Do you know the right questions to ask? When choosing a caterer for a reception, corporate event or party, you can’t be too careful.
The catering company you select for your event will prepare and serve a variety of food and beverages for your guests. Although it doesn’t happen often, the careless handling of food during preparation and storage could make your guests sick. Likewise, purchasing ingredients from questionable sources can also result in substandard fare or, worse, food-borne illness.
By asking potential catering companies just a few basic questions, you can make an informed decision that will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Where Will the Caterer Prepare the Food?
Catering companies must prepare their food in a commercial kitchen facility that has been inspected and certified by the county. They cannot prep in a residential kitchen or anywhere that doubles as sleeping quarters. This helps ensure that the company complies with all governing safety standards and regulations. Unfortunately, there are many would-be caterers out there who operate outside the guidelines, potentially putting you and your guests at risk. As for a tour of their commercial kitchen if you suspect this may be the case.
Fat Freddy’s Catering operates out of an 11,000 square foot facility. We welcome you to stop by during business hours to visit with our catering coordinators and tour our facility.
How Does the Company Hold Food at the Proper Temperature?
Transporting food from the prep kitchen to your event venue requires the caterer to hold the dishes at the proper temperature for safety. Most important, however, all food must be stored and held at the proper temperature (hot or cold) based on health department regulations. Be sure to ask any potential caterer how they will ensure your food is never subjected to potentially risky conditions.
Fat Freddy’s Catering uses commercial grade food holding and warming equipment during the transport of your order. Cold food is always packed in insulated soft pack delivery bags that we line with ice packs and sometimes dry ice if necessary. When the food is on a full-service buffet we use chaffing dishes for hot food and ice baths for cold items.
Does the Caterer Have a County Health Permit & Safety Certification?
The Maricopa County Department of Health enforces food safety regulations for caterers as well as restaurants and other venues that serve food to the public. Catering companies must have a Certified Food Protection Manager and all staff must have food safety training and a valid food handler’s card. The company must also have a county health permit for the facility in which they prepare their food. All commercial kitchens get inspected twice a year by the health department; don’t forget to ask about the score of their most recent inspections.
Does the Company Carry Catering Insurance?
No matter how competent and careful a cater may be, sometimes things happen that are beyond anyone’s control. If that occurs, you want to be sure your caterer has insurance that will cover the damages. When you ask a potential caterer about their insurance coverage, specifically inquire about their liability policies. Catering liability will cover injury accidents that may occur during your event and that are the catering company’s fault. This is the policy that insurance you and your guests if, for example, one of the servers drops a knife and it accidentally stabs someone in the leg.
Fat Freddy’s Catering has the proper liability, workers comp and auto insurance that is required by the state and most venues in the valley.
Fat Freddy’s Catering has been serving clients in Maricopa County for more than 25 years, for weddings, receptions, corporate events and parties. We have established a reputation for excellence and we are licensed, bonded, insured and certified, to give you the peace of mind you deserve for your event. We have answered the “Important Questions to Ask” above but if you have any other questions please call one of our Catering Coordinators and they would be happy to help you.
Office Hours: Monday – Friday
9am to 5pm