Wedding Cakes & Food Forum

Food Tastings!

Hi Everyone!
                My fiance and I are trying to find the perfect food for our wedding. I am just a little confused - How do couples go about doing a tasting? I've seen some places do a private tasting and some do large tastings? I would love to hear your experiences with tastings. Thank you!!

Re: Food Tastings!

  • Email caterers and restaurants that you like. Say you're having a wedding on this date, your budget for (food, linens, silverware, plates, cups, servers etc) is $12,000 for 160 people.

    They will respond that they only do weddings in house, are busy that day, don't work with budgets that small etc.. or they will start emailing you back with questions about what time of day, what kind of food do you like, style(gourmet vs. simple farm to table), traditional plated meal vs. stations etc. You will probably go back and forth a few times and they will probably say well for 3.50 more a person you can have chocoalate covered raw oysters or something crazy  but try and stay strong-$5 a person adds up quick!!

    Most places will not schedule tastings unless they think you might actually go with them, and the number of food tasted  depends on your budget and how badly they want your business ($100,000 wedding- we'll let you try a many apps and entrees as you like vs. my $20k wedding - we tried 5 apps 4 entrees at the restaurant we eventually chose and picked 3 entrees and 4 apps)

  • Agree to pick or narrow down your location/budget first and then talk about tastings. We are having ours at a favourite restaurant so we do a 'tasting' every time we go there!
  • This varies on the venue/caterer.  

    In our case, we picked a 5 star restaurant to caterer our wedding.   Then 10 months out (because it was the only time we were in town) we had a tasting.  

     It was my parents (who were paying), DH and me.    We already knew we wanted filet of beef with a duo of something.  They served us family style.  Basically they put down various beef options with some sauces. Then some seafood options.  Then some starches and veggies prepared various ways.    

    Then we choose the menu.

    Some people will pick a venue with an in-house caterer.    They may pick the before the tasting based on reputation (that is what we did).  Others wait till after the tasting.  Some places change you for the tasting and give you a credit towards your event if you book.    Others will give you a free tasting, with a limited menu.

    Some catering halls/hotels might only do twice a year group tastings.  Basically anyone who has booked or going to book are all invited one afternoon (every 6 months) for a tasting.   These tend to have the most variety of foods to try.

    If you are not using an in-house caterer then tasting can be all over the place based on the individual caterer.

    Tastings are sometimes limited to 2-4 people.  Then you have to pay per person of you want more.

    DH charges for his tasting if you have not booked.  It's for up to 4 people.   You will receive a credit for those 4 if you book.    

    It's not a free for all.  You do not get to taste the entire menu.  You need to look at the menu and pick out a few items you are looking to taste.     Typically a 2-3 entrees, 5-8 apps, etc.   If you want to try 4 or more entrees, you pay more.    

    (reason - people are sneaky fucks and will try to get a free meal when they have no intentions of booking.  Actually, there is no event to even book).

    It's not a one size fits all situation.

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • It really is dependent upon the caterer.  Some do have a charge to cover the cost of the food - which is reasonable, they're caterers not charities, even if it's "free" it's worked into the overall cost of your event...  Contact only those who you're likely to use and ask what their process is.  Be realistic about your total all things catering budget (linens, china, etc.).. 
  • Ours only had a banquet style dinner for those who have already booked events with the venue.
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