What questions to ask a Kosher caterer, other than the price!

Kosher trendy startersWhen it comes to choosing a Kosher caterer, preparation is key!

After all, what is it that most people remember about a special event – yes, the food!

The food you offer your guests is one of the most important elements to any celebration, get that right and your guests will leave with full bellies and a smile on their face!

We have come up with a list of useful questions to ask when meeting a potential kosher caterer and we hope that you find it useful too!

 Kosher CatererThe catering company

  • Check the references and testimonials of all caterers you speak to. How long have they been in business? What kind of simchas have they done in the past and what client feedback can they share with you?
  • How about up to date hygiene and food safety certificates? If they claim to have a Beth Din certificate, ask them to see their certificate or give the Beth Din a call to double check. A reputable caterer will ensure that this information is readily available to share with you.

Kosher mealThe food

  • Are you going for a relaxed buffet style function, or a more formal sit down dinner? How many courses would you like to offer? There are advantages and disadvantages to both, not to mention cost implications. Perhaps you are expecting a large number of guests and would like to offer more variety, in which case a buffet may be more suitable, or if it’s a larger gathering, a sit down meal will ensure no lengthy queues! Find out from your caterer the benefits of either format.
  • Does the caterer have experience with functions requiring tables moved during the evening? or if it is an outdoor Simcha in a marquee, are they familiar with the additional equipment that will require? Not all caterers have the knowledge or experience with functions that have out of the ordinary situations. If they are not experienced you may end up with additional expenses or issues arising that they do not know how to deal with.
  • Do not be afraid to ask how the food is prepared, stored and served. Make sure you are happy with the crockery they are using and the way in which the food will be displayed. If you are paying a premium you should expect freshly prepared food, not pre-packaged food or food that is re-heated on site.
  • Ensure they offer the option of a food tasting, whereby you can sample the dishes you would like to have on the menu, you can attend one of their other functions to see what the food would look like. The caterer should also be able to advise you on suitable beverages to serve along with your food options.
  • Leftovers! This is something many guests forget to ask about. It is often the case that leftovers are simply disposed due to health and safety regulations but if you would like to take leftovers home to enjoy, or you would like to share them out amongst your guests it is worth finding out from your caterer if that would be possible. So there are no misconceptions.

Kosher waiters The staff

  • Service is extremely important. Are staff/servers provided and if so at what point and how many? Do they speak English? Do they wear a uniform? The way the catering staff treat their guests will leave a long lasting impression, make sure it’s a good one!
  • Are the caterers familiar with your chosen venue? If not ask them how they prepare for the event to ensure your event goes without a hitch!
  • How many staff/servers do they provide for the number of guests? Usually you require 1 waiter between 2 tables to ensure a good flow of service.
  • It is important to know who will be dealing with your event. Is it the same person you meet at the initial stages, who will be overseeing your event on the day? If it is not the same person, what steps do they have in place to ensure all information is passed on to the event co-ordinator?
  • Are tips included in the quoted price or are these added on the night or after the event?

Kosher grilled salmon teriyakiOther tips

  • Ensure you communicate exactly what your budget is from the outset so that you are able to manage expectations.
  • Check that you clearly understand the difference between minimum and final numbers. So that you only pay for what you have agreed.
  • Ask potential caterers about the cutlery, crockery, linen, silverware, glassware, cake, centre pieces, waiters, and bartenders – be clear on exactly what is included in the price so there are no unexpected surprises.
  • Tip – remember to add event planners, musicians, entertainers, photographers and videographers to your guest list – you don’t want them to go hungry! You can ask for these menus to be at a reduced price!
  • Ensure there are no hidden costs such as travel expenses.
  • Find out about the cancellation policy – you never know if you might need it
  • Have everything documented in writing, cover yourself!

We hope this guide helps you when it comes to both choosing and working with your Kosher caterer.  We offer our clients a fantastic, affordable and comprehensive Kosher package that includes top class Kosher catering, breath taking centrepieces and an expert event planner who co-ordinates and ensures a perfect stress free function. We would be delighted to have a chat with you about your Simcha, feel free to give us a call on 07877 927 246 or 020 8905 2908 and if you would like to find out more about our kosher package.