One of the most important things to do while planning an event is to contact a catering company. Staying proactive by booking a caterer ahead of time will save you from dealing with a lot of stress and to keep the event planning on schedule, while waiting too long to book the caterer may cause delays. Typically, booking a caterer six to eight months in advance of the event is recommended. Planning an event well in advance typically makes the process easier and much less hectic.

Why Do I Need to Book the Caterer So Far in Advance?

A top tier catering company often has a packed schedule, especially during peak event seasons. Booking early helps you to secure the best service company for your special event. Contacting a catering company six to eight months ahead of the event gives you and the caterer plenty of time to decide on the food that will be served and to make any necessary changes. Planning ahead of time makes it much easier to plan the catering for any event or function.

What to Consider When Booking a Caterer for Your Event

Remembering to discuss the event details is always essential while working with a catering company. Discussing and making plans is critical to ensure that both you and the caterer are on the same page. A special event catering company will work out all the details to ensure that the event transpires smoothly.

Here are a few aspects to consider while booking a caterer for your event:


The time of year that your event is to take place will most likely dramatically influence catering availability. For example, spring wedding season as well as the winter holiday season often see a surge in demand for catering services. If your event falls within these peak times, consider booking even earlier than initially recommended. Understanding seasonality helps with planning an event and can help you avoid costly setbacks.


Finding the right venue for your event is typically yet another big decision. Some venues have preferred or exclusive caterers, which can greatly limit your catering options. Other venues may require additional coordination for space and amenities. Understanding the venue's policies ensures that your event goes according to plan. Feel free to ask a few questions if you have concerns.


Your budget plays a crucial role in choosing a caterer for your event. Premium services come at a higher cost, but even a modest budget can still allow you to find quality options. Early booking allows even more time to adjust services to fit your financial plan. Prices can easily vary, so getting a few quotes early on for event catering commonly helps with budget management.

How Much Does a Catering Service Cost?

Costs can range widely based on menu complexity, guest count, and service level. A basic buffet might cost significantly less than a dinner with full service. Asking friends and family for recommendations and comparing various service options is always a wise decision before definitively choosing an event catering company.

Catering Deposits

Planning a large party often requires making a deposit or two. A typical deposit for catering allows you to secure your date and services. Deposits can either be fixed or be based on a percentage of the estimated total cost. Most deposits must be paid a few months in advance for catering booking services.

Are Catering Deposits Refundable?

Policies on whether catering deposits are refundable can vary. Some caterers offer partial refunds within a specific timeframe, while others may apply the deposit as a credit for future services. Understanding the terms before signing a contract is essential before making any decisions.

Final Thoughts on When to Book a Caterer

Catering an event typically requires plenty of advance planning. Reaching out to an event catering company six to eight months beforehand is often the best choice to give you plenty of time to plan accordingly. Be sure to consider various factors, such as the event season, venue, and budget. An experienced catering company will walk you through their process to ensure that your event runs smoothly and on schedule.