What is an event without great food? From weddings to milestone birthday parties, great food makes any event a little more memorable. This fact is more pronounced for events in the Philippines since food plays such a large role in our culture. This is why many organizers spend a lot of time trying to find the perfect caterer for their events–but what exactly makes a particular catering service “perfect”?

It can be a little difficult to choose the right caterer for your event due to the sheer number of catering services serving Metro Manila. How should you go about choosing you caterer? Here are a few tips to help you out:

Interview your prospective caterer

It can be a little difficult to gauge a caterer just by going through their menu and prices. Set up a meeting with the caterer you are interested in a month or two before your event. This conversation is a great way to evaluate a caterer and can be indicative of the quality of service they offer. This is also a great time to discuss your event’s specific needs as the caterer can adjust their services to meet your needs or refer you to a partner vendor who can provide what you need.

Ask about previous events they have catered

Experience matters, but not in the way some people may initially think. Instead of looking solely at how long a catering service has been in business, it’s best to look at the type of events they have catered. Caterers that primarily cater to corporate galas are better suited to working at charity galas over a backyard children’s party, allowing them to work more efficiently. Simply put, match catering services to the type of event you are planning.

Check the chef’s background, if possible

Do your homework and look up the head chef for the catering service. A chef’s background and experience in the kitchen has a significant influence on how happy you and your guests will be during the event itself. Why? It’s because the chef is the one most responsible for the quality of the entire meal. If possible, ask the chef to be a part of your initial face-to-face to get a better feel of the chef’s personality and drive.

Make sure you schedule food tasting

As Gordon Ramsay puts it: “Always taste the food.” That said, always ask the caterer if you can taste the food on your preferred menu. A proper food tasting is also a great time to ask the ingredients that go into every dish. This is especially important if you know certain guests have food allergies or strict diets (pescatarian, vegetarian, etc.). Many caterers would be happy to switch out a few dishes in your preferred menu.

Look at the whole picture

While food is the primary reason why you want to hire a great catering service for your event, it shouldn’t be the be all and end all. A great caterer pairs fantastic food with impeccable service. Be wary of drop-off caterers who only deliver the food and leave you to do all the serving. Full-service caterers have highly trained staff members who work hard to make your event memorable. This allows you to focus on enjoying your event instead of worrying about set up, serving, and clean up.

Overall, hiring the right caterer for your event boils down to finding the one who is able to meet your wants, needs, and budget. Follow these tips to help you narrow down your choices to the caterers that offer the best fit.

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