1) Narrowing the Options
If you live in a highly populated area, dozens of food service providers might exist. Ask for recommendations from family members and friends. You should also check out reviews via online websites / searches to see how the company fares in the grand scheme of things.
2) Menu Options
When you’re hosting a braai/barbecue, you probably don’t want a company that only makes heavier foods best prepared in an oven, such as turkey and mashed potatoes. On the other hand, opting for a platter of sandwiches and potato salads is not the best idea for an elegant wedding reception. Make sure the style of the company matches your needs.
Visit the physical location of the food service staff and assess how clean the space is kept. If it’s dirty in there, chances are your food is not going to be of the cleanest and freshest variety.
4) Dietary Restrictions
When members of your group have certain dietary restrictions, you must make sure the cooking staff can accommodate them. For example, if certain members of your party keep Kosher, see if special Kosher meals can be prepared for them. If some individuals are allergic to shellfish, make sure that none of the food is cooked near or with any shrimp, clams, crabs and so forth.
5) Cost of the Service
One of the biggest concerns for many people when they are hiring individuals to staff their party is the cost. You want to know what the cost of the food is going to be. Be honest about your budget. In the event that you’re unable to afford the particular company, ask if they have packages that are more suitable to your budget.
6) Value of Customer Input
Once you begin working with a company, you want them to value your input as opposed to just taking over the process. You may have a specific sauce recipe that you’d like them to follow. Ask how much input you’re allowed to have before booking the company.
7) Size of the Staff
You also want to make sure that the staff can handle the party. Ask how many servers and cookers will be on staff the day of the party. If you’re having a 100 person function, one server is certainly not going to be enough.
Before booking with a food service company, find out if you can do a tasting. The only way to know if the food truly pleases your palate is to try it out!
9) Go with Your Gut
It may be cliche to say “Go with your gut.” However, gut feelings are often right. As a human being, you can often pick up on people being dishonest or trying to swindle you. When you’re preparing for a party, you need to feel comfortable with all of the vendors, so choose a company about which you have a good feeling.
The food service staff is just one of the elements involved in planning that perfect party. Picking the best one in the area ensures that this area of the event will be a big hit that people talk about for years.
Do you have a 10th tip to add? Leave a comment below.
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