Things to do Before Meeting with your Caterer

We were so inspired by our learnings about the pre-event meeting process that we created an event planning tool to share our knowledge and get you on the path to the stress-free event of your dreams! Happy planning!

Dining Table

5 Things You Should Do Before You Meet With Your Caterer

These tips will help to make your conversation with prospective catering and events teams more productive to ensure that you'll end up with the menu of your dreams.

  1. Be prepared with “Food Inspo”:  Before meeting with your caterer, it helps to have a general idea of the direction you’re looking to head in in terms of the cuisine. Taking your own desires into consideration, what about the needs your guests? Do you have vegan/vegetarian friends? Gluten-free’ers or allergies to keep in mind? What makes a meal memorable for you? Let your caterer know of any special food memories or thoughts. You want to make sure you have a nice balance and diversity of menu to make sure everyone has as good of a time as you!

  2. Have an Approximate Guest Count: Have approximate idea of the number of guests and who they are to help your caterer plan a menu that everyone will love. Is it a more intimate gathering or a large party? Will there be children in attendance? They can come up with some kids options for you to review. The head count can determine the types of food that can be prepared and served based on the number of attendees. Some menu items and ingredients are better suited to a crowd whereas others work better for smaller gatherings.

  3. Identify Your Location: Are you by the sea or in a city? In a backyard or on a boat? Knowing where your venue is will help the catering team determine if there are any special preparations they will need to make for your event. Many caterers (including Eathereal Kitchen!) have preferred relationships with local venues, which can help you to streamline your planning process.

  4. What’s Your Vibe?: Are you looking for a more laid back event or a black tie affair? Good catering and event planners will create a menu that fits in with not just the aesthetic of your event but also the overall vibe you want to channel. Having an idea of what you want in advance will help your caterer create the right menu for you.

  5. General Budget: As with anything, having an idea of budget always helps any vendor to narrow down their proposed menus. Tell your caterer what your ideal is before you let them get started. That way they have a good sense of what you want framed by what’s within your real financial possibilities. We suggest asking your caterer to put together a larger "Chinese menu-style" selection of items that would all fit within your budget. Then you can narrow it down from there with them to create the perfect menu that works for your price range.  

Sarah Flynn