Monday, November 30, 2009

The Caterer

A caterer can be a godsend for a large party. Costs vary widely, depending on how elaborate your menu needs are, the kind of help you need, and the time of your party. Night hours are more expensive, as are prime-time occasions, such as New Year’s Eve.
Many caterers require a retainer of half the amount of the food costs. This payment is an assurance that you won’t back out at the last minute. Tip caterers’ employees unless a service charge is added to the bill. Otherwise, give the head waiter 20 percent of the total bill to divide among the workers. If you’re not familiar with the caterer’s work, make sure you see his or her equipment and taste the food before you sign a contract. And make sure the contract specifies that payment of the bill will depend upon fulfilling the contract. If possible, ask if you can peek in on a party the caterer is doing. Many catered parties are so big that a brief visit can pass unnoticed.
Keep in mind that communication is vital when it comes to making catering arrangements.
Whatever you leave unclear is bound to go wrong.

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