Weddings are attended by many people for a variety of reasons; however, one of the most compelling is the food! The process of planning a wedding in Ontario involves a lot of tasks, one of the most important of which is selecting a caterer who has a good reputation and plenty of experience. If you have booked a venue that offers everything under one roof, the catering staff is already in place. However, in the event that you are forced to hire a caterer from the outside, you will want to be prepared with a list of questions to ask a wedding caterer. 

Check out our list of the most important questions to ask a wedding caterer and see if any of them apply to you.


Are you free on the day that we're having our wedding?

Ensure that you inquire about this matter during the initial conversation that you have with a prospective caterer. You shouldn't move forward with an interview with a caterer if you find out that they are unavailable on the day of your wedding; however, you can ask them for recommendations of other local caterers from Ontario who have a style that is comparable.


Tell us about your experience. How many weddings do you cater in a year?

There is no one correct response to this question; however, it is essential to select a wedding catering company that has previous experience working with events in Ontario. It doesn't matter how long a catering company has been in business; if they can handle a wedding with the number of guests you anticipate, they're likely to be a good choice. However, you should verify that they have experience in the relevant field before hiring them.


Have you ever worked at the venue where we hold our weddings?

It is not necessarily a deal breaker if the wedding caterer you are considering has not previously worked at your location (unless your venue maintains a list of approved caterers and the one you are considering is not on the list). However, if at all possible, it is preferable to hire a caterer in Ontario who is familiar with the ins and outs of the location where the event will take place. Asking your caterer if they have worked with any of your other vendors, such as your wedding planner or florist, is a good follow-up question to ask. Having a rapport between professionals can make the process of planning and carrying out your perfect wedding day and making it even smoother.

Do you concentrate on one particular style or category of food?

Some caterers focus their services on a particular category of food, such as organic, vegan, kosher, halal, South Asian, or African cuisine, amongst other categories. If you have a specific diet in mind, you should verify that the catering company has prior experience preparing meals using that method of preparation.


What kinds of meal service do you have available?

Which type of dinner—buffet or plated—are you interested in? Do you prefer to eat family-style or cocktail-style? There are advantages and disadvantages (as well as price differences!) associated with each option. Find out the different styles of meal service that your caterer can provide for wedding receptions, and then ask for their recommendations regarding which one they think would work best for your event.


How much would it roughly cost to cater an event with the number of guests that we anticipate?

When meeting with a catering company in Ontario, it is important to have a food and drink budget in mind. Your venue and catering will take up approximately half of your total wedding budget, so it is important to plan accordingly. And because the majority of caterers charge on a "per person" basis, you'll also want to have an estimated headcount ready to provide to the caterer so that they can provide you with general pricing information for the event.


What exactly does each of your packages include?

Not only is it essential to find out how much a caterer's wedding package costs, but it is also essential to find out what exactly is included in the package. Does the menu allow for customization, or does it only come in predetermined set packages? How many different kinds of appetizers, main courses, desserts, and so on will be served with each of these? It's possible that different caterers offer varying "levels'' of packages, each of which may contain a unique selection of services and foods; if this is the case, you'll need to carefully examine all of the available options before selecting the one that will work best for your occasion.


Are your menus customizable?

The majority of caterers from Ontario offer a list of food options for each course, including a few choices for each of the following: appetizers, main courses, and desserts. How accommodating is your caterer in terms of making changes to accommodate your preferences? What happens if you want a completely individualized menu? You may not find this to be an issue for you if the items are included in the catering packages that your caterer offers, but if you have very particular preferences and ideas, you will want to find a caterer who is flexible and willing to make adjustments.


How do menu tastings work?

You and your future spouse will have the opportunity to participate in a menu tasting with your wedding caterers a few months before the big day. Your caterers will serve different appetizers, entrée, and dessert options so you can sample and select your favourites. Some caterers will allow you to taste their food before you sign a contract, while others will not do so until you have already signed the contract.


Could you provide me with some sample menus and/or photos from previous weddings that you've catered to?

If your tasting won't take place until after the contract has been signed, you should ask any wedding caterer you're considering for sample menus and photos from previous weddings, just as you would ask a wedding photographer to see samples of their work. This is especially important if your tasting won't take place until after the contract has been signed.


How do you deal with people who have food allergies or dietary restrictions?

It is essential to locate a caterer who is capable of handling gluten-free diets, nut allergies, vegan diets, and any other types of dietary restrictions, especially if you or some of the people on your guest list follow one of these diets. In the event that there will be children present at your reception, you might also inquire about the availability of kid-friendly meals.

Do you provide your guests with the opportunity to choose their main courses?

In the event that you intend to serve your guests a dinner that is presented on plates, you should inquire about the manner in which they normally select their main course. The majority of the time, guests will indicate their meal preference on the RSVP card; however, some caterers give guests the option to place their orders at the reception, in the style of a restaurant.


Do you provide alcohol?

If you are able to source the alcohol yourself, you may be able to save a significant amount of money; however, you will need to find out if your caterer and/or venue charges a corkage fee first. The majority of catering companies offer alcoholic beverages and bartending services. Ask how you will be charged, either per guest or by the amount of alcohol that is consumed, if the caterer for your wedding also has a liquor licence and will be in charge of the bar.


Do you have a licence and do you have insurance to cover potential damages?


Don't miss out on this opportunity. It is of the utmost importance to confirm that your caterer possesses a valid licence and is in compliance with the rules set forth by the regional health department. Liability insurance is another essential component, particularly liquor liability insurance in the event that your caterer will also be providing bar services.


Do you have the capability of providing the wedding cake?

It is certainly convenient to have a caterer who can provide a wedding cake, but you should make sure to look at photos of your caterer's previous cakes to ensure that their confections fit your style before hiring them. In that case, you have the option of hiring a cake baker from the outside to create the delectable dessert of your dreams.


Do you provide rentals?

A wedding meal is impossible to have without plates, silverware, napkins, glassware, and other tableware items. You can hire an outside rentals company to ensure that you have every fork, tablecloth, and serving dish accounted for, or you can see if the location where your event will take place and/or the caterer will be able to provide rentals.

Can you provide vendor meals?

Because the people who are helping you with your perfect wedding day will be putting in a lot of effort on your big day, you should make sure to feed them a hot meal at some point during the celebration (this is typically a requirement in the contracts of wedding vendors). It is important to ask and confirm, but the majority of caterers will handle this for you on their own.


What is the ratio of servers to customers?

If you are serving a plated dinner, the consensus among industry professionals is that you should have one or two servers for every 10 guests. If you are providing a buffet, the recommendation is to have one server for every 25 guests, and one bartender for every 50 guests.


Is there going to be an additional charge that we need to be aware of?

Be sure to carefully read over any contracts before signing them, and pay special attention to any additional fees, such as those for corkage and cake-cutting. It is common practise for wedding catering contracts to include a gratuity, which may also be referred to as a service fee; however, it is a good idea to verify this.


What is your policy regarding the cancellation of orders?

in Ontario, when COVID wasn't around, engaged couples rarely enquired about the postponement and cancellation policies of potential vendors. Nevertheless, the circumstances have shifted, and you absolutely must inquire about this matter with the person who will be catering your wedding. Is there a deposit, and if so, is it refundable? If so, how far in advance of your wedding date do you need to cancel in order to get your deposit back, or at least a portion of it?’

It is important to thoroughly check all aspects, and ask the imperative questions needed to ensure your perfect wedding day does off without interruptions that could have been easily avoided in the planning stages.