Choose a Caterer

Katlyn Graham:  Hello. I’m Katlyn Graham here with Steve Woodman, the co‑CEO and owner of Woodman’s. Welcome, Steve.

Steve Woodman:  Thank you, Katlyn.

Katlyn:  Thanks for being here today. Summer is on its way. A lot of people are thinking about summer clambakes and barbecues, but they need to choose a caterer first. We’re discussing how to choose the right caterer. You’re an expert in this field, Steve. What should I consider when I’m choosing a caterer?

Steve:  There are quite a few things that you can consider while choosing the right caterer. A caterer, you want to make sure has a good reputation, has been there for a long time, has a list of clients that you can call and contact to see how you’ve done. That’s one way of finding a good caterer.

Another one is, listen to what the caterer is saying. When you call, do they actually answer the phone? When they do call, do they take you through step‑by‑step process of what your event’s going to be like, so they can inform you of what’s going to happen that day?What we’re going to do? Explain everything in detail what it’s going to be.

Are they willing to taking the time to talk to you and explain all that and let you know what’s going to happen?

Those two tips right there are the big tips because they take time, they take experience, they take someone that really cares about their customer to make sure they know what’s coming so they can actually enjoy themselves and realize what’s going to be done.

Can they do everything for you? Can they do, not only the food but have great help and a great presentation, but can they set up other things for you, whether you want to have a dance floor, tables and tents, have a bar set up, or whatever? Can they do that all for you? You may not want it, but we can offer these services for you.

Katlyn Graham:  Check references. See the caterer’s references. Talk to them. Do they take the time to explain everything, really focus on your event?

Steve:  Every event is different, even if it’s going to be a clambake, it’s going to be at a different place and whatever so, it can be little nuances to different areas of the country, different cities, what needs to be done. We have all that experience knowing what city has different types of things that you have to do when you have a party.

There are different offices that we may have to contact to let them know and whatever. We have all that experience because we do clambakes all over New England. We’ve done them in all the major cities, and small cities and towns everywhere.

Katlyn:  So definitely professionals. Sounds like planning is really key when you’re choosing a caterer. Give yourself lots of time and time to talk the caterer.

Steve:  That’s right. Call up. Ask questions. Have questions yourself and see what the answers are. Like I said, with the experience of the] caterer you’re talking to on the phone, they’ll probably come up with different scenarios for you to let you know what’s happening and what to expect.

Katlyn:  So you can enjoy the event. How soon before a party would you recommend contacting a caterer?

Steve:  It would be great if we could get a month, two months, ahead of time, but sometimes things happen so fast or something’s happened.

We’ve had calls from people that need a party right away, and I mean in four, five, six, or seven hours from now. With the people that we have on staff, we can get things going. We have done them in that short time.

We can’t guarantee it’s going to happen every time, but if we have the expertise, we have the manpower around, and we have enough experience around, that we have pulled those off before.

Katlyn:  Gosh, who left their party to four hours before? My goodness! You don’t have to name names. That’s OK. [laughs] Thank you, Steve, so much for explaining this.


Photo credit: Thoth, God of Knowledge / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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