And what is a group tasting, anyway?
bessie john wedding food plates
Credit: Jose Villa

When it comes time to select a catering company for your wedding, you want to choose one whose food is delicious, whose presentation style is something you like, and whose service level is up to your standards. When you book a catering company without attending any of their events, it's pretty hard to tell how these details will play out. That's why a food tasting is so important. While many catering companies and wedding venues with in-house chefs will offer a private food tasting for the bride and groom (and maybe even a few of their wedding VIPs), others only offer group tastings. Here, we explain everything you need to know about this style of big-day food tasting.

What a Group Tasting Is

A group tasting is typically offered to wedding clients after they've booked with a catering team and/or venue, although some will offer this before, too. It's a chance to see the catering team in action, taste some of their signature items, and get a feel for their style of service. As hinted in the word, "group," you'll be attending this tasting with a number of other clients. For some caterers, hosting a group makes more sense-they can prepare a quantity of food that's more similar to what they're making on the wedding day and they can prepare a variety of different dishes without worrying about food waste since many more people will be eating.

What a Group Tasting Isn't

Group tastings typically aren't a great time to ask a ton of personalized questions about your specific event. This style of tasting is meant to show couples an overview of what the caterer typically provides, but it's not a tasting of a specific, customized wedding menu nor is it a time to review your wedding timeline in detail. There will likely be a sales representative or wedding coordinator on hand to answer basic questions about food, wine, and service, but don't expect to be able to have a one-on-one meeting during this time. If your caterer or venue will work with you on a custom menu, don't expect to taste those selections in a group setting.

Why It's Helpful for Caterers and for Potential Clients

There's really no other opportunity to see your catering team present large quantities of food in an event setting. During a group tasting, you'll get an idea of how the catering team stylizes their food displays, how their staff interact with guests, what their portion sizes are like, and more. From the perspective of the catering team, this can be a simple way for them to connect with clients and show them what their team looks like in action. Plus, you're generally able to try a much wider variety of different food options rather than selecting a set menu to taste, which means that you're better informed to select the big-day menu that's right for you.


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