Aside from the venue itself, the food you serve at your wedding reception, anniversary party, or fundraising gala might be the biggest factor in determining the success of your event. To help you choose the right outfit for your special occasion, Imperial Event Venue has identified a few elements that distinguish the great catering companies from the so-so caterers. A great catering company MUST:

Be Willing To Prepare a Tasting Menu

How can you know a caterer’s worth unless you taste the food they prepare? Scheduling a tasting with a few different catering companies or with your event venue’s in-house catering company will give you an idea of quality, presentation, and taste before putting ink to paper. Also, if you plan on having a specific dish at your wedding reception or party, be sure you ask the catering company to prepare that dish; you’ll want to know exactly what your food is going to taste like for your big event, and the best way to do that is to replicate the meal beforehand.

Meets Your Needs

Though every partnership requires a bit of give-and-take, catering companies that aren’t willing to make sure your needs are met should be passed over for those that listen attentively and express a genuine desire to please you. While this tip applies to the food, especially regarding menu changes and special accommodations, it should also extend to the caterer’s willingness to provide their services at a price that fits your budget.

Be Able To Provide References

One of the best way to know if a catering company is worth its salt is by checking references, and not just the ones the caterer provides, either. Before scheduling a tasting, spend a few hours scouring the internet for reviews, and contact both positive and negative reviewers (if possible) to discover why they loved or hated their catering experience. Yelp, Wedding Wire, Google+, Angie’s List, and Facebook are all good places to start.

Be Knowledgeable About The Food

Caterers should know their products inside and out. A catering company that is unable to tell you if they use nuts in their recipe is sign of inattentiveness, while caterers who know exactly where they their food comes from, how each dish is prepared, and the latest trends in food preparation and presentation is a sign that attention will be payed to every detail.

Be Familiar With the Venue

Hiring a catering company that knows the venue well – either because they have experience working in the space or because they are closely affiliated with banquet hall (as is the case with Imperial’s Armav Catering) – is one way to guarantee that your food will arrive on time, the service will reflect the formality of the event, and that everything at your party, reception, or gala will go smoothly.

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