7 Things to Know When Comparing Caterers

1. All caterers are not created equally.
  • Caterers have different skills.  Some are highly experienced chefs.  Some use hourly cooks.
  • Food is very different.  Some cook delicious recipes from scratch.  Others heat caned food and precooked frozen entrées.
If your event is important to you and your guests, choose the experience caterer.
2. Prices compare very closely to restaurant prices.  Caterers pay approximately the same for food as restaurants.  Ribeye Steaks cost more than a Roast Beef dinner which cost more than hamburger.
3. Caterers charge very differently.  Beware of what is included in the price and what is added on.  Watch out for “percentage” service charges added to the total.
4. What is included and what is NOT.  Many restaurants advertise cheap catering prices but require you to pick up and not include drinks or dinnerware.  Here are items to check on to see what is included and what is not.
  • China, Silverware, Glassware.  How much to rent if not included?
  • Linen tablecloths for guest tables
  • Linen tablecloths for buffet
  • Do they provide attractive chaffing dishes to keep food hot and safe?
  • Buffet centerpieces or other buffet décor.
  • Beverages served at the guests table, staff to provide refills and to clear soiled dishes.
  • Lemons for Iced Tea, Real butter for bread, homemade desserts.
  • Service Staff (is there an additional labor charge added?)
  • What is the policy for extra guests or guaranteed number of guests?
  • What is the policy for leftover food?
5. Food Quantities.  This is what separates the pricing.  If one caterer is higher priced, but provides extra food so you will not run out or run low on food, is it worth the price?

Experience.  Catering large events is very difficult.  There are uncontrollable factors which can cause your event to be a disaster.  The more experienced the caterer, the better they are prepared to eliminated disasters.

7. LICENSED OR NOT?  If you hire a caterer who does not have a food service permit from the state health department, you are putting your guests at risk.  You are placing yourself at risk for a lawsuit.  Catering from home is not allowed.  Catering from an unlicensed church kitchen is also risky.  Churches are not required to have permits to feed their members.  Caterers serving food away from the church must be licensed and inspected at random by the health inspectors.
  Insurance companies do not pay claims for unlicensed catering. Please call the health department to check on your caterer.  If they are licensed, the health department will have them on file.
  Many Times, the Difference between Ordinary
and Spectacular is only a few dollars!
An Affair to Remember Catering, 37 Talcott St. Owego, NY 13827 (607) 687-2041
Catering Service proudly serving Owego, Ithaca, Cortland, Binghamton, Elmira,
Corning, Endicott, Vestal and the entire Southern Tier and Finger Lake Region.
Our menu is just a sampling of the many items that we offer. The items can be prepared according to your taste and individual preference. We offer you the finest in homemade cuisine. If your favorite is not listed on our menus, please ask and we will be more than happy to prepare it for you. Prices are according to the number of people in your party and your menu selections. This allows you the choice to plan your event and customize your menu rather than locking you into “packages”. We offer a full catering service including setup and clean up for any of your needs- breakfast, luncheons, intimate dinners for two, dinner parties, weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, anniversary parties. As one of New York's Southern Tier’s premier caterers, we take taste and presentation very seriously. We create meals that are as appealing to the eye as they are to the palate.
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