Being the urban center it is, there are a great number of catering options in Philadelphia, from dedicated catering businesses to famous local restaurants with their own mobile food carts. When trying to provide food to a well-attended event in a big city, it’s necessary to find a catering team that can provide for your event’s needs and handle any unpredicted challenges.
The first rule for tracking down affordable catering in Philadelphia is to know the scale of your event as precisely as you can. A catering company specialized in large events will be less efficient dealing with a smaller one, and vice-versa. While many smaller teams can more than handily take on a large event, and larger teams can scale their operations down, this will inevitably cost more in some fashion than choosing a caterer that satisfies your needs most specifically. Most catering companies are accustomed to particular types of events: some have done mostly weddings hosted at the appropriate venues, some have done mostly conventions or summits in hotel convention centers, and some have experience with more esoteric events. The more information you can get about the caterers’ experience, the more assured you can be that you’ll get the results you want.
The next rule is to do your research. Unlike sampling a novel new restaurant, you cannot ‘try out’ a caterer beyond sampling their food in advance of the event. Consulting online reviews exclusively isn’t a sufficient amount of investigation to truly show a catering company in the most honest light. Work through your personal contacts among friends and family to hear out word-of-mouth anecdotes to match your expectations to. Too many companies these days are attempting to sabotage each other with unfavorable reviews, or bias their own standing with erroneous positive reviews. Anecdotal evidence is always better and more reliable, especially when you’re speaking to someone you trust that you can ask specific questions.
When looking for affordable catering, it can prove a unique challenge due to the sheer diversity of catering options available. As a metropolitan area, caterers from every national food tradition are available. It’s best to make a decision about this long before you begin doing any research or selecting any menu items, as you will want to choose a specialized caterer to the narrowest specification possible. Your results will not always be the cheapest or most affordable, but choosing your caterer based on the needs of your event as closely as possible will definitely get you the best value.
Believe it or not, the location of the caterer matters a lot, especially in reference to your venue. Distance is not the only factor. Traffic and the challenge of the relevant roads matter as well. If you find affordable catering in Philadelphia’s Center City, having caterers deliver to Port Richmond is relatively simple. However, it might be more difficult for them to successfully transport food to Far Northeast Philadelphia. While almost every caterer has the capacity to successfully make a delivery, more things can go wrong for a more complicated one. When you have only one chance to get an event to go off right, having your caterer encounter unpredicted trouble can throw everything off. No amount of rehearsal can account for a poorly-timed car accident or traffic jam.
Due diligence is always the name of the game in event planning, and this is true even when you’re hiring out for the expertise of a professional organization. Assuming perfect performance on the part of the caterers, you can still only get results as good as your compatibility with the caterers you choose. Affordable catering in Philadelphia is more accessible than ever, but being spoiled for choice can complicate things if you don’t know what to look for. Take your time, do your homework, and get the best value for your needs.
If you need any help, Waterfront Gourmet is ready to help. Their passionate team knows Philly better than anyone else, and with four locations located throughout the city, all selling fresh, gourmet food, you are sure to get a catered delivery that impresses.