If you’re planning any kind of event in the Outer Banks, whether it is a corporate meeting or a wedding, hiring a local catering service will save you a ton of work.
But how can you really know which company to trust?
Here are 5 tips to help you hire an OBX caterer with confidence:
1. Start looking for professionals very early. The good ones, specially in the summer, are booked solid, sometimes a year in advance. And they will need at least 3-6 months to properly prepare for your event. The further ahead you can book your catering, the better your choices of professionals will be.
2. Sometimes bigger isn’t better, specially in the Outer Banks. Large catering companies will often rely on canned products to sustain their operations, while many smaller caterers prepare everything from scratch. At the Red Sky Cafe, our catering services use the same fresh, local ingredients found in our menu, and we maintain the highest quality standards no matter how big or small of an event.
3. Doing your homework includes coming down to the beach for a visit. Go to their place of business, ask to sample the food, see if everything is up to your standards. If they have a regular restaurant, order from the menu. Most chefs will try to adapt their cuisine to your menu, but if their style doesnt please your taste buds, it’s possible you won’t eat at your event.
4. Go further on your homework and check references. Call previous clients, talk to diners at the restaurant (if they have one), and most important, find out their health score. In the Outer Banks, the score should be posted conspicuously, and it’s a pretty accurate measurement of their sanitary procedures. Also, politely ask to get a tour of the kitchen – it will give piece of mind knowing how your food is handled.
5. Understate your budget by 10%. Even the most professional catering services have a hard time predicting seafood prices in the Outer Banks, and that may affect your final budget. Or you may need to add 10 guests to the party at the last minute. It’s better to have a little wiggle room.
We hope these tips help you when organizing your next catering in the outer banks. There are many more things to consider, but ultimately, you should hire somebody that you feel comfortable preparing your food.
For more catering tips, read our last post: secrets to a successful outer banks wedding menu.