Here at Vanilla Bean, we know that the key to hosting any truly memorable event is to create a great atmosphere. There are plenty of ways in which you can do this. From choosing the right venue to selecting an amazing theme, a lot of planning can go into pulling off the perfect event! However, we think that there is one thing which truly has the power to transform your event, and it’s the catering. We may be a little biased, but serving mouthwatering, exciting food will make sure that your event is one that your guests will not forget in a hurry! For a truly show-stopping event, you need to ensure that you’re selecting the most creative caterer that you can. So, in this article, we will take you through some of our top tips on how to choose high quality catering services for your event. Whether you’re hosting a low-key family get-together, celebratory corporate event, large-scale wedding, or anything in between, the same basic tips can be applied to your catering services selection to ensure that you get the best culinary experience possible! 

The key to high quality catering services for your event is their menus

Possibly the first step that you need to take when deciding which caterer to go for is to take a closer look at what they can actually do for you. If you’re looking for high quality catering, they should be able to completely tailor their menus to your event, to make it even more special. However, they should also have information available about typical menus, signature dishes, or anything that they particularly recommend for different events, in order to help you make your choice. Different menus and catering setups will work for different events. For example, at a luxury cocktail party, you may want to serve delicious canapes that your guest can eat while they mingle. But, for a wedding reception or formal corporate occasion, a sit-down dinner will probably be more suited. As the client of high quality catering services, it is completely up to you what food you. Having said this, your caterer should be on hand to advise you, with their professional opinion, about what might work best and when. Here are just a few of our menu ideas for different occasions:

  • Wedding menus in 2021 will not just focus on summer produce. With all the postponed weddings from 2020 bookings will start (we hope) in spring and extend into autumn and winter. Make sure your caterer recognises the season’s produce and can use it to create a seasonal menu. 
  • Corporate image and how businesses look after their clients and staff is really important. Trends for 2021 in the corporate events space will be health and wellbeing at the start of the year with lots of virtual cleanse and detox juice master classes. Then, we will start hosting live events for a small number which will grow as the year goes on. 
  • Private parties will also start as family bubble size then as the year goes on the appetite to celebrate will be huge. We are looking forward to themed events and filling dance floors to embrace 2021. The health trend will still be very much in our minds. So, we expect that there will be less fried food and more superfoods. Also, cocktails will be fruiter long drinks with a lower alcohol percentage.

Drinks are just as important as food when it comes to unforgettable events

High quality drinks services

Most high quality catering services will also have a long list of suggestions for drinks that you can serve at your event. You can use their drinks menus to further guide your decisions when choosing which caterer to go for! After all, it’s not all about the food. Having amazing drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, will help provide that all-round luxury experience for your event. Here at Vanilla Bean, we love helping our clients to choose different drinks depending on the occasion and the season. You can really have fun with different drinks combinations, to serve up a twist on the classics or something really unique for your guests! Here are just a few ideas of drinks that your guests are sure to love:

  • We have always been known for our creative cocktails and 2021 will no doubt be a busy one for our mixologists. British infusions will be hitting our marquee bars with lavender infused gin, English strawberry and meringue coolers, cox’s apple martinis and English gin and tea cocktails on our menus. 
  • Winter is for sipping cocktails like our take on the Old Fashioned, using fig and vanilla spiced rum served with an orange liqueur. Or, a popular one for the ladies is our damson gin and yuzu fizz served in champagne saucers with flecks of gold leaf- perfect for a celebratory occasion!  

How do I know that I’m choosing the right caterer for my needs?

It can be difficult to come to a decision about the right caterer that will deliver and exceed your expectations! However, there are some things that you can do to ensure the caterer is fitting in with you. Firstly, it’s a good idea to select 2 caterers and search their social media for  images from their past events. Call them and see if they truly understand what you want to achieve. Once you have your shortlist, it’s important you also look around for reviews online to see what others are saying about their service. Any great caterer will have plenty of reviews for you to take a look at, and they shouldn’t be too hard to find! You can also use these reviews to get a better picture of the sort of events that your shortlisted caterers excel in, and any special touches that they might be able to add to the whole experience, which can definitely help you to make your decision. You need to meet you caterer and check out their facilities. You tell so much from their workplace and kitchens! 

Can you get a recommendation? 

Another great way to choose high quality catering services is to rely on word-of-mouth recommendations from family, friends, colleagues, or others in your industry. You will know that these reviews are reliable, as these people will have experienced first-hand the caterer and everything that they offer! This also takes the effort and indecision out of making your choice, as you can feel confident that you’re choosing a quality service straight away. If you don’t have a personal recommendation to go from, it’s also worth asking your shortlisted caterers if they can put you in touch with someone who can talk about their experience as a client, to put your mind at ease and also help you make what can be a tough choice in the event planning process! 

Do they offer the whole package?

When trying to choose any sort of supplier for your luxury event, it’s important to choose one who goes above and beyond to provide an amazing experience from start to finish. When choosing your caterer, you can look at what exactly they provide, before the day and during the event. For example, will they provide full event management, waiting and bar staff, or do you have to source this independently? Can you go for a tasting of your menu before the day itself? Are they able to recommend similar high quality suppliers for other aspects of your event? Often, the difference between a supplier who is satisfactory, and one who is truly high quality, comes down to what they can offer you that’s different from the rest, and will make your event one that is truly special. 

High quality wedding catering

No matter what your event is, from a wedding to a corporate meal, high quality catering services add an extra special touch

How to choose high quality catering services: conclusion

When it comes to choosing the right catering services for your event, it can be a tricky decision. Of course, you want them to offer delicious food, but it goes beyond that. You want them to be a seamless part of the whole event experience, and help make it into something for every guest to remember! This list is not exhaustive, but has hopefully provided you with a guide about things to think about when trying to choose your ideal caterer. 

At Vanilla Bean, we are proud to offer delicious menus and a service that will add the wow-factor to any event, big or small. To find out more about us and what we can offer at your next event, please visit our website or get in touch with us today.