– The questions to ask! –
Your wedding caterer should do far more than just cater at your wedding. If required, could they supply the tableware and stock the bar etc? So how do you narrow down you list of potential caterers, and once you do, what questions should you ask before you book them?
Does the caterer have a catering licence?
Why you want to know : this means the caterer has met local health authority standards (always good!), and carries liability insurance.
We are registered as a mobile caterer with Teignbridge district council. We have a 5* rating, the highest possible rating!
We are fully insured with Public & Products Liability cover of £5 million.
Can the caterer provide testimonials from previous clients?
Testimonials can tell you what you may not find out just by talking to the caterer, including what it’s like to work with this company or individual. Get at least two references who had a similar number of wedding guests and reception menu style.
We have all testimonials on our website here TESTIMONIALS for all weddings and parties that we have catered for.
Is the caterer working any other weddings or events on the same weekend or same day?
Sometimes, caterers will stack two or more events onto the same day. This doesn’t have to be a deal breaker by any means, but you want to be sure that if the caterer does have other events, your wedding will get the staff and attention it deserves.
We only ever book one wedding each day so that we can give 100% commitment. We never overstretch ourselves.
Does the caterer specialize in certain types of food, such as organic, locally sourced, ethnic or gluten-free?
Why you want to know: If you have a particular type of cuisine in mind, use a caterer who specializes in it. Not only will they have all the right resources but the caterer will also know how to properly prepare the food, meaning better and tastier results.
We source our paella ingredients within 10 miles of where we live. Our paellas are all gluten free, lactose free and nut free. We are also registered with Caeliac UK. We work to keep our carbon footprint as small as possible.
Does the caterer work with fresh, not frozen, food?
We work with fresh ingredients…. our canapes, starters and main courses are freshly prepared along with the vegetables and meats. Our desserts are all made fresh but sometimes frozen ready for service.
Does the caterer offer a 'plated service'?
Why you want to know: This just means that the caterer, in addition to food preparation, will handle everything from the table settings to bar service and clean up. What’s included depends on the catering company and the packages they offer. If it isn’t full service, you’ll have to find (and pay) additional staff.
We offer both options, we can provide a buffet service where your guests come to us for their courses, sometimes table by table or altogether (we can rapidly serve up to 200 guests), or we can offer a ‘plated service’ where our waiting staff take care of everything while you and your guests relax.
What's the average price range and does the caterer offer packages?
Why you want to know: A good chunk of your budget will go to catering, so take some time to carefully weigh your options when choosing a caterer. How many starter and canapé choices are offered? Most caterers include starters or canapés, main and dessert, plus coffee service.
We offer a whole range of starters, canapés, paella’s and desserts, including many gluten free choices.
When does the caterer need finalised choices?
Why you want to know: Your caterer needs to know your menu choices by a certain date so they’ll have all the ingredients ready to go for the day of your wedding. Decide on your RSVP date based on when your caterer needs a final head count.
Because we only use fresh ingredients, we do not need to know final menu details and numbers until around a week before your wedding, this gives you plenty of time to decide.
Is the caterer able to prepare vegetarian, gluten-free and is there an additional fee?
Why you want to know: A caterer may be willing to work with special dietary restrictions, but it could mean additional costs. If offering a special meal to certain family and friends is important to you, but the caterer’s fees are hefty, you might have to find room from elsewhere in your budget or look for another caterer.
We offer gluten free choices for every course, along with Vegetarian / Vegan paella options too. We will work with all dietary restrictions.
Will the caterer make special meals for children and what does the caterer charge for each?
Why you want to know: If you’re hosting a child-friendly reception, plan for those too. Depending on the caterer, some could charge you half of the normal guest meal cost while others could have you paying full price.
We will happily feed the children for close to half the price of the adult prices. Our menu’s show the seperate price per child.
Does the caterer offer tastings before being hired?
Why you want to know: Reading reviews of a wedding caterer is one thing, but you’ll need to taste the food yourself to be sure. Definitely opt to do it beforehand if possible—it will allow you to make an informed decision.
We also cater at many Music Festivals, Carnivals, Air Shows, Regattas and Food Festivals throughout the South of England where you can try our paella. Alternatively we can organise a tasting for serious enquiries.
Does the caterer provide wedding cakes as well?
We do not provide wedding cakes but we do know some serious contenders for you to consider, depending on your location. Please ask.
Can the caterer provide tables, chairs, napkins etc. Are they extra?
Why you want to know: If a caterer doesn’t outfit their events with these necessary items and your wedding venue doesn’t have them on hand either, you’ll have to rent them yourself—which can quickly add up.
We have great arrangements with one major South West hire company at great prices, so let us know what you may require.
Will the caterer provide waiting staff?
Why you want to know: Top caterers say they always use their own serving personnel, even if the wedding venue’s staff is available. They know the ins and outs of how the company operates, so they’re better able to provide seamless service. You’ll want about three waiters for every six tables for a sit-down meal.
Waiting staff are included in our ‘plated service’ prices. We usually provide one waiting staff for every thirteen guests, which ensures swift service. We can add more or reduce depending on your choice.
What's the fee for additional waitresses/waiters?
We charge £9 per hour for each additional member of staff, we also charge for a minimum period of six hours for each one. The £9 goes to the staff, we pay well and in return have a great team to provide a seamless service.
What will the caterer and their staff wear?
Why you want to know: You want to make sure the catering staff dresses appropriately for the tone and style of your wedding. If you’re planning a formal black-tie wedding, you might not want waiters in polo shirts.
All of our waiting staff wear black. The men wear black trousers, shoes and black shirts, the women wear black knee length skirts or trousers, black shoes and black shirts.
Does the caterer provide a bar, and what sorts of packages do they offer?
Why you want to know: The bar can be a big cost so give it some extra attention. There are usually two ways caterers (or wedding venues) charge for bars: either by set fee per person or by the amount of alcohol consumed.
We will happily run a bar that you organise, whether it be a ‘free’ or ‘paid for’ bar. So please ask if you would like us to do so!
We will charge £9 per hour for each member of staff needed to run your bar. We would recommend one bar person per 50 guests for a speedier service.
How many bartenders are included by the caterer? What's the caterer's fee to hire extra?
Why you want to know: Ideally, you should have one bartender for every 50 wedding guests to make sure your guests aren’t hanging around with empty glasses. Additional staff will cost extra so factor in that cost.
We can help with the running of a bar with our existing waiting staff when advised in advance and as long as it does not affect our own catering service, we can also offer bar staff at £9 per hour, with a minimum period.
How do setup and breakdown work? How much time will the caterer need to set up? When will the caterer need access to the wedding site?
Why you want to know: You need these details in order to coordinate with your wedding venue and determine a time when your caterer can start setting up. You also need to know how much time the caterer needs for cleanup, because some venues may have a restriction on how late staff can stay.
We prefer to set up a day before wherever possible, but if this is not possible then we would like to be able to access the site wellbefore service. We will chat with you about a suitable arrival time. We will stay until clean up is finished.
Where will the caterer prepare the food?
Why you want to know: If the caterer has to bring in equipment, there may be an additional fee. So before you decide on a company, make sure you know what type of facilities your wedding venue has and the potential obstacles this could pose for the type of caterer.
We prepare our food on site, we can either work from our own gazebos at the back of the venue or otherwise from the kitchen where available. We will work with you on the most suitable solution.
Will the caterer set out the wedding place cards and menus we created?
Why you want to know: If the caterer says “no way,” you’ll need to enlist the help of your wedding planner or coordinator, a family member or friend to deal with these wedding details.
Should you require, we can set out the wedding place cards and menus but require clear instructions (and even a photo) of how you want them displayed at the wedding reception.
Does the caterer have extra charges, service fees or gratuities?
Why you want to know: Any extra charges from the caterer are going to affect your bottom line, so it’s best to know ahead of time to plan for it.
We make no other charges apart from the very clear ones given at the quotation stage. You will get no sudden surprises or shocks!
How does the caterer arrange the food on the buffet or plate?
Why you want to know: Presentation is everything, and even the most delectable dish can seem unappetizing if poorly presented by the caterer. You’ve put a lot of time and effort into all of your other wedding details. This should reflect in the food as well.
We offer various serving options, from our slate effect platters, silver serving trays, condiment dishes, popular porcelain range and glass cake pedestals, all of which are of a high quality. We can hire any particular requirements you may have too!