Choosing a Wedding Catering Vendor – These Are The Questions To Ask

Choosing your wedding catering vendor is no small decision. After the venue has been selected and your guest list is underway, it is quickly time to determine not only what kind of food your guests will eat, but who will be developing a simply impeccable menu for your wedding.

The menu, including the quality of your food and the presentation of the meal, is one of the most important pieces in a wedding. While your guests will certainly remember the love that you will share and celebrate as a couple, the food can set the mood for the evening.

So, when it comes to selecting a wedding catering vendor, what are the key questions you should ask to determine if this vendor is truly for you? Having been in the business since 2003, we have been part of weddings of all sizes, with a variety of themes.

Here are the questions to ask when selecting a wedding catering vendor.


1. Do you have small print?

At Catering Visions we offer a variety of menu and a la carte options, which form the basis or starting point for more customized solutions. While we are upfront and transparent about our contract and agreements, it is important to ask your wedding catering vendors about their agreements. Is there small print that you should be made aware of? What about charges that happen before, during or after the event? Understand your agreement and your expectations of a vendor.

2. Can menus be adapted?

While your wedding is certainly about you, your guests will appreciate the finer touches. This means that the food menu must be taken into account for each and every one of your guests. Be it vegan, vegetarian, gluten free or otherwise, ensure that your selected vendor can adapt their menus based on guest requirements.

3. Where do your source your food?

One of the most frequent questions we hear is, “where do you source your food, be it locally or from elsewhere?We pride ourselves on offering high quality cuisine that is delicious and freshly prepared, always seeking to source local ingredients where possible.

4. How long have you been in business?

Working in the wedding industry means we have seen it all, from event planners to entertainment and everything in between. We always encourage our clients to ask questions from their selected vendors, to ensure they feel as comfortable as possible with their decision. An excellent question to ask from your wedding catering vendor is, “how long have you been in business?” Working with a long-standing company can help to ensure their breadth of experiences makes your day one to remember.

5. Can the catering staff adapt their attire to my theme?

If a black tie event is the theme for your big day, you will require your wedding catering staff to dress accordingly. An integral question to ask your selected vendor is if the catering staff can adapt their attire to your theme. Wearing casual khaki pants just won’t do on a big day!


Wedding catering companies are around every corner, so it is important that you choose a vendor who will align with your vision. These five questions above will help you decide who you should partner with for your big day. To learn more about Catering Visions, contact us here.


Catering Services For Your Event – Here’s What You Should Consider

When planning an event, there are so many decisions to make – from who to hire as your event planner, to where you will hold your event, to selecting your catering services and food menus. As such, we know that making these decisions can be overwhelming.

Looking particularly at catering services and food menus, we like to think that this is the most important decision you can make. After all, the food you present and menu you select can truly make or break the event!


When selecting your preferred caterer, there are key points we always recommend you consider.


Read online reviews

In this day and age, online reviews are more important than ever. From Google to Yelp, online reviews are truly the new method of referrals. When searching for catering services for your event, consider reading online reviews as you search through possible companies to work with.

Ask for an in-person or phone consultation

Consultations are important for any vendor with any event. We always recommend having a conversation with a company prior to making a decision as to who you will partner with. Why? Because in a consultation, you can determine whether a business will work with you in developing the best menu possible. At Catering Visions, our catering menus are not set in stone, though they will provide you with the framework to get started.

Search for photos

While the taste and texture of food at any event is important, presentation is equally as impressive. Search for photos on a search engine, on the catering services company’s website, or on social media. Do you feel inspired? Is it making your mouth water?

Determine – is customization possible?

Each and every event is different, whether corporate event, wedding menu, or simply a gathering of friends. As such, you might wish to customize your breakfast, lunch or dinner menu based on the nature of your event; therefore, it is important to ask your selected vendor if customization is possible.

Can your catering services company scale for small to large attendance?

As an event planner, you know that events can increase and decrease in attendance at the drop of a hat. Weddings, for example, can fluctuate. It is estimated that between 10 and 20 percent of those invited will decline, which leaves plenty of food for others! When selecting a catering services company, you should ask if the company can scale for small, medium or large attendance sizes. It is important to also ask when the company will require final headcount, as you should adjust your RSVP dates accordingly.

Selecting a catering partner to create the menu of your dreams, regardless of the theme or purpose of your event, can be overwhelming. After all, we know that there are plenty of companies in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley to choose from! When selecting your catering services partner, we encourage you to connect with us so that we can provide a consultation and review of how Catering Visions can partner with you for your next event.

5 Reasons Why Corporate BBQ Catering Will Compliment Your Next Event

Planning a corporate event is no small effort. Whether it is a leadership off-site event or a Spring BBQ for your entire staff, the logistics of invitations, location, menus and budget can become a part-time job for any team member. After years of partnering with companies in the Lower Mainland, we have seen the intricate details that go into every corporate event. So, when event organizers come to us for menu consultations, we often opt to recommend corporate BBQ catering options. Especially suitable for companies searching for a casual, yet delectable menu solution, corporate BBQ catering can be made simple with Catering Visions.


Here are 5 reasons why corporate BBQ catering will compliment your next event


1. BBQ menus offer something for everyone

One of the most challenging tasks of organizing corporate events is the menu selection. Inevitably, everyone has different and unique tastes, and also inevitably, there are allergies to be aware of.

BBQ menus offer something for everyone. From meat kebabs and salads to potato options and vegetables, corporate BBQ catering menus focus on simple, yet delicious options.

2. We have plenty of local selections

We are proud to live in an area that is so abundant with fresh produce, meat and poultry options. In the Fraser Valley, we have local, organic solutions for our sourced meats, and plenty of vegetable and fruit selections year-round.

Our BBQ menus are abundant with locally sourced products. We strive to use fresh and local ingredients, while working directly with local farmers and markets, wherever possible.

3. You can set-up different food bars

For corporate events, you need to offer attendees much more than just great food (although that is the focus, of course!) With BBQ menus, you might consider having additional food bars, such as mac and cheese, gourmet cheese and crackers, or charcuterie options. Setting up different food bars, especially as a late night option, gives your guests additional opportunities to snack on delicious food!

4. Our Rustic Estate BBQ menu is perfectly presented

In addition to enjoying delectable food, we are proud of the presentation for our Rustic Estate BBQ menu.

This menu is a popular selection for corporate BBQ catering as it provides a set menu of options. With our cocktail hour portion, guests can enjoy prawns, skewers and chicken satay prior to entering the main course, which includes sides and salads alongside New York strip-loin and salmon or chicken kebabs. Late night options are an excellent accompaniment after your guests have enjoyed a full meal with beverages and refreshments.

5. Corporate BBQ Catering can set the theme for your event

Corporate events, especially around the Holiday season or as a summer get-together, are often accompanied with a set theme. A BBQ menu often positions events as business casual, which helps your guests understand attire, purpose and positioning of the event. With corporate BBQ catering menus, your theme can be easily set and guests will be ready to enjoy themselves!

At Catering Visions, we offer many menu options for our clients, from corporate BBQ to traditional menus and custom solutions in between. With the Spring approaching us, we are getting ready for the weather to warm up and the BBQs to come out of hiding! To learn more about menus for your next corporate event, click here to connect with our team.

Bountiful Benefits of Buffet Catering

So, you have a major event coming up within the next year or so. Perhaps it’s a holiday soiree or maybe a business luncheon or even a wedding. And if there’s to be food involved, there’s no doubt that you’ve been thinking about the best options for your main meal.

When it comes to serving food at your event, you’ll have a number of options from which to choose. Many hosts are absolutely set on having a served, plated meal. That’s often the number one choice for a very formal event. Another option is to serve your main meal “family-style”, which includes placing large bowls and platters on the table for all to share. That can be a good option, depending on your food choices, and can be quite cost effective as well.

And then there’s the buffet meal. Many hosts view this as only an option for a more laid-back event, but the truth is that buffet meals can be quite lovely and can offer food that is equally as scrumptious as that which is served at a sit-down dinner. There are also a number of other wonderful perks associated with buffet catering and choosing this type of meal for your event.

  • Variety – With buffet catering, you can offer more foods and a greater variety of items as well. Buffets often include several entrée choices as well as many sides, salads, and more. And for dessert, buffet caterers can provide a huge spread of sweets that guests will love much more than that single ice cream parfait or slice of cheesecake. In addition, variety means there’s likely to be something everyone likes, which means less wasted food.
  • Portion options – With a plated meal, everyone gets the same amount of food, regardless of their appetites. With a buffet option, those with small appetites can take smaller portions while those who really enjoy eating can load up on their favorites. Again, the option to control one’s portion results in less waste.
  • Dietary restrictions – Buffets are an easy way to offer options to those with particular dietary restrictions. For example, most caterers will suggest that you have several vegetarian options as part of your choices and you may even want to include something like a gluten-free pasta and some gluten-free desserts on your buffet. This way, everyone can enjoy their meals together and no one will be waiting for their special plated vegetarian entrée to arrive.
  • Guests can mingle – With a buffet meal, guests do indeed need to get out of their seats to get their food. Some individuals might groan a bit about that, but it really is nice for your guests to be able to meet others at the buffet tables and enjoy a chance to chat for a bit before they return to their assigned table.
  • Cost – In many cases, the cost of a buffet meal is less than that of a sit-down option. For many who are hosting large events, that’s one of the most important considerations, so pricing should definitely be discussed with your chosen caterer before you make a final decision about meal styles and food selections.

A little bit of both

If you’re not totally sold on the buffet option for your wedding, party, or other event, maybe you’ll want to consider a meal that is a combination of plated meal and buffet. You might think about having plated salads on the tables for your guests at the beginning of the meal and then allowing them to partake of the buffet for their entrees and sides. Afterwards, you can do a plated dessert if you prefer, or offer a wonderful sweets spread buffet-style for your guests to enjoy.

Consult your caterer

Your caterer can provide you with a host of options for buffet catering, from very “fancy” foods for weddings and formal parties to options that are much more casual, including barbecue selections. Buffets are also available for breakfast and lunch events and can be a very cost-effective way to feed a large number of people at meetings or conferences.

Talk to your caterer for more ideas on buffet meals that will make your next event a memorable one.

Holiday Event Catering

It’s that time of year and you want to go “all out” for the holidays! You can just hear those sleigh bells ringing, you’ve written down all your party ideas, and you can’t wait to plan the perfect gala for your family and friends.

As a matter of fact, this is the one time of year when you let go of budget concerns and enjoy spoiling your guests with an extravaganza they won’t soon forget. And why not? It’s the perfect season for letting everyone know just how important they are in your life by providing them with a fun evening of holiday merriment, pulling out all the stops and offering your guests the best of everything.

Making Your Party Shine

What’s the most important part of your party? Some would argue that it’s the decorations. They are certainly integral to creating the holiday mood. You’ll want the best tree you can find, trimmed with lots of sparkling objects. Your yard, perhaps, will be decorated with Santa Claus, candy canes, twinkling lights, and more, setting the mood before your guests even enter your home.

Others would say it’s the music that’s most important. Perhaps some live music would be ideal. A pianist playing popular Christmas tunes, an acoustic guitarist, or maybe even some traditional carolers would be ideal for your soiree. Whichever you choose, music is sure to pump up the holiday mood.

And then there’s the food.

For many party throwers and party goers, this is the most important piece of the pie…or fruitcake. Seriously, how many people go to weddings, parties, and other events and then go home and comment about the food? Just about everyone!

That indicates, of course, that what you serve will be remembered the next day, though they might not remember what color Christmas balls you had on your tree or the last song the quartet sang at the close of the evening.

Planning that Magical Meal

So, let’s talk about the menu. It goes without saying, of course, that if this is your big party of the year you won’t be doing the cooking. Instead, you’ll be hiring a caterer and spending your time hobnobbing with your guests. That’s the way it should be!

That means, of course, that you only need to make decisions about what to serve and how to do it, and then you can leave the rest to a capable caterer who can manage all food-related issues including not only the food itself but also linens, tableware, and servers, if and when they are needed.

So, what’s the first step once you find a caterer you trust?

It’s deciding how you want to present the food (sit-down, appetizer stations, buffet, etc.) and all the particular of what you want to serve.

Many party hosts opt to go with buffet meals of some sort, simply because it’s the most adaptable to the space in your home. Unless, you have a huge room available for a sit-down dinner – most people don’t – you’ll want to stick with something a little less formal. If, of course, you can accommodate the
number of guests in attendance at your table(s), go for it! There’s nothing more elegant than a multi-course meal complete with holiday favorites or other food of your choosing.

If you opt for buffet, you can consider several options. For example, you may want to begin with served appetizers (here’s where the waitstaff comes in) along with champagne or other beverages and then transition to a buffet for the remainder of the meal, including desserts. Make sure, nonetheless, that there’s ample seating or standing space for those who are worried about juggling plates and drinks. You might consider bringing in small standing café tables where 3 or 4 can gather to enjoy their food.

At the holidays, a dedicated dessert table is always a nice idea. You can dress it up with fancy cookies and cakes as well as lovely decorations. Ask your caterer if they have experience in creating a dazzling dessert table that’ll wow your guests.

And what about the menu? Do you have traditional holiday favorites you’d like to include or would you like to go in a totally different direction? Do you have a theme in mind, like an Olde English Christmas or a Renaissance feast?

Whatever your pleasure, be sure before you hire the caterer that they are amenable to stepping out of the box and away from their usual menus. Of course, you might find that one of their usual menus is right up your alley, but be sure you discuss the menu in detail before you sign on the dotted line.

But remember…

No matter how elaborate your party and how fancy and delicious your food, it’s the people around you that count the most. You’ve chosen to use a caterer so that you don’t have to be stuck in the kitchen tending to the food. So, let the caterers do their job and trust their experience. If you’ve done your homework, you’ve selected a caterer you know will make your party one that your guests will remember for years to come.

It’s Not Too Early to Plan Your Holiday Party Catering Details

Yup. The holidays are coming. We bet you’ve gone into your favourite big box or department store in the last few weeks and witnessed rows of Halloween costumes, candy, and jack-o-lanterns on one side of the aisle and Christmas decorations and goodies on the other. After all, there’s only a few months left to plan for the latter while Halloween is practically here!

So, if you’re the type that makes a big deal about the December holidays, you’re probably starting to formulate plans – at least in your head – for fun get-togethers for friends and family members. It’s never too early to give some preliminary thought to what kind of party (or parties) you’d like to host this coming holiday season, and – of course – food is a huge part of any Christmas party, so the details of what you’ll serve should be given priority as far as planning is concerned.

Many party throwers are proud of the fact that they can do it ALL by themselves. Decorate, cook, plan activities. It’s a one-man-show for some happy party planners, but taking on all the tasks of a successful party can be taxing and stressful, especially at the holiday season when there’s simply so much to do.

But what are the alternatives? And how do you know if they’re right for your party?

To DIY or Not to DIY?

Why do party throwers often insist on doing it all themselves? Well, usually it’s a pride of accomplishment thing. It makes us proud to say we “did It all” with little or no help from others. Similarly, many hosts simply enjoy the tasks of cooking and baking, so they decide that they will plan an elaborate menu and start days before to get everything done before the first guest arrives.

Chances are we’ve all done this at some time or another AND chances are that we sat down when it was all finished and asked, “Why did I put myself through that?” Even those who like to cook recognize the difficulty of taking on the responsibility for all the party food as well as the other details of a well-executed holiday event.

Besides preserving our price of accomplishment, we often take on all this responsibility because we think someone else can’t do it as well as we do. We’re afraid that menus from party caterers will lack the originality we seek when putting together our own creations. We have specific plans in mind that we don’t think a caterer will want to tackle.

Truth is, however, that most catering businesses – at least, the good ones – are more than eager to sit down with you and plan a menu that matches your vision. As a matter of fact, chefs love a challenge and would be absolutely fine brain-storming with you to craft a holiday party that makes you proud to be the host.

If you take time to choose a quality caterer, you won’t get the dry chicken, the green beans almandine, the dinner roll, and the vanilla ice cream dessert that you’re normally offered at so many catered dinners. Far from it! When you choose to go with a party caterer that’s flexible and creative rather than succumb to the do-it-yourself option, you’ll still have plenty of choices.

So Where Do We Start?

It’s likely that you already have some ideas in mind for your party menu. That’s great! Maybe you’re thinking about an hors d’oeuvres party or perhaps a fancy sit-down dinner. Or maybe a large buffet is the ideal option for the huge gang you’re planning to invite to your soiree. Or perhaps you’re thinking about something else that you deem totally “out of the box.”

Having a definitive idea of what kind of menu you’re hoping to serve is the ideal place to start. You don’t need to have every detail planned, but an overall idea of which direction you’d like to proceed is essential before you start seeking a caterer for your party. Write down some details so that you can best convey your wishes as you meet with prospective caterers and bring those notes to your meetings.

When it’s time to start looking around for the perfect party chef, begin by searching the internet for catering businesses in your area and take a preliminary look at the kinds of events they offer. Do their sample menus show that they are pretty much stuck in a rut or do they demonstrate creativity and a willingness to be flexible? Does the company’s website copy include sentences such as “it’s your party and we want the food to be as unique as you” or “we strive to best compliment that special atmosphere that you are working to create”?

It’s sentences like those that indicate a prospective caterer is willing to listen to your wishes and isn’t stuck to a particular food style or menu.

Of course, it’s important to remember that you may need to be a little flexible as well. All of your ideas may not be suitable to party catering, especially with a large group, and a good caterer will tell you so and then help you figure out other options that will make you just as happy, resulting in a party full of joy and merriment.

And aren’t holiday parties all about joy? Oh, and food, of course!

BBQ Catering a Great Autumn Alternative to Traditional Menus

Aah, barbecue! Just think about it for a moment and chances are that, in your imagination, you can smell (and hear) those sizzling beef burgers, succulent ribs, tasty chicken, and all the mouth-watering side dishes that go along with a delicious BBQ meal.

Fact is that just about everyone loves a barbecue. It’s a down-to-earth, friendly meal that’s meant to be shared with friends and family, and the food that’s offered at such an event can range from simple burgers and dogs to more elaborate items like steaks and seafood. For many, barbecues are a highly-anticipated summer tradition and many foodies just can’t get enough.

At Catering Visions, however, we believe a great barbecue meal mustn’t be limited to the summer months. Fall is the ideal time for enjoying such a feast, so we offer BBQ catering throughout the autumn months for those who want to hold onto a piece of summer, even when the weather has turned a bit, along with the leaves on the trees.


A Fete for Friends

If summer got away from you and you didn’t have the opportunity to invite your best buds over for a meal and some camaraderie, it’s not too late. And, if you let an experienced caterer handle the particulars, you can sit back and relax and enjoy spending time with your pals instead of at the grill or in the kitchen.

Furthermore, the meal doesn’t need to be elaborate or expensive to make your friends smile. BBQ catering can be quite basic but still delicious, offering entrees such as those perennial cook-out favorites, juicy hamburgers and scrumptious hot dogs with all the fixins’. Add a few sides, such as potato salad, a green salad, fruit, and some sweet delights, and you’ll have a meal that fills the stomach and the heart.

Of course, if you want to move towards the slightly more elaborate, there are many more options beyond the burgers and dogs. Chicken is often a welcome addition to the menu, especially for those who prefer not to eat red meat. It can be simply seasoned and then grilled or can be marinated in BBQ sauce (or similar) for a zesty taste.

Want to go a step further? Take advantage of amazing local seafood and add it to your menu. It’ll be the highlight of the party along with perhaps some juicy, delicious steaks. You can spruce up the side dishes too, adding items such as Caesar salads, corn-on-the-cob, baked potatoes, baked beans, and more.

Companies that do BBQ catering have plenty of experience in customizing menus for their customers and they’ll be eager to sit down with you and come up with a selection that will encompass the tastes of all your guests, including vegetarians or vegans.


Corporate Cook-outs Rule!

In the summertime, a lot of companies deal with a “skeleton staff” because employees are busy taking time for their holidays. However, in the fall, everyone is back at work and it’s a great time to have a “welcome back” get-together where everyone can actually chat about what they did this summer! It’s an ideal way to kick-off a new project, give a jump start to a brand new fiscal year, or just to say “we appreciate you” and we want to show you how much.

Similar to barbecues you might have at your home, corporate cook-outs with food provided by a BBQ caterer can run the gamut from modest to quite extravagant, depending on your budget and/or the size of your company.

So, why a barbecue and not a fancy sit-down event at a restaurant or catering venue? Simple! Corporate BBQs encourage and allow much more interaction between individuals. Employees are not confined to a table with 8 to 10 people, where they are likely to stay for hours when the event is more formal. With an informal event such as a barbecue, there’s likely to be more moving around or you’ll find that many people will stand and eat, allowing them to go from co-worker to co-worker to get the scoop on their summer adventures and upcoming fall plans.


BBQ for the Bride and Groom?

An outdoor autumn wedding. They’re more popular than you might imagine. It’s a great time of year to be outside…and think about the wonderful pictures the photographer will take among the fall foliage and other greenery!

With an outdoor wedding in the pleasant early fall weather, there’s no reason to limit the wedding dinner to formal food in a big white fancy tent. Many brides and grooms these days opt for something a little less expensive and perhaps a little more rustic, and a barbecue could be ideal.

If the chosen reception venue seems suitable for a barbecue dinner, go for it! Again, those experienced in BBQ catering can recommend the right menu for your autumn wedding and perhaps even suggest a few foods that might match the time of year, like something made with everyone’s favorite fall gourd – the pumpkin.


Choosing a Caterer

So, if you’ve decided a cook-out might be the right choice for your next event, look for a company that has plenty of experience in barbecue catering…and don’t be afraid to ask them if you can do a little tasting and perhaps call some references.  A quality BBQ caterer can help you craft a sumptuous menu for your event and will take care of all the little stuff too, like set-up, serving stations, servers, condiments, napkins and tableware, breakdown, and anything else that’s needed to complete the event, whether it’s at your home, business, or elsewhere.

Choosing a Wedding Menu That’s Perfect for You AND Your Guests

The proposal is complete. The date is set. The bridal party is chosen. You’ve picked a restaurant or other venue for the dinner. So, now it’s time to think about the wedding menu.

What makes weddings memorable? Chances are that if you asked a group of 10 people what they remember about a particular nuptial, 7 or 8 of them will mention the food in some way or another. Usually, you’ll hear comments like: “The appetizers were amazing”, “My steak was too well done”, “The dessert table was divine” or “The chicken tasted like rubber.”

Indeed, guests remember a lot about the food served at a wedding – both good and bad, and they can often cite facts about dinner much more easily than about the details of the bride’s dress or what colors the bridal party was wearing.

Wedding food is important! It’s the meal we share as we celebrate the new couple, visit with family members, and make new acquaintances. That’s why it’s essential to carefully consider the wedding menu for your special day, taking time to choose a meal that’s right for both you and your guests.

Consider the Cost


If you’re like most people, you’ve planned a particular budget for your wedding and, certainly, the dinner or reception eat up the bulk of that budget. So, before you go looking for a wedding caterer, know your limit, if you have one.

An old adage talks about someone having “champagne taste on a beer budget.” That makes us chuckle, but it also rings true. It’s important to be up front about budget with your chosen caterer before you start talking about what’s available for your wedding celebration.

Specifically, think about the per person cost you can afford as that is how most dinners will be priced. Plan for extras, such as the cake or other incidentals. Once you’ve arrived at that number, then you can start chatting about what kind of menu fits your budget.

It may be that the best bet for your hard-earned dollars will not be a full sit-down or buffet dinner. Cocktails and appetizers might be all your budget allows. Or even just dessert. That’s fine, and you can still work with your caterer to make those hors d’oeuvres or sweets the best ones your guests have ever tasted!

Consider the Time and Place


Often, when and where your wedding will be plays into your menu choices.

Having a morning or early afternoon wedding? Then your wedding menu might be different than what you’d choose if you were having a very formal evening wedding. For example, you may opt for a light lunch menu or perhaps a brunch. A novel idea might be to have a “tea”, which will include items such as scones, small finger sandwiches, and tiny desserts. Guests will love it!

Fancy evening ceremonies tend to lend themselves to very formal receptions in ornate venues. For those kinds of weddings, a sit-down dinner menu with two or three entrée choices is often the way to go, but you can also opt for a buffet as well. Often, guests love buffets because they are offered a wider choice of foods. Some guests, however, rather not get up from the table to plate their own food and prefer a full-service meal. Either is fine for the formal wedding or you can compromise on the wedding menu and do a little of each, perhaps offering sit-down service for the salad and entrée but adding an ornate dessert buffet at the end of the meal.

Having an outdoor wedding? Many brides and grooms who want to be married outside often opt for a tent or tents when it comes time for the wedding reception. Under the tent, you’ll usually find a buffet, but a served dinner is suitable as well if that’s what the new couple chooses.

However, it’s also fun to think a bit out-of-the-box and perhaps plan something such as a “wedding barbecue”, especially if your wedding is rather informal. The caterer can offer traditional picnic foods such as hot dogs and hamburgers, chicken, ribs, and all the sides that go along with those finger-lickin’ entrees. You might be surprised at how much your guests will love this option!

Consider your Guests


Speaking of guests and what they enjoy…remember when you are selecting your menu that – while this is YOUR reception – it’s really for your friends and loved ones. Chances are – a year or two from now and maybe sooner – you won’t even remember what you ate at your wedding dinner.

So, when you’re planning a wedding menu, keep your guests in mind. For example, if you’re a huge fan of a certain kind of food – perhaps Thai or Mexican – don’t simply opt for a Thai or Mexican meal. While it’s perfectly fine to ask if the caterer can include one or two dishes from those traditions, if you’re feeding a diverse crowd, your selections should be diverse, too. While a taco bar might be fun, for instance, it’s a good idea to also include a well-prepared chicken, beef, and/or seafood dish for those who prefer to be not too adventurous or simply don’t like Mexican food.

You’ll also need to think about those with dietary restrictions, including vegetarians and perhaps guests who prefer to remain gluten-free. Ask your caterer what he or she can offer in those categories and make sure it’s just as delicious and interesting as your other offerings.

Choosing Catering Companies: Don’t Just Look at the Price

We’ve all turned to catering companies at one time or another for a special occasion happening in our life or the lives of our family. We’ve hesitantly (or eagerly) abandoned the idea of preparing all the food for our event in favour of turning the job over to the professionals and just sitting back and watching. For many, it’s hard to hand over the pots, pans, spatulas, and favourite recipes to others, while some of us see it as a huge relief that there’s someone else actually willing to do all the preparation and cooking!

Where do I begin?

So, you’ve thought long and hard about your options and you’ve made the decision to pass the reins to the pros for that anniversary dinner, wedding reception, retirement party, family reunion, or corporate event. That’s step number one.

But how do you proceed from there and how do you determine if a specific catering company amongst dozens of catering companies in your city or town is the right one for your event…and for you? What should you be looking for as you begin to whittle down the list of catering companies in your region? What characteristics are essential in a good caterer?


A catering company is more than just the owner. Or the chef. Or the servers. A good catering company is represented by a cohesive group of individuals that WORK TOGETHER to make events run seamlessly. That team works in tandem from day one to craft the event of your dreams.

How will you know whether there’s a good dynamic amongst the team members at a particular catering company? Often, you can see it from the moment you enter their location or when you talk to various individuals on the phone. You’ll sense the ease of communication from one team member to the other.

But if you’re worried that you’re not that astute, check with references who’ve used the company in the past. Ask them if one hand knows what the other hand is doing, so to speak. Check with former clients and find out how the event transitioned from an idea on paper to a real-life event? Did the owner/manager properly convey your wishes to the chef and other staff members? Were the staff members pleasant towards each other? Did they anticipate each other’s needs?

Sounds like relationship questions, right? Well, they are! You’re looking for a team with a good working relationship and, when you find it, you can be assured that working with that team will be easy for you, too.


When an individual has a passion for their work, you can usually bet on the chance that their job is well done. And, often, you can simply observe how that person exudes passion for their profession with just one meeting.

So, do you want a caterer who likes his job (or does it for the money), or do you want a caterer with a passion for food?

The answer is simple, of course, but it isn’t always easy to find catering companies that aren’t just going through the motions of catering your special event. You want one that truly knows and loves food and what they can do with it.

That likely means finding a catering company that’s creative with their menu. Creative not only means that they’ve shown you plenty of interesting options for your party, but it also means that they’re willing to step out of the box to come up with ideas that fit your wants and needs. Of course, limits will apply depending on the size of your affair, but the sure sign of a passion for food is the desire to manipulate it to create something wonderful.


Anyone can cater a party or other event. Perhaps you’ve had offers from your close friend who loves to cook, your aunt who’s been hosting family events for the last 40 years, or your neighbor who wants to “get their foot in the door” by cooking for your next special event.

You may be tempted. But – remember – certain special events only happen once in a lifetime, so don’t you deserve the best? What you need for your party is a team of individuals who are specialists in the field of catering. Why? Because they’ll leave no stone unturned and won’t drop the proverbial ball.

They won’t run out of appetizers. They know how many are required for a party the size of yours.

They won’t forget the cream and sugar for the coffee or the mustard for the hot dogs.

They’ll provide beautiful linens and elegant tableware, not plastic tablecloths and cutlery.

Specialists of any kind boast a wealth of experience in their field, and catering companies who are specialists have developed a reputation for being good at what they do. They’ll see that everything is done well from start to finish, from preparation to clean-up, and you’ll walk away happy that you chose them.

But how will you know if someone is a specialist? Ask! Dig around on their website. Look for information about how long they’ve been in business. Search for client testimonials. Request references. That’s all an essential part of making the right choice and being happy with that choice.

Remember, the lowest priced caterer isn’t necessarily the right caterer, even if you’re worried about your budget. Consider the characteristics above COMBINED with the prices offered to choose a caterer that makes you, your guests, and your wallet happy.

Breakfast Catering

Breakfast Catering Feeds More than the Stomach

When you were a child, chances are your mom or dad repeatedly told you how important to was to eat breakfast. Maybe even your teachers stressed the importance of that first meal of the day. After all, it’s been proven that starting your morning with a healthy meal not only satisfies your hunger but also gives you extra energy and stimulates your brain, getting you ready for the day ahead.

If you’re like many adults, however, your good breakfast habits may have started to dwindle as you got older. Many high schoolers, for example, depart their home in the morning without eating breakfast, losing out on that meal because they slept through their alarm and are running for the bus. Many adults in the workforce tend to disregard the importance of breakfast too, opting instead for a quick cup of coffee, a pastry, or perhaps a piece of fruit they can eat in the car or on the train.

That’s too bad. Breakfast really is an essential meal…and an ideal one to share with colleagues or friends, whether at work or elsewhere. After all, it’s a meal that feeds not only your body – which is hungry after a long night’s sleep – but also your brain. And, besides, it’s delicious!

Corporate Breakfast

Mornings aren’t for everyone, but research shows that the a.m. hours are a good time for serious tasks. Author Daniel Pink, in his book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, says that mornings are best for focusing and analyzing, including working with others, while afternoons are made for looser, free-thinking tasks.

That makes breakfast the ideal meal for companies that want to get the proverbial think-tank going. A good meal, shared by colleagues, is not only perfect for networking but might also be a great way to get the ideas flowing in a friendly, non-threatening atmosphere.

Group Breakfasts

Similarly, sharing breakfast with others who are members of an organization to which you belong can be fun and productive as well. For example, enjoying a group breakfast with other volunteers, not-for-profit board members, women’s clubs, men’s organizations, or any other group of which you are a part, adds not only a social aspect to membership but also provides time to discuss goals and dreams. Such a discussion over a tasty breakfast every so often also offers a rare opportunity to get to know one another outside of meetings and other more formal settings.

Catered or DIY?

As with any group meal, breakfasts can be organized by the host company or organization itself or a caterer can be used. It’s a matter of preference, but it’s good to remember that organizing such a meal can be a time-consuming task and, often, that time is better used on other things.

By hiring a caterer who offers breakfast options, you’re not only saving time but you will also be assured that everything will be done correctly and completely, and there won’t be any need to assign tasks such as picking up food and drink, purchasing tableware, and buying centerpieces to employees who – usually – rather not have that responsibility.

A breakfast caterer does it all, from helping you plan the menu and choosing food options to supplying the tableware, linens, and all the condiments needed. It’s all inclusive! The caterer does the set-up, break-down, and everything in between.

Hot or Cold?

Everyone’s idea of breakfast is a little different, so options are good!

Breakfast catering can include a “continental” menu, which would feature items such as fresh baked goods like muffins, croissants, and pastries, as well as fruit, juice, and coffee/tea. It’s simple and involves little set-up.

Most caterers who specialize in breakfast also offer hot options, which might include trays of steaming hot scrambled eggs, a variety of scrumptious breakfast meats, potatoes, and some cold items as well. Another good choice for a group morning meal is breakfast sandwiches, which usually include egg, meat, and cheese on a muffin or bagel or in a tortilla wrap. Yum!

Continental breakfasts are lower in price because they require less preparation and can be an excellent option for the company that wants to offer a meal but has a limited budget. Hot breakfasts cost a little more but are generally lower in price than lunch or dinner, making them a money-saving option in general.

What’s the Occasion?

While you don’t need to be marking a special occasion in order to schedule a group or corporate breakfast, sharing the morning meal is indeed a good way to celebrate landmark moments for your company or organization, such as:

  • Meeting or surpassing company goals
  • Welcoming a new executive
  • Celebrating a notable anniversary
  • Marking the retirement of a long-time employee
  • Kicking off a fundraiser or other special event
  • Celebrating Christmas/Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, national holidays, or even the start of summer

Choosing a Breakfast Caterer

Sold on the idea of a corporate or organizational breakfast? Great! Next, you’ll need to find the right caterer, so look for one in your region that has a reputation for good food, offers a good value, and is flexible and will work with you to create a breakfast that fits not only your needs and wants but also your budget. Ask friends and colleagues for references and be sure to check those references before you hire the caterer in question.