Step 2 Get Creative With Your Menu

Gone are the days of cookie-cutter catering, when guests could choose from chicken or beef and vegetarians could look forward to rice and a soggy blend of carrots and squash. “Look for a caterer who personalizes,” explained Phillips. “They [should] formulate a menu around what you like—not just from some sheet they have made up a year ago,” said Phillips. “I want to write the menu for you, I want to give you a custom experience.”

Hart enjoys brainstorming with the clients to create a menu that gives the customer a culinary direction and helps them build the event. He even likes to interact with guests and pass on information about food. “It’s not just about making money, it’s about expanding people’s mind and their knowledge of food,” Hart said. “I just love food; to me, the peak of the parties that I do is that level of completing the vision and having the people experience it.”