There are generally three options your venue will give you when it comes to catering; find your own caterer, use the in-house team or pick which option you would prefer. Here are the pros and cons for both when deciding on your venue or catering option…
Outside Caterer Pros
- Expertise – it can be argued that you will get better service and better food with outside caterers as it’s all they do. Outside caterers are not distracted by running a hotel or managing marquees or everything else venues have to deal with so the quality is higher.
- Choice – if you choose a venue that will only allow you to use their caterers, you’re limited on choice. If you don’t like their menus, you can’t change it. With outside caterers, you have plenty of options.
- No Restrictions – again, with a venue that only allows you to use their caterers, you have no control on what they charge and what the fees are so you can’t do price comparisons on this part of the wedding. That’s where having an outside caterer can be handy especially as they have to be competitive.
Outside Caterer Cons
- Venue Unfamiliarity – This is the biggest drawback to choosing a venue without a caterer. They may take longer to get food out and with setting up as they’re not familiar with your wedding venue and its kitchen etc.
- Expensive – Most of the time, outside caterers are more expensive than venue caterers (not all of the time, but generally this is the case).
- Do Your Research – You have to spend a lot more time looking around to find the perfect caterer for you. You obviously don’t have to do this when a caterer comes with the venue.
Best Option: Somewhere in the middle! We recommend a venue that gives you a ‘preferred’ list of caterers. That way, you know they’re familiar with the venue, you don’t have to do quite so much research and you get all the benefits of an outside caterer including higher quality service and food!