Selecting the menu for your event is more than deciding what you like in that moment. It needs to reflect your style, the type of event you’re hosting, and the season. Here’s what you can expect when you meet with your caterer for a tasting.
You’ll Need a Couple Hours
You’ll be evaluating and discussing each item you place in your mouth, so if you want to get past the appetizers, free up some time in your schedule for the tasting. Your caterer will likely have arranged several options of each course prior to the meeting, so you want to allow plenty of time for honest feedback.
Expect to Talk About More than Just Food
You’ll discuss more than flavor combinations – your caterer will want to know the details of your event, your overall style, and how you want your food to be plated or served. The food needs to be in line with the nature and design of the event. Lobster and oysters may be a great option for a formal rehearsal dinner, while a buffet-style barbecue is more appropriate for a casual backyard wedding.
Don’t Be Shy About What You Don’t Like
Caterers want to know what you like, so provide as much feedback as possible. Is a dish too salty? Too sweet? Not enough sauce? Be specific so they can adjust the dish accordingly. This is your opportunity to say exactly what you want.
Meanwhile, you should also be paying close attention to food quality and presentation during your tasting. Is the salad fresh? Are vegetables crisp and brightly colored? Are breads soft and chewy? Bring up any quality concerns to your caterer now.
Come Hungry, But You Don’t Have to Clear Your Plate
Although the caterer will only be making small samples of each dish, there will be more than enough for you and your spouse-to-be to fill up. It’s better to come hungry than partially full, otherwise you’ll start feeling uncomfortable by the time you get to dessert. Still, don’t feel like you need to clear your plate. Unless you want to, one or two bites of each item is adequate to make your selections.
You May Not Be Able to Sample Every Menu Item
The goal of a tasting is to have a finalized menu for your event and to accomplish that, narrowing down your options first is a must. If you taste everything on the menu, you’ll only end up feeling overwhelmed by choice and it will end up being more expensive than you’d like. Chat with your caterer prior to the tasting and select a few choices for each course. If it’s a seated dinner, you will most likely be asked to select several starters and three entrees.
You May Need to Sign a Contract
Most caterers will let you taste the food before signing anything, while others may request a signed contract before handing out samples. Even if a contract doesn’t need to be signed, you can expect to make an upfront payment for the cost of food and services for the tasting. It’s a good idea to get the details before booking.
New England Award-Winning Catering – Choose Your Custom Menu
For your next event, let the catering team at The Essex Room handle your menu. Contact our expert caterers at 978-768-2559 today to discuss your event and together, let’s start creating your perfect menu.