- If you haven't hired this particular caterer before, check references.
- When speaking with a caterer, explain the price range of your food budget, which is the amount of money you want to spend on food, drinks, and catering divided by the total number of expected guests.
- Clarify that your budget must include beverages, catering staff, tables and chairs, cleanup, etc.
- Verify that the caterer will provide three percent more meals than the number you guarantee.
- Ask for three menu options in your price range, including a vegetarian option.
- Events scheduled between 5 and 7 pm should include a meal or heavy hors d’oeuvres, both hot and cold.
- Events after 7 pm may include a heavier selection of sweets.
- Review the regulations for the Sale and Use of Alcoholic Liquors on the Urbana-Champaign campus.
- If you serve alcoholic beverages, offer non-alcoholic options as well.
- Confirm that the caterer will serve decaffeinated coffee as well as caffeinated coffee.
- Block time to meet with your caterer to confirm details, incuding when they'll serve, whether it’s okay to bus tables during the program, etc.
- Check with the caterer on linen colors, type of china to be used, centerpieces, and flowers.
- Sensitivity to cultural and religious dietary restrictions is imperative.
- Buffet meals are less expensive than meals served by a wait staff .
- Decide whether to charge for meals. Units that have charged for either part or all of the costs have found it hasn't had a negative impact on attendance, and has cut down on the "no-show" rate.
Next step: Printed Materials