For Acadiana residents, it’s never too early to be thinking about the holidays — especially if you’ll be hosting a festive party or sit-down dinner and want to enlist the services of a caterer or hold your gathering at a restaurant.
Caterers and restaurants will tell you choice dates fill quickly. Another advantage to planning for your holiday party now is that you can afford to be choosy about who you hire.Better Business Bureau advises:
· Startwith Trust®. Check with the BBB before doing business.
· Interview two or more caterers to ensure they can provide the type of menu — buffet,sit-down dinner, passed hors d’oeuvres — you have in mind and in your price range.
· Thinking of asking a new caterer or restaurant? Ask for references and call them.Inquire about the caterer’s food, personality, professional skills and ability to handle the unexpected.
· Check BBB Business Reviews at acadiana.bbb.org for a directory of trustworthy businesses.
· Request a tasting before finalizing your menu. Great gumbo can be the hit of the party but less-than-tasty bread pudding might not make the cut. If you don’t like what you taste, ask about alterations to the recipe or even alternative selections. Ask about presentation of the food and portion sizes. Ask to see photos of table displays.
· Askif the caterer provides dishes, glasses, flatware and linens. Who will work atthe event? Is staffing included in the cost of the food or is it an additionalcharge?
· Request a detailed breakdown of food, beverages, rentals, decorations, service fees and other expenses. Is the gratuity included in the total price, or is it expected as a fee to you above and beyond? Make sure to cover how drinks — alcoholic and nonalcoholic — will be served.
· Insist on a written contract to ensure both parties understand what is expected. Make sure it specifies time, date and place as well as the date up to which you can add or delete guests from the contract.
BBB works for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising,investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses. For more than 100 years, BBB® has helped consumers make smarter buying decisions and is evolving to meet fast-changing marketplace needs.
The BBB of Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St.Landry and Vermilion.
Acadiana residents can now have BBB information in the palm of their hand with the official BBB Search app, a convenient, mobile BBB solution available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The app can be found at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bbb-search-find-local-businesses/id440014505?mt=8.
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