Holiday Party Planning: How to Hire the Caterer

Yum Yum Chefs co-founder Vanessa Cantave tells you how to avoid holiday party hiccups

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It’s that time of year! Time to plan your holiday party and entertain colleagues, clients, associates and friends. Good times for sure; but undeniable pressure when you look at your long list of to-dos. During this hectic season, you want to know that those you’ve entrusted to make the evening a success are indeed the best for the job. And outside of the venue, the menu will be the cornerstone of any special event.

To make sure you contract the right caterers (and avoid any holiday party hiccups), we asked Vanessa Cantave, executive chef, co-founder and managing partner of Yum Yum NYC, what key questions you should ask any potential caterer:

Can you work within my budget? “It’s important to share your budget with a potential caterer,” offers Cantave, “so they can determine quickly whether or not they will be able to meet your needs.” It also gives you parameters in which to work.

What is included in the catering budget? “Some full-service caterers may also take care of rentals, florals, service staff, etc.  Find out what’s included so you can make an informed decision on pricing. One caterer may appear more expensive, but actually handle multiple aspects of an event.”

Do you specialize in any particular cuisine types? “Your potential caterer may do certain foods very well so find out if there is something you might also enjoy!” Determining a cuisine can also help you shape your theme for the event.

Can you offer me a tasting? “If you are working with a lesser known caterer or just want to be certain the food will be to your liking, request a tasting. Some caterers charge a nominal fee for the tasting, but may waive this fee if you decide to book your event.

For more holiday tips, read…

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