These are just the top ten questions to ask your Caterer.

Do you have all the required licenses and certificates?

In the state of Minnesota a license is required for the sale of any edible substance. This ensures that the Department of Health inspects the kitchen to find its conditions are satisfactory to be licensed. All food must be prepared in a commercial kitchen approved by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture/Health. Also, all food establishments must have one person on staff that is a certified food manager. This ensures that proper sanitation, food preparation and overall food safety are being practiced.

What type of food do you specialize in?

If you are looking for a particular style of food this will determine whether this caterer is going to be the correct caterer for you. It also helps you determine the types of meals to sample during the consultation. Sampling chicken parmigiana when the caterer specializes in filet mignon may not live up to your expectations. Keep an open mind and see what they have to offer, or what their signature dish is.

What made you begin this profession?

Their start-up story will tell you how passionate they are about cooking and how much they enjoy creating dishes for people.

Do you have a liquor license?

By having a liquor license this allows you one less visit to another vendor just for liquor. It also makes sure their staff is trained in knowing when people should be cut off from liquor and when to properly card for alcohol consumption. Is there a corkage fee?

What equipment do you provide?

Do they provide tables, chairs, salt and pepper shakers, linens? Will they arrange to coordinate with renting these items or will you have to rent these items. Ask for a list of items that are included in the meal for equipment. This will give you a good guideline on what is still required.

What is your staffs dress attire?

Knowing how the staff is going to dress is important. If you are having a casual wedding and the staff is dressed in black tie affair things may look a little off. This just confirms that everyone is on the same page with the style of your wedding.

When is the final headcount due?

This helps in planning when final budgets are due and when to start calling people for their non-RSVP.

Who is the contact person and will they be present the day of the wedding?

The person you have worked with in organizing your meal plan should be there the day of the wedding.

Will the caterer work any other weddings?

If they are working another wedding that weekend what is the size of the wedding? Is there a number of people they typically serve before they quit taking orders or is it based on the number of weddings. You want to make sure they are spending enough energy on your wedding to make sure the food is cooked and presented properly. Use your instincts on how they respond to see if they are competent on doing more than one wedding a weekend.

Do you offer tastings and consultations?

This should be something the caterer provides.