So far, your first meeting has consisted of learning about the chef, company and what options they offer for food, menus, leftovers, etc. Now your next questions are, what service options the company has to offer. These questions listed below are crucial to ask because if the company does not offer these services, you will have to spend more time and money to make sure the job is done right.
The big question is whether or not the company has vehicles to deliver? If the answer is yes, the next question is: Will they drop off the food and necessary equipment required to execute the event and pick them up later? Or, perhaps, are they willing to stay for the entire event to ensure the food is properly stocked and stored, garbage is handled appropriately and any unforeseen issues are handled accordingly? After everyone has eaten, the clean up can be a real hassle for the host. Choosing a caterer who is willing to stay for the entirety of the event or come back at the end to clean up, will make all the difference.
Tables & Chairs
Another thing to consider is if the caterer has the resources to provide tables and chairs for your guests. Or if they work closely with another company who can. Usually a caterer will provide them or works with a partner to ensure a fair or discounted rate. If they do not offer tables and chairs, this could cause problems later on in the planning process, and you may end up paying a premium price from another company for last-minute rentals.
Does the caterer provide servers? Many catering companies, that have been in business for some time, have a staff that is trained to serve a variety of different events. From casual, to black tie affairs, and everywhere in between. Startup catering companies, or less experienced ones, usually do not have the staff, or resources available to provide a high level of service to you and your guests. There are a lot of variables involved with planning an event, and sometimes considering the number and level of training of servers can either make or break your event. This is especially true if you have guests that have food allergies. Trained servers know the proper protocols to mitigate any risk for potential cross-contamination of entrées that are being served at your event. Having the peace of mind that the caterer you choose is aware of these risks, further reinforces that they will be a good fit for your event.