Food isn’t exactly the main reason people attend weddings, conferences, and parties, but it is definitely a motivating factor. It’s the centerpiece of so many holidays and celebrations. Food is a major part of every culture; it brings us together and nourishes us.

So when you’re planning an event, be sure to make the food one of your top priorities! Finding a great caterer is a complex experience because the best caterer will be able to fulfill all of your guests’ needs to make your event the best it can possibly be.

Because it can be hard to find the perfect caterer, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top catering mistakes that people make– so you can avoid them yourself!

1.Choosing a location based on the needs of a catering company

If you want a catered wedding, but you also love nature and want to get married deep in the woods or in a national park, you might think that you’ll have to compromise somehow. Obviously, a remote location in the forest won’t have access to a professional kitchen for caterers to whip up the perfect meal.

Today, however, you no longer have to make that compromise. There are catering companies with fully-equipped mobile kitchens that can come to you virtually anywhere and prepare a five-star meal with everything you and your guests need to have a great time. Not to toot our own horn, but we believe our mobile kitchen is the best one…

2. Not having a firm plan for the event

Before you shop around for caterers, you should have a fully-formed plan with all of your ideas and goals for the event. This will greatly help you get the most accurate quotes, and will help your caterer understand what you’re going for in order to ensure your satisfaction.

You should have a pretty good idea of the level of formality (black tie? streetwear?), general vibe of the evening (casual and laid back, or ceremonial and formal?), and the type of food you’re envisioning. 

It doesn’t hurt to find a catering company that can prepare gourmet food and street food equally well to ensure some happy, well-fed guests no matter what type of event you’re planning.

3. Relying on the same old standard fare

When you picture a catered event, you might imagine dry chicken breasts and soggy pasta kept lukewarm in chafing dishes. Rest assured that it absolutely doesn’t have to be like that!

If you check out a potential caterer’s menu and find it uninspired and unexciting, it’s time to look elsewhere. There are professionally trained chefs (like our own Chef Serge Krikorian!) who are motivated to think outside the box and create fresh, seasonal, and delicious dishes rather than the same old, same old.

4. Not properly accounting for food allergies

A conscientious host will be well aware of guest food allergies, intolerances, and preferences ahead of time, to ensure that every guest can safely enjoy their meal. A conscientious caterer will be vigilant about keeping foods separate so the allergy-friendly food has no contact with allergens. 

Allow for an alternative meal for your guests who request one! Guests with uncommon food allergies especially will appreciate the attention to detail and will be delighted to enjoy a freshly prepared and delicious meal instead of having to go without.

5. Not getting a proper headcount

When preparing for an event, it’s imperative to be absolutely sure how many guests will be attending. Collect RSVPs and keep careful track of the number of guests. Providing this information for your caterer will mean that every guest gets enough to eat! 

6. Not checking out your caterer beforehand

It’s definitely a big mistake to hire a caterer without checking out their customer base and web presence beforehand. Be sure to read the reviews and see what other people have to say about them. Knowing other people’s experiences, either good or bad, will help inform your decisions.

At Vibrant Occasions, we pride ourselves on our skill, experience, and innovation. Our staff of professionally trained chefs can whip up just about any type of cuisine you can imagine; take a look at our menus to get an idea! 

We love to work closely with our customers to create the perfect event. Reach out to us today to let us know what your planned event is all about and we’ll help you plan out every last detail.

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