We found a service that may help to do just that. This service can help you find a caterer or food truck for your wedding or any other event. It only takes a few minutes to fill out a form on their site and based on your selections the food trucks and/or caterers will be notified instantly of your catering request. You could receive a response within minutes.
The owners of Perfect Caterer have been in the food industry for a combined 18 years and know all about wedding catering and how important it is to find the right catering company or food truck. They help take some of the work out of finding a caterer by having them contact you. This helps save you time by not manually contacting each company to see if they have your date open or offer the type of food you require. The companies that reply to you have already checked on the date you selected and since you selected the cuisine you want on the request form you know the food they offer is correct.
Besides the time it saves you, there are a few main goals of their service. Reducing stress is one of them, organizing weddings is stressful enough and anything that makes your life easier is good in our books. Another reason why they offer this service is to help food trucks. If you book a food truck through a 3rd party such as a event organizer or some other place they either charge you or more likely the food truck a hefty commission, which in turn is paid by you as the food truck will pass most if not all of that fee onto you in their quote.
Perfect Caterer does not charge a commission and stays out of the transaction. All they do is connect them to you via the options you selected on the catering request form. So you only deal with them and not a third part in the middle of the transaction. Again this save you time and money! The other wonderful thing is they do not charge for the service, it’s 100% free for you to use and the service is not just for wedding catering it can be used for any other event or service that you need food at.
There is one drawback to the service. It unfortunately is only available in British Columbia, Canada but they are expanding to other areas as we speak. If your in their service area please feel free to book your caterer or food truck for your wedding, it really does help to save you time and money.
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Things you should know before booking a catering company for your wedding
Below we will talk about the things you should ask and do before hiring or booking a food truck. This will help both parties know what is expected from one another so there is no confusion over what is expected.
What does catering mean? Catering in the food truck world is when a person or company pays the food truck to attend their event; catering is not when the truck pays you to attend the event, for example food truck festivals or things like Canada Day events. Typically a food truck is hired for catering when it is for a special occasion such as weddings, birthdays, parties, corporate events, movie sets and, yes, even funerals. Food trucks fill a very important gap in the market; they allow a person or business to not have to worry about providing, cooking or bringing in food themselves to their event. This saves a lot of time, stress and possibly money for the person/business that hires them.
After you have submitted a catering request and have received some responses, do your research. We do our best to remove food trucks that get to many negative complaints but it ultimately falls on you to do the research. Here are a few ways to help decide if you would like to hire a food truck. Look at their reviews, social media accounts… keep in mind that some may not have perfect reviews but remember a lot of people only leave reviews if they have had an issue. So read what they are leaving a negative review for and see if its a consistent complain. Also keep a look out for companies that have a ton of reviews very fast that are all good reviews. This is a sign of paid reviews. Look at the age of their presence online. Are they new? Have they been active on social media or on their website?
In terms of permits and insurance, permit requirements are different all over the world so you have to find out what your local regulations are to ensure they have the correct permits. In the Vancouver, British Columbia region of Canada for example a food truck would need a health permit, fire department approval, and depending on the city a business licence. Not all trucks will have a business licence for your area as catering in some cases falls into a grey area where you don’t really need one to offer catering services. Insurance is important, certainly when dealing with a large amount of guests. You should ask if they have liability insurance. If someone get sick or trips over their generator cord or something they can sue you and the food truck. If they don’t have insurance you may be liable for some of the damages.
Details, details, details! Assumptions are the mother of all F-ups! Make sure you go over all the details with the food truck owner. Things like menu, arrival/completions times, amount of estimated servings and so on. You should also make sure to ask about staying longer if it’s something that may be required. For example the wedding may run late and you may wish the truck to stay around a little longer. Usually trucks will charge extra for the time but that should be worked out before hand. Do not expect them to stay past their allotted time if they were not scheduled too. Another important thing to ensure is that the food truck knows your maximum amount of servings your willing to pay for and if they can go over that number. Some people will eat more than one serving and this can push up the numbers. To make it easy on you and the food truck have that prearranged so everyone knows what to expect.
All food trucks should have a minimum in terms of number of servings or dollar value. If they do not I would suggest moving on as it’s impossible for them to make money this way. It’s temping for you as a person looking for a caterer to hire someone that tells you no minimums… This is a mistake! Good business owners need to cover their costs and do not take the risk of loosing money on a job. They need to cover food costs, fuel, employees, vehicle maintenance and a host of other costs to be at your wedding. So again please remember that they need a base amount to just break even, it is not their responsibility to loose money because not as many guests show up at your event.
The cost of the service obviously changes depending on many factors. But some trucks add things like truck fees, gas fees, tips onto the final bill and do not include that as an up front charge or do not explain that there will be some of these added to the final bill. So when you receive your final bill you are on the hook for more than you expected. Ensure that you ask about any other fees in writing and receive a quote that includes all of these extra charges. You should also have these stated in the contract.
A deposit should be required by the food truck. All food trucks should require this because it protect youand them. For example if a food truck says they will come to your wedding and serve food, they do not take a deposit from you, how do you know they will actually show up or just cancel a few days before to attend something bigger that came along. This does happen unfortunately. How does this protect you? It protect you because once you give a deposit and sign a contract the food truck would have a very hard time just canceling. They would have to refund your deposit and possibly break the contract. This pressures them to show up and complete the job. It sounds bad I know but it happens all too often in the food truck business so always get a contract and send a deposit. It protect them by allowing them to comfortably reserve that date and not worry if they turn down other catering for that day. If they did not take a deposit from you and you canceled last minute they are out a days pay. That’s not fair to them. I would suggest making sure there are cancelation policies in the contract. For example you can cancel within X amount of days and receive a full refund. Most trucks do not give refunds after the deposit has been made, again because they could have turned down other catering already for your day.
The contract tis the most important item when hiring a food truck to cater your wedding. Just make sure the contract includes all the details mentioned above and anything else that is relevant, so you and the food truck are on the same page. We also recommend conversing over email with the catering company not over the phone. We recommend this because you then have written proof of what was discussed. This is an easy way to resolve issues that may arrive and both parties can fix the problem fast and efficiently by going back and reading. It also allows you and the food truck to re-read previous emails before the big day which can be months after you have booked the food truck. This along with a good contract should help prevent any major issues from arising.
Tips are a big part of catering and we do believe they should be given. Please remember that the food business is a hard business that requires a lot of hours and hard work. Of course this is a personal choice and is up to you but if the caterer does a great job and provides you and your guests a great meal, please consider tipping. It goes a long way!