How Far in Advance Should I Book My Caterer?

May 19, 2020 10:23 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Planning big events can be tricky, and one of the most important things to consider is timing. This is particularly important when planning a wedding, but any large event usually requires advance notice to ensure availability and to confirm any important menus or details.

On the other hand, catering companies can and often do cater large events on just a few weeks’ notice, but this can include rush fees and might not allow for the exact menus and services you desire. In general, it’s always better to plan ahead and book your caterer well in advance. Here are our best tips for when you’re looking for catering in Fresno, CA:

  • Book six to 12 months in advance whenever possible: While many caterers are capable of pulling off large events in very little time, if you want to guarantee their availability, it’s best to book six to 12 months in advance. This is particularly important if you’re planning a wedding or other event where there will be multiple vendors to coordinate, such as photographers, florists, audio/visual crews and planners or coordinators.
  • Know how many guests you expect to show up: Talk with your caterer about what kind of guest numbers you expect, and find out exactly when you need to get them a final head count. Most caterers will need to know this at least a week in advance, and depending on whether significantly fewer guests will attend than on the original proposal, adjustments to price and menu may need to be made. Make sure you understand your caterer’s policy in this regard before you sign any contracts.
  • Discuss a backup plan in case more guests attend than expected: Of course, the other common problem event planners deal with is when more guests attend than RSVP’d. If you have any indication that this might happen before the event, let the caterer know right away. Otherwise, caterers are experienced at determining how much food to prepare for the number of people on the guest list, often preparing more than needed in case some people eat more than standard portions. In some situations, this extra planning may be enough to cover a few uninvited guests.
  • Consider what kind of service level you’re looking for: The type of food service you require will also affect whether your catering company in Fresno, CA can easily accommodate extra unexpected guests. If you have a buffet-style meal, it will be much easier to add extra food for extra mouths to feed. On the other hand, a synchronized banquet requires much more coordination and precision, so extra guests can throw a wrench into your carefully planned event.

In short, it’s easiest to get your RSVPs ahead of time—and make it clear to your guests that anyone who hasn’t responded to you by the deadline might not get fed. The team at Karsh’s Catering in Fresno, CA is adept at planning for surprises and is happy to make adjustments for your event—call us today to discuss menus and get started planning!

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