Two steps you should take before your catered event takes place

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If a catering company will be providing the food for an event you're planning, you should take these important steps before this event.

Do several sample menu tastings

A lot of catering companies will send their clients sample menus, which are simply printed lists of the meal options that these people can choose from. It is best not to pick the food for your event based solely on which meal descriptions sound good on the sample menus your caterer provides. Instead, you should arrange for your caterer to do some menu tastings.

The reason for this is that it is not always easy to tell what a particular dish will taste like after reading a relatively brief description of it on a sample menu. For example, two caterers might prepare a vegetarian chickpea curry in two different ways (whilst still using the same ingredients), which will result in each of these curries having a different flavour profile. If, for example, one caterer roasts the chickpeas before adding them to the sauce, this will result in them adding a smokier and more intensely nutty flavour to the dish than if they had used unroasted chickpeas.

By tasting samples of the dishes you're interested in including on the menu for your event, you can find what these dishes taste like after being prepared by your particular caterer and thus ensure that you know exactly what to expect when you select a specific meal. Furthermore, doing this tasting session will give you a chance to have the caterer tweak certain dishes to suit your food preferences. For example, after tasting their roast potatoes, you might want to ask them to add extra rosemary to them because you happen to love the taste of this herb.

Visit the venue with your caterer

After booking a caterer, you should meet up with them at the venue a week or two before your event. This will give the two of you a chance to familiarise yourselves with the venue's layout and ensure that the caterer knows which entryway to use and where the kitchen is located when they and their staff arrive at the venue for the event. This is important because if the caterer does not know their way around the venue and the building happens to be very big and maze-like, there is a chance they could get lost when they arrive for the event, which may cut down on the time they then have available to prepare the food.

It is best to organise for this visit to take place after you have finalised the menu, as when you have done this, the caterer will know exactly what type of cooking equipment they will need to make your food. This will mean that when they visit the venue's kitchen, they can make a list of which of the required pieces of cooking equipment this kitchen already has and thus avoid bringing any duplicates of these items with them when packing up the catering supplies they need for your event.

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