4 Questions to Ask a Caterer Before Hiring Them 

When choosing a caterer for a reception, corporate event or party, you can’t be too careful.

The catering company you select for your event will prepare and serve a variety of food and beverages for your guests. Although it doesn’t happen often, the careless handling of food during preparation and storage could make your guests sick. Likewise, purchasing ingredients from questionable sources can also result in substandard fare or, worse, food-borne illness.

By asking potential catering companies just a few basic questions, you can make an informed decision that will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises.

choosing a caterer

No. 1: Where Will the Caterer Prepare the Food?

Catering companies must prepare their food in a commercial kitchen facility that has been inspected and certified by the county. They cannot prep in a residential kitchen or anywhere that doubles as sleeping quarters.

This helps ensure that the company complies with all governing safety standards and regulations.

Unfortunately, there are many would-be caterers out there who operate outside the guidelines, potentially putting you and your guests at risk. As for a tour of their commercial kitchen if you suspect this may be the case.

No. 2: How Does the Company Hold Food at the Proper Temperature?

Transporting food from the prep kitchen to your event venue requires the caterer to hold the dishes at the proper temperature for safety. They must also use containers and implements certified by NSF or ANSI.

Most important, however, all food must be stored and held at the proper temperature (hot or cold) based on health department regulations. Be sure to ask any potential caterer how they will ensure your food is never subjected to potentially risky conditions.

No. 3: Does the Caterer Have a County Health Permit & Safety Certification?

The Utah Department of Health enforces food safety regulations for caterers as well as restaurants and other venues that serve food to the public.

Catering companies must have a Certified Food Protection Manager and all staff must have food safety training and a valid food handler’s card. The company must also have a county health permit for the facility in which they prepare their food.

No. 4: Does the Company Carry Catering Insurance?

No matter how competent and careful a cater may be, sometimes things happen that are beyond anyone’s control. If that occurs, you want to be sure your caterer has insurance that will cover the damages.

When you ask a potential caterer about their insurance coverage, specifically inquire about their liability and E&O (errors and omissions) policies.

Catering liability will cover injury accidents that may occur during your event and that are the catering company’s fault. This is the policy that insurance you and your guests if, for example, one of the servers drops a knife and it accidentally stabs someone in the leg.

Errors and omissions coverage is typically the policy that will apply to incidents of food contamination for which the catering company has fault.

Brown Brothers Catering has been serving clients in Utah for almost a decade, for weddings, receptions, corporate events and parties. We have established a reputation for excellence and we are licensed, bonded, insured and certified, to give you the peace of mind you deserve for your event. Contact us today to see why we are the Salt Lake City area’s preferred cater.