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Questions to Ask Your Caterer

Whether you're planning to have your caterer come to you, you're choosing a venue that is BYO Caterer or you're simply exploring a new venue and chatting the chef, you're bound to miss out a few pertinent questions, so we've compiled a range of them here for you to pick and choose the questions that are most relevant to your choice of caterer.


  1. Can we see a range of sample menus and prices?
  2. Can we see some pictures of your work?
  3. What can you provide within our budget?
  4. Can you cater for guests with special dietary requirements?
  5. Can we have a taste test of the food?
  6. Are there any extra costs i.e. glassware, linen etc.?
  7. Is there a minimum charge?
  8. Do you require a deposit?
  9. What is your refund / cancellation policy?
  10. What happens to our deposit if you close down the business?
  11. When do we need to pay the balance?
  12. When do we need to advise numbers?
  13. Do you have the necessary food preparation licenses?
  14. Could you tell us about a wedding you did where something went wrong and how you handled it?
  15. Do you specialise in a certain cuisine or type of menu?
  16. Where is the food prepared? Do you bring it ready-cooked or do you need the kitchen?
  17. Do you take care of the cleaning / washing up?
  18. When does the menu need to be finalised by?
  19. How will your wait staff be dressed?
  20. For buffet meals, how often will food be replenished?
  21. How long do you serve food for?
  22. Can guests help themselves for as long as they want?
  23. How many wait staff will we have? (Rule of thumb: 1 per 16 to 20 guests for a sit down meal or 1 per 25 for buffet or cocktail receptions.)
  24. How is the cost of beverages calculated?
  25. How is usage confirmed?
  26. What brands will be served? If they offer house wine - Can we taste it?
  27. Can we bring our own beer, wine etc. and will there be a corkage fee?
  28. What alternatives to alcohol do you offer?
  29. If we arrange a cash bar, what prices will be charged?
  30. Do you provide a bar person? When will they be staffing the bar?
  31. Are you familiar with this venue? Will you confirm kitchen facilities, clean-up rules etc.?
  32. Who will be responsible for any problems, breakages etc.?
  33. (If they are coming to your venue) - How will you transport and store the food?
  34. Is the price quoted guaranteed for our wedding day?
  35. Do you organise the cutting / serving of the wedding cake? Is there an extra charge for this?
  36. Can you provide boxed meals for us both to take away with us? (You might be so busy chatting with your guests or extra nervous that you may miss the meal).
  37. Who will be there on the day making sure everything runs smoothly?

Beverage requirements

(based on 100 people)

  • Champagne - 48 bottles
  • Wine - 100 bottles
  • Dessert wine - 17 x 375ml
  • Beer bottles - 200-300
  • Punch - 5 bottles of spirits + 60 cups of mixers
  • Non Alcoholic - 50 litres
  • Canapés - 200-300
  • Full canapés - 1200 – 2400 for 2hr party

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