April 10, 2012
Hosting a dinner party? Ask the expert.
When the party's all set and the only thing missing is the food, don't just grab a Yellow Pages directory and book the first caterer on the list. You might want to know if you're going to be serving to a large number of people, including yourself, on something more reliable than a business name or a cute ad. Truth is, there are a lot of other factors to consider when you're thinking of getting a caterer.
Herword.com asked Flavors on Fire owner and executive chef Michelle Adrillana, to impart some words of wisdom on the topic. As someone who has been in the catering business for a while now, Chef Michelle was more than willing to outline the factors to consider, especially to those who don't even have an idea where to start.
Background. A good, not to mention basic, starting point is the business's background. While fraudulent catering services rarely make headlines, Chef Michelle pointed out that a basic background research—such as the company's history, profile, contact information—will do you good.
Client base. For Chef Michelle, knowing the client base of a catering business should assure you of its credibility and will give you an idea of its regular market, too.
Services. Not all caterers offer the same set of services. Some might have services beyond merely providing food while some might that go only to that extent. Chef Michelle advised that it's best to know the extent of the catering service that you're getting (and the supplier is willing to deliver) to avoid frustrations or failed expectations later on.
Reputation. When getting a caterer, take time to read through their client feedback and ask around if any of your friends or acquaintances has had any experience with the caterer. Chef Michelle said that reputation is very important especially if you want your guests to be fed properly and as best as possible.
Cuisine. It's also mandatory, said Chef Michelle, for you to find a caterer that will meet your preferences and your lifestyle. Some catering services are flexible and willing to whip up a variety of food choices, but some follow only a strict menu. It's best to establish the kind of food you want to serve early on, the chef said, because doing so will immediately trim down your [caterer] choices, saving you time and effort.
Rates. Of course, Chef Michelle said it's always practical to know if you are booking a caterer that you can afford. The Flavors on Fire owner suggested that you weigh your options and go for the one that provides the tastiest food without breaking your budget.
Flavors on Fire is a catering service created, owned and headed by Chef Michelle Adrillana. For inquiries, call (632) 340-8947 or visit their website at www.flavorsonfire.com.