8 Questions to Ask Your Caterer to Prepare For Your Event

When you meet with your caterer for the first time, it’s important to taste the food (if you can!), but it’s also critical that you... Read More

When you meet with your caterer for the first time, it’s important to taste the food (if you can!), but it’s also critical that you get a few key questions answered. Here are the 8 questions to ask your caterer to prepare for your event.

1. Are you familiar with my venue? What water, electrical, etc. accommodations do you need?

Since you’ll likely have the event venue set before speaking to a caterer, inquire whether they’ve had experience there before. If not, they’ll need to do a little due diligence to prepare prior to the event. In addition, they may need access to utilities, like electricity and water. 

For outdoor events, in particular, you’ll need to connect the event coordinator and caterer to make sure all their needs are met.

2. What is included?

Every chef – and every catering service – is unique, so what they include in their offerings will be unique too. Here are just a few items that may be part of your quote:

  • Alcohol and bar staff
  • Cake cutting
  • Catering tables and other rentals
  • Gratuities (this may be added after, depending on the caterer)
  • Serving staff
  • Tax
  • Trash cans and liners

3. Do you offer additional types of meals?

Depending on your guest list, you may have event goers with allergies or food preferences, children, or vendors you’ll be responsible for feeding. Ensure your caterer can arrange specialty meals for all.

4. When do you need a final headcount?

Many caterers want a rough estimate of your guest list, but need a final (more exact) headcount a few days to a week before the event. To stay on track (and on top of your RSVPs), it’s important you know this date in advance. You may also ask if any last minute changes can be made

5. Do you provide serving staff?

Depending on your serving preference, you may want servers at your event. Or, if you would prefer a buffet style, then be sure to ask that they can accommodate this. (Remember that you may need additional table rentals, depending on the serving style.)

6. What are your signature dishes and what would you recommend for our budget?

Your caterer is going to want your budget per person, so they can create a menu based on how much you’re able to spend. In addition, you’ll want to get a better sense of the type of cuisine they specialize in serving, including any specialty dishes. They are the culinary expert, so ask for recommendations if you don’t have a specific menu in mind.

7. What do you do with leftovers?

It’s impossible to perfectly calculate exactly how much your event guests are going to eat, so you’ll likely have some leftovers post-wedding or event. Ensure your caterer is able to provide a solution that works for your needs.

8. What catering rentals are included?

Don’t forget your catering rentals! Many caterers don’t include things like glassware, dishware, flatware, chafing dishes, etc. Or, if they do, there is an extra charge. The only problem with that is that you may or may not like the styles and selection your caterer offers.

Instead, take a look at our tabletop and catering rentals for your next New England event. 


Be prepared for your event by asking your caterers these 8 questions.

And for help with event catering rentals in New England, don’t forget to contact us at Sperry Tents Seacoast!

Exeter Events and Tents is proud to become a part of the Sperry Tents Seacoast family!
+ +
Skip to content