There are many catering companies in Johannesburg as well as South Africa that cater for a number of occasions including weddings, parties, office functions, end of year functions and more. So how would you go about making sure that you choose one of the best catering companies in Johannesburg for your function? Look out for the below aspects:

Catering Companies Johannesburg


1. Responsiveness and Willingness to Assist

When enquiring with one of the catering companies you choose, how long does it take for them to get back to you? How long do you have to wait for a quote? Do they follow up with you once they have sent you the quote?

When we spoke with catering companies and their clients, this came up over and over and over again, mainly because how responsive and interested a catering company is during your initial conversations is indicative of how they will perform during your event.

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It is also vital that catering companies listen to your needs instead of the other way around. A prospective catering company should be learning as much as they can about you in your first few conversations with them, so you should expect them to be talking and asking questions about 20% of the time and you providing answers and outlining your needs about 80% of the time.

Catering companies will claim to have the best-tasting food made with the freshest ingredients at the most competitive price, but it is rare for one to be both quick to return calls and emails and open to criticism and new ideas. While these may seem like somewhat insignificant factors when compared with overall taste and cost, they actually mean that the catering company is truly concerned with meeting the customers’ needs and ensuring that they are happy with both the product and the service.


2. References you can Speak with

Good catering companies should come with a great reputation and the only way to find out what their reputation is would be to speak to previous clients. If a catering company has something to hide they will not provide you with contact details of clients. If however they are good at what they do it goes without saying that they will be happy to oblige.

A good way too is to Google the catering companies you have short listed and see if there are any reviews or negative comments on blogs, forums or other. But don’t just rely on what the caterer tells you, what the Internet says or what their handpicked references tell you, do some extra legwork to ensure you are getting the right story before choosing a catering company.


3. An experienced Chef and kitchen staff

Surprisingly, how long a catering company has been in business may not be as critical in selecting a great catering company as you may think.

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Length of time in the catering industry doesn’t necessarily mean great and tasty food or excellent service. The chef’s background and experience can be more important than the owner of the company who has awards on their shelf. It’s the chef, sous chef and kitchen staff that often seals the deal. If the owner and Chef are the same person, that’s even better as there is more reason for them to offer the best food and service as it is their livelihood.


4. What is the cancellation policy?

Make sure that the catering company you choose has a well-defined cancellation policy. What percentage would you lose from the deposit if you were to cancel a month, a week, a day in advance? And vice versa, if your catering company had to cancel catering for your event or function due to unforeseen circumstances, what recourse do you have?


5. Menu Flexibility

Practically every caterer has a standard menu or menus to choose from, and many do provide some level of built-in flexibility to adapt these menus to your specific needs by substituting specific items and/or customizing others. Any catering company who has been in the industry and knows what they are doing should have a few different menu options that are constantly being updated and changing to keep up with current trends. However, the standout caterers will go beyond standardized menu options and be willing to create amazing food that matches even more specific theme and dietary needs.


An ideal catering company should also be willing to handle (or at least consider) special requests. Ask the caterer if they are willing to include a family recipe you provide or perhaps including items of special significance to the style or theme of your event. All of these are important questions to ask upfront to see how far each caterer you interview is able and willing to accommodate you.


6. Ability to handle a specific type of event

Not every catering company is perfect or every type of event or catering need such as office lunches or training catering, and many caterers themselves openly admit this.

Many do a broad range of events, but some are built to service different markets more effectively than others so it’s important to ask enough questions to determine if a catering company has the right kind of experience for you.

So when interviewing your catering companies, you need to be specific about the type of event you are planning and the type of food and/or presentation you are expecting. Otherwise, you may end up selecting a caterer who simply isn’t a good fit for the type or style of your event.

Some catering companies excel with spit braai’s that are great for company functions, some with exceptional buffet style lunches and dinners, and others are excellent for black-tie events. You should select the catering company that works for that specific function, not just because you’ve used them previously for a company meeting or 30th birthday party.


So when do you know that you have picked the right catering company? When a catering company is willing and able to expertly delight your guests by delivering beautiful and delicious food with great service that compliments your event theme, you have nailed the catering aspect of your event.

Central Kitchen Caterers is an experienced and professional catering company based in Kya- Sands Johannesburg. We cater for a number of events as well as day to day catering for offices and training institutions. We put make delicious Platters, Spit Braai’s, Buffet Meals and more to suite your requirements. Contact Central Kitchen Caterers today for your catering requirements.