Everyone loves a catchy title, so I hope you appreciated this title alliteration. Speaking of catchy names, some of the caterers in the Okanagan have fantastic company names. The Foodlums and El Taquero both boast catchy names, and more importantly, offer exceptional catering for your wedding!
We decided to book the Foodlums after hearing overwhelmingly positive reviews on their food and their service. Regardless of whether you book one of these catering companies, or another awesome caterer that the Okanagan offers, there are a few considerations you should be prepared to discuss with your potential wedding caterer:
Buffet, Plated or Family style
There are pros and cons for each of these wedding meal styles. A traditional buffet is great for casual weddings, can be budget friendly, and allows guests to get up and mingle in the buffet line. Plated dinners are perfect for a formal wedding setting, allows guests to request an option in advance, and removes a wait at the buffet line. Family style offers a homey or communal style in which guests help themselves from dishes on the table. However, we learned that this would require larger tables to fit all of the serving dishes.
Be sure to inquire about whether tableware is included in the catering packages, or if plates and cutlery need to be rented separately? Following up from that, will their bussing staff collect the tableware when meals are finished? We were happy to discover that the Foodlums catering packages included cutlery and plates, so it was one less thing needed to be rented!
Final Guest Count
When does your caterer need the final guest count by? Unless you know your exact guest number months in advance, it is nice to have the flexibility to make changes to the final guest count even if last minute RSVPs happen.
If you will have young children at your wedding, confirm whether children are included in the guest count for catering.
Inquire about additional fees such as bussing staff fees, cake-cutting fees, or service, gratuity or travel fees for mobile caterers. This will save you the surprise later when you are given the final invoice. Speaking of that final invoice, be sure the catering provides you with a detailed invoice prior to booking so you have a solid understanding of what those various fees will be.
Check that the catering company you are considering has each of the following:
a business license
proper storage and transportation equipment
health permit and food safety
If all of these boxes are checked, you can breathe easier. You can also ask your caterer what happens to leftover food. The Foodlums offered us the option to keep any leftovers, or donate the leftovers to the Kelowna Gospel Mission.
If you are hiring a mobile caterer, and don’t have a commercial kitchen to offer the caterers, check whether your catering company will bring their own food holding space (ie. A food truck or van). You can also ask if they bring their own buffet tables and linens, or whether you need to rent that for them.
Do you have a cousin who is gluten free? Or an Aunt who is allergic to onions? Be sure to confirm with the caterer that they will make accommodations for dietary restrictions if needed.
Check the catering company’s reviews, ask for a list of previous clients, or inquire about a tasting. When researching caterers in the Okanagan, we learned that many catering companies don’t offer individual tastings, but will provide references or offer a group tasting once or twice a year. Either way get some confirmation that they provide solid quality of food and service.
Looking back at weddings I have attended as a guest, the food quality and quantity had an impact on my overall enjoyment. I can certainly recall the times that I felt hungry on the dance floor, and conversely the times that I LOVED the meal. Ask lots of questions and be confident about the caterer you are hiring – not only for your guests, but even more importantly for you!