7 Questions to ask when Choosing a Caterer

Organising a party or an event is not an easy task. Getting the right caterer is the cornerstone of success. Remember that mouth-watering curry chicken from the baby shower? Or those delectable buffalo wings at the birthday party? Nothing quite invokes fond memories of an event like the food! Here are 7 questions that will help you select your caterer.

  1. What are similar events that you have catered for?
  2. What is the typical price range per head?
  3. Are there any miscellaneous charges (e.g. set-up or cleaning-up costs)?
  4. Is your catering business certified by the National Environment Agency (NEA, Click here for the list of licensed caterers' track records)?
  5. Can you provide a few emails or numbers of previous clients?
  6. Can a tasting session be arranged and what's the cost?
  7. How much of the food do you prepare ahead of time (NEA requires caterers to prominently time-stamp all catered and pre-packed meal effective from 15 February 2012, Click here for the time-stamping guide) and what do you use to keep the food warm?

If the event is grand, you will probably need servers. Find out how the caterers staff and run events with these 3 additional questions!

  • Can you provide pictures of the set-up for similar events?
  • What is your server to guest ratio?
  • How long have most of the service staff that you'll be assigning to the event been working for you?

Beside assessing the answers to the above questions, there is also an underlying assessment that you have to make — are you comfortable with the potential caterer? Your caterer should understand what you want, not the other way round. Lastly, do not sign a contract with a caterer until you have tasted the food and be aware of the fine print. If you are uncomfortable with the contract, do not be afraid to ask the contractor to amend or remove the clause.