We get it. Choosing the perfect caterer for your huge event is daunting. If you want everything to go perfectly on the day of, the real work happens weeks ahead of time. But you’ve got this. Just follow these nine tips from industry experts, and you’ll pull off an unforgettable event so everyone can have a great time, especially you.

Be Proactive.

Start making phone calls as soon as you know about the event. The best caterers book up quickly, so you don’t want to be stuck with your last choice.

Right-size it.

Is your event for 30 people? 500? Make sure that the caterers you consider have the experience (and equipment) for an event of your size.

Check out the venue.

If you book a venue with in-house catering, you’ll save yourself a lot of stress. If that’s not an option, check the venue’s preferred vendor list. Or make sure that there are no rules that would prevent your chosen caterer from working at your selected venue.

Check references.

Check references. Check references. Oh, and did we say “Check references”? We cannot stress this enough. It’s the only way to really know about their service. Call the references that are provided and check out online reviews first.

Imagine the experience beforehand.

Do you want upscale appetizers and champagne? An outdoor pig roast? Dream up your ideal event, and choose a caterer experienced with the kind of food you want. And before the big day, ask for a tasting to ensure the quality is what you expect.

Discuss service options.

Do you want a seated dinner? A buffet? A cocktail hour with passed Hors d’oeuvres? Ask the caterer how they serve (and how many servers they will provide) to be sure that the service is what you envision. They may even have options you haven’t considered.

Get itemized quotes.

Request quotes from at least three caterers. Compare them line by line to make sure there are no hidden costs.

Get all the details in writing.

Your contract should spell out every detail. Nailing everything down ahead of time can prevent last-minute headaches.

Relax and enjoy the event.

If you’ve done the legwork and hired a great caterer, you’ll have little to do on the big day. Just sit back and enjoy.

Looking for great staff for your event? Qwick offers high-quality Professionals, including servers, bartenders and event captains. Each Professional is trained, screened and uniformed, ready to make your event special. Get started today!