What Your Caterer Wants You to Know

Having just been voted the number one city in North America, the number two city in the world and having been named a top destination for weddings, the event business is thriving in Charleston. When it comes time to start planning, the team at Duvall Catering and Events hopes you’ll keep us in mind in a city with lots of service providers ready to help with your event. The specialties vary widely – from simple (and economical) drop-off BBQ or comfort foods, to companies that can produce high-level cuisine, and even recreate your favorite restaurant offerings.

Here are a few tips to get maximum performance from a caterer, and the best possible event:

  • The relationship should be a partnership.  You communicate your vision, your caterer helps with enhancing it (and sometimes bringing you back to Earth), and the end result is hopefully something that makes you want to sing our praises.  Communication is key.
  • Your caterer needs to know your event budget.  We will respect it, and help you get the most for your money.  Having Mercedes taste and a sub-compact budget is not a problem.  We are trained to find your hot buttons, and give you as many of the important components as possible on your budget.
  • We want you as a return future client, as well as your guests to think of us next time they’re planning. That said, we will not sell you food for 75, when you have 100 “light eaters and drinkers” expected.  We want us both to look good.
  • Saturdays in April, May, and October are not bargain days.  The more you can move your event to Friday, Sunday, and especially a slower month, the better pricing you can expect from your caterer and other providers.
  • Caterers come in a wide variety of prices for a reason.  Chances are that a more expensive option results in everything being made from scratch, in house, and the “bargains” involve opening cans and heating up pre-made frozen options.  You have a right to ask for details.
  • Your caterer is not an on-site restaurant, preparing one item at a time. We will propose event menu items that we know can be offered at high-quality, in sometimes challenging environments.  The best caterers can produce foods that will make your guests think their meal has been prepared to order, but the reality is that 300 is not the same as a 2-top.
  • There is no such thing as a perfect event.  You are hoping for one that is so close that you and your guests think it is perfect.
  • Your caterer cannot answer the question, “How much does a catered event cost?”  There are many factors that are affected by location, logistics, and many other factors.  Be prepared to answer a few questions that will allow for these things to be calculated.
  • Communicate with your caterer, and you can have a fabulous event, with your expectations met, and on your budget.  

We also asked our team to give some of their most candid responses to what they want you to know and here are their answers:

  • You catch more bees with honey than vinegar! We love working with kind brides and will go out of our way to earn them as clients.
  • I am not in the office 24/7. Work life balance is key, and we devote a lot of time to being onsite with our current clients.
  • Read through your contract multiple times. Be sure that you know the times, conditions, menu, and details listed.
  • There are quite a few dos and don’ts that come with tastings. We love doing them but be courteous of the team that just put together an entire specialized sampling for you.  
  • Trust us! You hired us to for a reason. Let us help you have a successful and delicious event.
  • Don’t stress about sticking to the suggested planning timelines published in bridal books. They are not always accurate and can cause unneeded anxiety!