages, labor, gratuity, and the event setup.

4. Do you have photos of your past events?

Looking for images of the caterer’s past events can tell you if they’re really experienced or not. You’ll see if their decorations and arrangements are good, and if those can meet your expectations. You can also ask them if you can contact some of their previous customers or find reviews on their website and social media pages. This can help you determine if they’re serving good food to the guests or not.

5. What are your specialties?

You and the caterer should have an understanding about the menu. Knowing their specialties or signature dishes can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of the caterers. You can also ask if they offer food tasting so you’ll personally know if the dishes are good. In addition, inquire if they can accommodate some diet restrictions for some of your guests who may have allergies or don’t eat a certain type of food.

Other questions that you should ask:

  • Where are you buying your ingredients?
    Is it on a farmer’s market? Are those fresh or organic? It’s important to know where they’re getting their raw ingredients, since this is about the food you’ll eat.

  • Do you have a business license?
    A reputable company should have a business license, since it will be the proof that they’ve met all the health and food standards.

  • Who can I talk to when I have any concerns?
    You have to check if you’re talking to the right people in the company. This can either be the salesperson or the manager. It’s important to know who you’re working with in order to build rapport and be comfortable with each other. As a result, the event planning will have a smooth process.
  • How long will it take to set up the place?
    Confirm if they can meet the deadline so you don’t have to stress about anything during the event.

  • Do you have a leftover policy?
    Some caterers are willing to wrap up the leftovers so you can take it home, while others don’t. If you’re only paying for what your guests ate, look at the breakdown of the expenses if they’ve charged the right bill.


Reviewing your caterer’s past experience and getting to know them well can make your event wonderful and memorable. With these questions, you can make sure that you’ll be working with the right company and will be confident that everything will run smoothly.

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