Isn't it normal for a caterer to provide a sample?
So I am trying to hire a caterer for a party. I was discussing with a caterer and he had a good plan but when I asked to sample the food he said that he didn't do that because his reputation speaks for itself!!! Now he ain't Wolfgang Puck, I can't find any info on the guy to prove that his rep is so amazing...what would you do???
This seems to be a problem in the LA area. There was a post about it a couple months ago. I no longer live there, but as a former caterer I can say that I would never deny a sampling to a client. Tell the caterer that you are willing to pay for the tasting, but you want to try it before you commit to that particular menu. If he is unwilling, I'd find another caterer.
I'm in with Mojo-
As a caterer, the ONLY time I wouldn't make samples (Heck, even a whole tasting with options) available would be in a situation where the tasting was months before the intended season and certain ingredients might not yet be in season (eg. morels, ramps, white truffles, etc.)
I wouldn't expect samples of crudite or cheese platters, but tastings seem to be an extremely important part of planning an event, unless you have A LOT of personal experience eating the food from other occaisions/events.
I'd want references and to speak to those people. Given the caterer's response, I personally would be hesitant to use such a company. For very large jobs, I'd think that a sample might be in order. But I can also see that trying to do small amounts of something is a much different thing that doing a full job and is quite time consuming and costly for the caterer. Again, personally, I wouldn't necessarily need a sample if I were able to speak to several people the caterer had done work for.
Its also worth keeping in mind that when it comes to food, you very often get what you pay for. Certainly there must be a place where quality and affordability will meet, but that can be very difficult to find.
I'd keep looking.
If you feel you should sample the food first then find someone willing to do so.
You don't want to fret the whole time about the food do you??