Whether you are in a corporate event or a private party, food will always be its focal point. It can easily put people off or impress them. If you can’t cook and face a constraint in time, one of the best options available for you would be to engage the services of a caterer.
As simple as it sounds, though, engaging the services of a good caterer requires deliberation. Other than good food, price and service efficiency are key factors to consider when hiring a good caterer for your event.
This article aims to provide you with 5 important factors to consider when hiring a caterer in Singapore.
#1: Work out a budget Before Hiring a Caterer
Definitely, one of the top factors when one hires a caterer. Therefore, it is important to work out a budget first before making a decision. Have a look at the menu of the choices of caterers you have laid out. Most menus of various caterers are priced at per-person, serving to a minimum number of people dictated by them.
For example, 338 Catering offers various types of buffet catering menu options such as mini buffet catering and hi-tea buffet. Prices are ranged between $3.80 per person and $19.30 per person. With a calculated budget and an estimation of how many guests will turn up for your event, you will be able to select the menu most appropriate to your needs.
Caterers offer seasonal promotions as well. 338 Catering offers a variety of buffet selections during festive seasons, as an additional option with the existing buffet and mini buffet catering menus. You can take advantage of these seasonal cost-saving promotions for any event or party held during those periods.
Your budget should also cover extra charges as well. Take note of the price after the GST of each menu to be paid. In fact, most caterers would have indicated that in their menu. Other charges include transportation costs, cancellation fees, and last-minute order fees. 338 Catering charges a transportation fee of $48.15 (GST included) and $25 for every level in a location without lift access. Cancellation fees are charged at 50% of the total bill for any cancellation made before the event date and charged at full price for any cancellation on the event date itself.
#2: Quality of Service
Cost does not necessarily equate to quality. A good caterer distinguishes itself from others through the quality of service provided to customers. Caterers usually provide a complete buffet set up with tables, skirting, food warmers, serviettes, utensils, and trash bags. A good caterer will pay great attention to detail from preparing utensils and serviettes based on the estimated number of people for the event, presentation of the buffet setting to providing additional logistics needed for the event such as tables and stools. 338 Catering provides the option to rent tables and stools at an affordable cost for buffet catering menus.
Event organizers may have a busy schedule and so have little time to attend to such matters. Hence, it will be good to check if caterers allow for last-minute orders. 338 Catering, for example, does cater to such requests. This is, however, subject to availability and an additional cost of $25 for any orders less than 2 working days.
A good caterer will ensure that deliveries are made to customers on time and maintain contact with customers in the event of an emergency, order amendments and status as well as enquiries.
Flexibility is one of the defining traits of a good caterer. It will be able to meet the customer’s needs accordingly. After all, every event and party is unique in its own way. Clients may also have different dietary requirements such as vegetarian or food allergies. At 338 Catering, we put into consideration the nature of the event and allow for flexible buffet catering options. This could be changing a drink item to a food item for a funeral as drinks are already provided for by the casket.
An obvious show of a caterer’s flexibility is its ability to handle last-minute orders and amendments, such as accepting a customer’s request to change the menu to accommodate the increase of people in an event. Such tiny detail plays a part in determining whether the customer will engage the services of a caterer again. Therefore, it is important that caterers have the ability to handle these needs without any hesitation.
To many, food from caterers can be oily and unhealthy. With people becoming health-conscious today, some caterers are making the effort to adopt a healthier stance. This is why 338 Catering uses only the freshest and quality ingredients, rather than frozen and processed food, to prepare food for customers who make an order from us.
Consuming food with excessive salt and oil increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke as it reduces the blood flow to your heart and brain. According to a research conducted at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, people who consumed fried food in an average of 5 times per week increase their risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes to 39%. Here in 338 Catering, we ensure that our food is meticulously prepared with less salt and oil. This will give customers an option for a healthier catering choice among other caterers available in Singapore.
A good caterer is trusted and reliable to potential customers. The quality of service that has been given to customers cannot be substituted by the amount of advertising dedicated to promoting the catering service.
Word-of-Mouth reference is perhaps the best channel when sourcing for caterers. When this is done, it is most likely that existing clients of the particular caterer have had a good experience with its services.
You can also look at reviews, if any, that are available on the caterer’s website itself or on their Facebook pages such as this one and this one. This will help to facilitate your decision making regarding the caterers and the catering expectations.
If you want to be on the cautious side, you can look at reviews from external websites. Such reviews would give caterers an added credibility as these are done with less bias.
An example is Foodline, a local catering portal that allows you to view thousands of menus from different caterers and the promotions offered for the period. There is also a search function (shown above) that allows you to select from a variety of menus, the budget you have set for yourself, the number of people expected to be present and the event date. After this, you will be able to select from specific menus from caterers based on the search results.
Most importantly, you will be able to look at the reviews that were made by previous customers, broken down into the quality of food, service, and value. The “favourite dish” part may give you a clue as to figuring out the caterer’s popular dishes amongst satisfied customers.
Source: Kaviel Teo’s blog
Blog posts from prominent social influencers could also cut short the time-consuming search for a good and reliable caterer. Such blog posts are actually a lengthened version of a review. The detailed-oriented blog posts will give you a better understanding of the customer’s experience with the caterer and allow you to make a clear decision.