Questions to Ask Your Nashville Catering Company

Here are all the things you should ask before you book your Nashville catering company.

Your Nashville catering company contributes so much to your wedding or event. They can help coordinate the timeline for your reception and what food is served at dinner time, and the wedding cake! Here are some questions to ask them before deciding who you want to work with.

Does the Nashville catering company have a license to operate?

This means they are licensed to serve food for events. It also ensures that their food is being prepared in an approved way and meets all health department standards!

Does the Nashville catering company have liquor liability insurance?

If your guests imbibe a little too much, leave your event and get in a car accident, then they might sue you for damages. Liquor Liability Insurance will help protect the person serving alcohol at an event from being sued by people who are injured due to intoxication.

Does the Nashville catering company have good reviews on WeddingWire and The Knot?

Reviews on trustworthy online platforms can tell you what you may not find out by talking to the caterer. You’ll get insight as to what other wedding couples liked and disliked about this Nashville catering company. Check out reviews on The Knot, WeddingWire, Google, Yelp, and even Facebook.

Is the caterer working on other events on your wedding date?

Every bride wants to make sure their event is unique and gets all of the attention it deserves. You want to be sure that if your catering company has any other parties happening, they’re not stacking too many things into a day or weekend so you can get what every bride needs – a great reception!

Does the caterer specialize in food types, such as non-GMO, organic, locally sourced, ethnic, dairy-free, or gluten-free?

If you’re seeking a specific type of dietary need, you should seek a Nashville catering company that can accommodate you and has experience. You want a catering company that has the right resources and skills to prepare your cuisine correctly. You wouldn’t ask a BBQ-style caterer to prepare a vegan menu, would you? 🤪

Special dietary restrictions in a catered meal can be difficult to accommodate but are becoming more requested. If your family and friends need to have a cuisine that matches their dietary needs, you’ll want to discuss this with your caterer. However, it may cost more to accommodate special dietary needs. You’ll have two options: either cut back elsewhere or find another Nashville catering company who will work with you.

P.S. – A Catered Affair is happy to work with your dietary needs or preferences for your menu.

Does the catering come with full service? 

If you’re working with a Nashville catering company, they hopefully have full-service catering – meaning they provide more than just the food. They must also offer table settings, wait staff, and bar services for you to enjoy your feast!

P.S – A Catered Affair offers full-service catering.

What’s the average price range per person, and does the caterer offer different packages?

A good portion of your budget will go to food, so take some time to weigh your options when choosing a caterer carefully. How many appetizer, side dishes, and entrée choices come with your desired package? Are costs itemized depending on what you choose, or is it an all-inclusive package? Many Nashville catering companies will provide you with a sample catering menu and have tastings available sometimes throughout the year.

When does the caterer need finalized menu choices?

The grapevine will be buzzing with gossip about your wedding and who is going, but make sure you know when to get your cater your final headcount! This will help them ensure that they have all the ingredients ready for your big day.

Will the caterer make meals for children and wedding vendors?

Food isn’t just for your guests, but your most valuable assets – such as professional photographers and DJs must get fed too! The last thing you want is hangry vendors. And if you’re hosting a kid-friendly reception, plan for those too. Depending on the caterer, they may charge you half price or total price or incorporate it into your overall headcount.

Does the caterer provide wedding cakes or dessert, and if so, is it included in the price?

Some wedding caterers can bake up a fabulous confection, while others should probably be on Netflix’s “Nailed It”! If you’re not sure about their cake-baking skills and can’t find any reviews, ask for past examples of what they’ve done before deciding whether or not to hire them on your own.

PS – A Catered Affair makes amazing wedding cakes, macarons, cupcakes, and other sweet treats!

Will the caterer provide tables, chairs, linens, plates, napkins, and salt & pepper shakers?

If they don’t have them, rent them, or if your venue doesn’t offer these services, you’ll need to rent them yourself. Even if they do have this equipment, make sure that it’s up to par with what is expected from a high-quality event service provider.

PS – A Catered Affair does provide these items to you included in your cost.

Will the caterer provide waitstaff? How many are included in the package? What’s the fee for additional waiters?

Top caterers always use their personnel, even if the wedding venue’s staff is available for hire. This is because they know the ins and outs of how their catering company operates, so they’re better able to provide you with seamless service. Logistically, you’ll want about three waiters for every six tables for a sit-down meal.

PS – A Catered Affair provides waitstaff for your event, and we also are the exclusive caterer for Legacy Farms, a Nashville wedding venue. 

What will the waitstaff wear to my event?

You want to make sure the staff dresses appropriately for your wedding style. You don’t want the waitstaff running around in casual clothes if you’re having a black-tie event!

Does the caterer provide drinks, and what sorts of packages do they offer? How do they charge (by consumption or per person)?

Some caterers or wedding venues will charge for bars based on a set fee per person. They’ll note how many people there are and then bill you that amount. If you are charging by alcohol consumption, it can get complicated because bottles come in different sizes, so someone has to keep track of all those numbers and measure out from each bottle into cups.

How many bartenders does the caterer provide in their package? What’s the cost to hire extra staff for cocktails?

Ideally, you have four cocktail waiters per every 100 wedding guests and one bartender per 50 attendees. The additional service will incur an added charge, so take note of this before committing to anything!

How do delivery and set up work? How much time does the caterer need to prepare food? Where can they park/drive onsite so there won’t be any traffic issues or safety concerns? When does it make sense for the caterer’s crew to arrive at the site?

These questions are essential because they are all relevant to your wedding venue timeframe, and you want to make sure there aren’t any unforeseen circumstances. Most knowledgeable Nashville catering companies that have hosted many weddings will let you know what they need and be communicative to you as well as your venue. 

Where will the caterer prepare the food? Does your venue have an industrial kitchen?

When you’re in the planning process for your big day, it’s essential to consider whether or not the venue will be able to meet all of your catering needs. For instance, if a caterer has specialized equipment that they need access to during their set up at your wedding location – like an oven or stovetop with specific burner types – and the venue doesn’t have a kitchen, they’ll need to bring special equipment onsite. This can cost extra.

Does the caterer have any extra charges, such as a security deposit? What about sales tax or service fees? Are also expected gratuities?

It’s always best to plan with things like this so that an unexpected charge doesn’t end up costing more than it should. And if there are additional fees, do they need to be paid at the time of booking? If not, how much would one expect in terms of tips on average per person throughout their stay? Make sure to get everything cleared up with your Nashville catering company before you book.

How does the caterer arrange the food?

Whether you’re ready to start planning your wedding or just looking for a caterer, the dishes’ presentation must be appetizing on both the buffet and plate. The more time-consuming portion of this process comes from finding photos of previous productions by potential catering companies present at weddings in similar circumstances as yours. If you want to save some time, ask the catering company! It may seem like an insignificant detail now, but these details will make all the difference when everything else has been perfected!

Will the caterer set out our place cards and menus that you put together?

If not, you’ll need to enlist whoever is going to help with these wedding details. They can follow instructions (and an example photo) on how they should be displayed at your reception for a beautiful presentation!

Who will be the brains behind your wedding day? Will it be the same caterer that you used throughout planning or someone else? What would happen if they’re sick and unable to show up on time for service (or at all)?

Ideally, whoever is in charge of catering services during organizing should also oversee them through execution. If this person isn’t available, they should have a suitable replacement in mind from the company.

Weddings are a huge deal, and the food is one of the most important aspects to consider.

A wedding caterer is the most important person at a wedding. They’re responsible for making sure everyone has enough to eat, that there’s food appropriate for all tastes and diets (vegan? gluten-free?), and that everything looks appetizing. It’s best to plan ahead when it comes to hiring one; don’t wait until you get your venue or finalize what kind of menu you want because catering prices can vary dramatically depending on how long in advance they book them.

When you’re looking for a caterer for your wedding, you need to be sure that they can provide what you want while staying within budget. It’s not just about getting great-tasting food – it’s also about making sure that everything is delicious and beautifully presented. We’ll talk more below on how to choose the right caterer for your event!

In order to find the best catering service, you should start by asking friends and family members what their experiences were with different caterers or perusing online reviews. Next, look at menus of various providers who meet your needs – be specific about budget, location (nearby?), cuisine preference, etc. Then contact three potential candidates for an in-person meeting so that you can ask them questions face-to-face before deciding on one.

The key is finding someone reliable who has experience working within your budget range across all sorts of wedding styles while providing excellent customer service to ensure your big day goes off without a hitch! Once you’ve narrowed down potential candidates based on these criteria, reach out and talk to someone about available dates (the sooner you book, the more likely it is that your first-choice venue will be available), pricing (it’s always a good idea to ask for an estimate of what catering at your event might cost before booking), and service.

The first thing you need to do is decide on a location (venue). There are several things you have to think about when picking out your ideal venue; if it’s going in your backyard or at someone else’s property then you won’t really need much from them other than tables/chairs etc.

If you’re looking for a rental place, then you need to make sure that they have the right space with enough room for your guests and their own tables/chairs. You also want to be sure there is plenty of parking around-it’s possible this might not always be an issue depending on where you live but it’s worth checking beforehand if at all possible.

If catering isn’t included in what you are renting from the venue, now would be a good time to find out how much your outside caterer will charge per plate. Be aware that many venues will require some sort of set-up fee as well so don’t forget those costs! Some places will include tablecloths and napkins too which can save money; others may offer disposable dishes or silverware, so be sure to check about this before you sign any contract or you may have some more cash to fork out.

Food Allergies

If there’s anything specific about food allergies or dietary restrictions in general from any guests attending your wedding ceremony…you should double-check with both the restaurant/catering company as well as their staff on how prepared they are for handling this type of situation. You might also want to include a section on your wedding website RSVP form that asks about dietary restrictions, needs, and preferences so that you have all of that information on hand for the caterer.

The Contract

You should also read the contract carefully to make sure that everything is spelled out. If you’re catering from your home, then there are going to be additional considerations: guests will need a way of getting to and from the house (either by providing their own transportation or arranging for it), they’ll have limited access to food other than what’s being served at dinner time, etc…so these kinds of factors can impact how much food you need on hand as well as if alcohol service needs to be included in addition (or instead) of meal service. We recommend asking all questions before signing anything!

Your Budget

This is a question that I get asked a lot and so it’s worth covering in detail – your budget. Have they provided services within your price range? It’s important this information is given upfront because catering companies have been known to hide some costs, such as transportation, cake cutting fees, and more. You don’t want to find out about that down the road!

Food Style

What style of cuisine does your budget allow – French, Italian, American, BBQ, Southern cooking, Middle Eastern, etc.? These are just some things you’ll need to consider when looking for and booking a caterer.

This will help narrow down your options and if there are any special requests (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.), this should be noted from the outset. Note that some catering companies offer menus with a range of different dietary needs in mind so it may not require much more input on your part aside from letting them know.

If they’re serving dishes such as pork or beef which need to be prepped separately due to religious restrictions like halal or kosher then these meals would also need separate cooking spaces while still adhering to health code regulations…so make sure walkthroughs happen before ordering! There’s nothing worse than an unhappy bride because of a food mishap that could have been avoided!

Catering Style

The type of food and beverages served in a catered event can vary depending on personal preferences as well as cultural norms. For example, weddings typically have both hot dishes–such as chicken or beef entrees–and cold dishes such as crudité platters with dips. Buffet-style events often provide guests with a variety of options while sit-down dinners may only offer one dish per course like soup or salad followed by fish or steak but not both. Each person should also consider their dietary restrictions

You want to be sure you have enough staff on hand for the service. It’s good to do a test run with your caterers before the big day so that they can see what needs extra attention and what may not require as much help-it’s better if things are figured out in advance! They should also provide servers, bartenders or waitstaff (especially if you’re serving liquor) and someone who will oversee all of this.

The last thing is food; make sure there are plenty of options available at each station. You don’t want anyone getting hungry because it was too difficult to find something they liked, plus people like variety when eating from a buffet line – who doesn’t love a buffet line, anyway?

The caterer should be able to provide:

-Staff for service (servers, bartenders, waitstaff)

-Person overseeing all of this AKA your point of contact

-Plenty of options available at each station. The caterer should also make sure there is variety in the food offerings so no one gets hungry and people can enjoy what’s on offer! There will always be a difference with buffet lines but it’s better if they’re not too long or too short because nobody wants that hassle. You want people to have fun, right? As well as enough seating space for everyone after their meal.

-A clean workspace. There are a lot of people who will be eating the food so it’s important to make sure the caterer is able to keep things tidy and safe!

-Some kind of variety in drink options would also be great! Whether that means beer, wine, or spirits — they’re all good choices for making your wedding guests happy on their big day.

Additional Points:

It’s worth noting there are plenty of other services that you may want to factor into how much money you have available, though this list should cover off most requirements when choosing a caterer for your wedding. As well as what else might not be included in these costs–like tables and chairs, tablecloths/linens, silverware, eco-friendly plates, decor and more.

The time of year can also have an effect on the cost of your caterer, as well as how many meals they will need to prepare. For example, a winter wedding would call for warmer food than say, a summer one.

Additionally, it’s worth considering whether you want help with serving or carving – or if that is something you and your partner are happy to do yourselves! If not then this may be another factor in deciding what level of service to go for when choosing who to cater your event.

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