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Photo by Dmitry Sidorov: catering

How to Select the Best Catering Partners for Your Social Events

Whatever you’re planning, whether it’s a milestone birthday party, a bar/bat mitzvah, an anniversary celebration, or a holiday party, you’re going to need delicious food at your event. And New York City is full of brilliant catering partners with incredible menus and event service experience. But it can really be hard to narrow down your catering selection, especially if this is your first time planning a big social event

EMRG Media curates hundreds of social events every year, each with great catering partners. And we know more than a thing or two about choosing the best-fit vendors. So, here’s a best practices list to follow in choosing the caterer that your event needs to be spectacular.

Read the Reviews

Put together a top ten list of catering partners you’d like to work with first. You can find NYC pros with general search engine results to get started. And with your top ten roster, begin diving deeper online, reviewing the caterer’s website, social media presence, and reviews. Don’t be swayed by the random two-star – even the best caterers will likely have one or two negative reviews. But spot those with rave reviews and recent events. Use this process to narrow your list and create questionnaires to follow when you do finally reach out to potential catering partners to meet.

Inquire About Experience with Similar Events

When you speak to prospective caterers, ask a lot of questions, including inquiries about past similar events. If you’re planning a retirement party, find a catering company that has experience with retirement parties. Look for other similarities, too, like those who’ve worked with your venue before. Having worked with your venue before, you’ll know the caterer is familiar with the venue setup and preparation areas. Also, ask for verified references and call those references to confirm past experiences.

Sample the Menu

When you start exploring the menus of potential catering partners, ask for samples. Schedule meetings where you can taste the appetizers, side dishes, and main courses, especially if they’re new dishes for you. And when you’re coordinating the menu options for your event guests, be mindful of special dietary needs, vegan selections, or allergy requirements.

Desserts and Drinks 

Before choosing a caterer, be sure to discuss desserts and drinks. Some caterers focus primarily on dinner service and appetizers, not offering desserts or drink options. You might decide to work with a bakery professional for event desserts and a mixologist team for bar service instead. Just don’t presume your caterer will do all of the above.

Take the Hassle Out of Choosing Catering Partners with EMRG Media

Choosing the right catering partner for your New York event can be challenging. And instead of trying to vet your own event vendors, you can trust the team at EMRG Media to handle all your event planning coordination! We will work closely with you, every step of the way, to better understand your event vision and dynamics. From there, we’ll assemble the best event services partners, including caterers, entertainment, venues, and more! Connect with EMRG, and let’s start planning your memorable NYC event!