Selecting a caterer can be among the most expensive aspects of planning any event. You don’t want to hire just anyone and you’re probably not going to be running to the local gourmet deli plainview ny to do the work yourself. But you also don’t want to pay through the nose just to ensure that your event goes off without a hitch where the food and drink are concerned.
Let’s help you avoid that, here are the five things you should be doing to reduce the costs of your catering at your next event. Think of it, that’s money you can put towards other important facets of the event to make sure it’s a memorable party for all involved.
1. Compare Costs
Whether you have a caterer that you normally use or you’re shopping around for someone reliable to handle your affair, you want to do the same thing any responsible party planner would do – shop around for the best price.
This will require you to do a legwork and conduct thorough research into the choices that are available in your area. Compare rates and services, find out who has a discount or promo code, and read up on customer reviews touting the best chefs and food experts who are willing to work with you.
2. Pick Your Date Carefully
Depending on the type of event you’re putting on, you may be facing the challenge of putting that event on during the “season” for such events to take place. Whether it’s a wedding or a corporate event during an annual convention, there is going to be a higher rate associated with these types of shindigs, because they are “in season”.
If you are able, try to set a date that isn’t smack dab in the middle of the common time frame for an event of this type to take place.
3. Negotiating the Best Deal
Everything is negotiable when you are hiring the services of a caterer. Ask what menu items can be substituted for others that will fit better with a lower budget or discuss how you can reduce expenses with respect to the size and scope of the menu.
This isn’t to suggest you should do everything on the cheap – remember, you get what you pay for – but there are deals to be made with catering companies who truly want your business. It might be a little tougher to negotiate for those “in season” events, but perhaps you can strike up a multi-event deal with the caterer to keep that company locked in for repeat business in the future.
4. Booze Costs
Here’s a helpful tip, never let the caterer bring the alcohol. The markups are tremendous and that means more money in their pockets, which is coming out of yours. Get your own booze from a local liquor store or a Costco. As for the bartending staff, you can put together your own group and probably pay them a whole lot less than having the caterers do it.
5. Fewer Staff
Speaking of staffing up, when the caterer has less work to do you end up paying them less. So, consider going buffet style with your food at the event. That way you don’t need to pay for servers, busboys, and the like. The caterer sets out the buffet and cleans up after. That’s it. Let you guests do the work and they’ll enjoy it.