How Do I Choose a Caterer in Chicago, IL

When your corporate event or wedding ends and guests head home, one thing will linger in their mind. The food and drinks on that special day. The best Chicago caterer can take care of your culinary needs. Whether it is family style or buffet style, the right catering services can leave a lasting impression on your corporate event. But with so many caterers offering wedding catering, event planning, and corporate catering, who do you go choose? In this post, we show you tips for finding the leading catering services in Chicago.


Expert advice to choose a caterer in Chicago IL

While there are no hard and fast rules for choosing Chicago catering services for your corporate events or wedding day, consider the following before you hire a caterer.


Sample the Caterer’s Food

Schedule a menu tasting just to confirm whether the birthday or wedding menu fits the occasion. By sampling the caterer’s food before the wedding day, you get to experience how meals are presented. It is also a fantastic opportunity to meet with their Chef and determine how flexible they’re. Ask whether catering is done on-site or food is prepared ahead of time and left in hot boxes to stay warm. Can all the components be adjusted to your taste? 

Different practices can impact good quality on your special day. So, make sure the catering service takes your feedback seriously.


Check References

While catering services will gladly share a list of happy customers, there are some nuggets of information you can obtain by checking with the caterer’s references. Their remarks or comments can provide a great deal of insight into what the caterer does best.

Good questions for references include: How many times they have used the caterer? What did you like best about their catering services for events? What is one thing you would change for their next event?


Ask for Photos of Past Events

Any catering company in Chicago will have catering pictures in different venues. Be sure to check photos of their birthday party or event catering. Their past pictures might give you a good idea of how events are generally set up. Once you view the pictures, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you like the dinner service ware, space usage, and finishing touches?
  • Is their buffet-style something you’d like for your event in Chicago IL?
  • What would you like the catering serving to replicate at your event?


Discuss Event Catering Services

Some Chicago caterers are more full-service than others, with the capability to provide linens, tables, chairs, florals, and evendécor.

You can give them an idea of what you like and they can pull everything together for you and organize all the vendors. On the other hand, some caterers only provide the event food and foodservice, and you will be responsible for coordinating all your other items and vendors. Either way is fine, as long as the caterer’s services match your needs.


Review Everything in Person

Face-to-face meetings are a great way of ensuring there is no miscommunication on important matters like the catering menu and catering proposal for guests. In-person meetings also give you a better feel of the catering business you have chosen and a chance to see their operations. Are their catering equipment clean? Are you warmly received? Is everything done in a professional manner? If you have any strong reservations about the caterer or rentals, you can fix it now instead of carrying it over to the event day. You probably won’t like it to be told guests raved about the bad food.


Inquire About Special Requirements

Professional caterers will accommodate your special culinary requirements along with a blue plate on your big day. Find out whether your caterer handles special requirements like on-site changes, dietary restrictions, and late additions. Even the best corporate catering service usually faces on-site surprises. Whatever that is, will the caterer be able to while a gluten-free meal or plated meals for the special event? If the welcome speech goes 30 minutes late, will the catering team roll with a new timeline. Flexibility and a can-do attitude from the kitchen team in a corporate event are crucial for success.


Ask about Menus and Prices

If the chefs and service staff are available for the birthday party or corporate event in the agreed venue, inquire about their menus and prices. Be clear about your budget and find out what choices they provide. Most caterers can create a special menu for events or provide general menu templates with various price points to guide your decision. A clear budget enables the caterer to know what parameters to work with and to explore creative options.


Reserve the catering service

Most catering services operate on a first come first serve basis. Once you have a venue, menu, and date, go ahead and make a money deposit to reserve the catering service in Chicago. You may also confirm additional details like when the food will be delivered to the reception, what kind of service will they provide to attendees, and how many servers will come to the site. Also, ask who is in charge of the setup and cleanup once the last guest leaves. The more clear your contract is, the fewer worries you’ll have on your wedding day.


Are you looking for reliable food service with a food truck? Contact 


Corkys Catering for wedding catering or event planning assistance

Like chic chef catering, we don’t just cater for your hors d’oeuvres and other aspects of the big day, we cater for the memories. We can help you create custom menus, small plate stations, innovative appetizers, and unique dessert displays for your event. We offer catering services to various clients including individuals, businesses, and organizations, and cater for all manner of events from birthdays to weddings to charity galas in Larkin hall or other venues in Chicago.

No matter what type of cuisine or cocktails you want at your event, Corkys Catering assures you of tasty food that wows you, guests, at your upcoming event. Our specially designed catering menu features a range of items from local Chicago dishes and flavorful beverages to regional cuisines. Our professionals keep food simple and delicious so no one heads home hungry. Everyone gets served what tickles their taste buds.

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