The Best Questions To Ask Your Caterer

How exciting! You have your special event coming up and you need to hire a caterer! The last thing you want is uncertainty in what you will be receiving as a service while also making sure you get more bang for your buck. Food and drink are not only an absolute staple needed for your event, but delivering quality cuisine alongside beautiful presentation is crucial.

We split up the questions by category so you can stay organized as you check out different Miami caterers. Also, to make it super simple, we included a printable checklist for you to use when checking out caterers to make sure you ask all of the essential questions.

Background & Experience

  • Are you available on our event date?
  • Have you catered at my venue before?
  • What does the chef prepare best?
  • Do you specialize in certain cuisines?
  • Do you offer custom menus?
  • How will you handle last-minute requests?
  • What are your substitution policies?
  • Are vegetarian and special meals available?
  • What is your policy on cleanup?
  • Does your company have liability insurance?

Food Details

  • What are your companys most popular dishes?
  • What are your portion sizes?
  • When will coffee be served?
  • Will wine be poured by the staff or placed on the tables?
  • Is the champagne just for the toast, or will it be served from the bar?
  • Should we offer after dinner drinks at the bar?
  • Since all the guests are arriving at once, could you pass wine or champagne as they arrive?
  • How many bartenders will be serving drinks during the cocktail hour?Will the bars be open during dinner?
  • Will cocktails be served by your wait staff, or will guests need to go to the bar?
  • Is the food you use locally sourced?
  • Do you serve meals for children?
  • Do you have a wedding cake/dessert package?
  • What do you do with leftovers?


  • Can you explain the price differences between sit-down meal vs. stations vs. cocktail-style reception vs. family-style?
  • When can I expect your written proposal?
  • What is your policy regarding deposits and cancellations?
  • When is the final payment due?
  • Are there other charges for set-up, delivery, overtime, etc.?
  • Do you take credit cards? Do you take personal checks?
  • When must I give you my final guarantee & menu?
  • What is the sales tax, and what are your gratuity/service charge policies?
  • Is there a cake cutting fee?


  • Who is the contact person when planning the event?
  • Who is the contact person during the event?
  • Will you assist with valet parking, music, flowers, photography, etc.?
  • Is there a curfew at the event site?
  • How many staff will be working the event?
  • What does the staff attire look like?
  • Will you feed vendors working the event?
  • What are the options for linen, chair covers, china, stemware, flatware, charger plates?
  • What decorations do you provide for tables and food stations?
  • What is the server-to-guest ratio?

What To Ask Your Caterer Printable Checklist