Navigating the Catering Taste Test

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Providing a client with a tasting prior to their wedding reception is one of those catering topics that can be a little hard to navigate. While most caterers will agree that no one should expect their caterer to provide them with a tasting, it’s also important for clients to really have a grasp on the kind of quality and presentation their caterer can deliver. So how do clients and caterers meet in the middle??? At Chef’s Market, we’ve got a strategy that balances out the needs of both the business and the bride!

Bite Sized Hors Doeuvres

Before we set anything in stone, we always begin with an initial meeting between the client and a member of our catering management team. This ‘no strings attached’ meeting gives everyone the chance to get to know each other without the pressure of having to immediately commit. We listen to the client’s likes and dislikes, their vision for their event and the budget they’re working with for food. After this meeting, we give our clients the chance to sample our restaurant menu. This is a great way for them to view our food and taste it as well.

Mini Club Med Salads

So much of what we offer in our restaurant can be incorporated into a reception menu and it’s one of the reasons we like our clients to try a little of everything during their sample tasting. Fresh salads like our Wild Rice Orzo, Corn & Avocado Salad and Club Med Salad, turn into bite sized hors doeuvres with a few tweaks and additions and classic comfort foods like Macaroni Alfredo, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Potato Casserole are continually popular at receptions. We find that sampling our menu helps people visualize not only their menu but also their reception has a whole. Even if what is tasted in the restaurant isn’t what goes on the menu, it still gives couples an overall idea on quality and what they can expect from us as their wedding caterer.

After booking with us and placing a deposit, couples who feel strongly that they need to try items from their selected menu are given an in house tasting and are then able to sample the food that will be at their wedding reception. However, we often find that clients leave their first meeting so satisfied with what they’ve tried in our restaurant that they are comfortable booking with us  and don’t require a second tasting!

Every caterer will have a different approach to tastings, one that works best for their company and their clients. Our goal has always been to provide couples with an amazing experience from their first meeting with us to their last bite at the reception and our tasting process is just one small step in getting there.

What are your thoughts on catering tastings?

Genna

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3 thoughts on “Navigating the Catering Taste Test

  1. Genna,

    As a fellow caterer, I completely agree – this topic is always challenging — when the bridal magazines are telling brides that they are entitled to a tasting – that makes for lots of conversation on how that fits into the planning sessions.

    I think you did a great job of outlining a win-win situation!

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