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How to Choose the Right Catering Company, Part 1

When you need an event catered, chances are, it’s a special occasion with lots of people in attendance. You want the food to be perfect and good; otherwise, many people won’t remember the event at all. The last thing you want is lousy food overpowering your wonderful wedding or corporate event.

Willow Ranch Restaurant offers the best event catering near Bakersfield. We can cater for breakfast, lunch, or dinner times, and we offer a variety of catering styles to meet your needs, from a Grab-N-Go service, where you can pick up your catered items to our Full Service catering option, where we will bring all of the food, cutlery, and plates to serve your guests. We understand that catering an event is a big deal, and you want to ensure you make the right choice. Below, we’ll offer up tips on how to choose the right catering company for your next event. Contact us today to get started!

Good Listener

While we picked good listener as an important characteristic of a caterer, you also want a caterer that responds promptly, cares about your needs and events, and puts 100% effort into making sure your event is a wild success. While taste is important, it’s also crucial to keep the communication lines open and for your catering company to be responsive to your needs. Courtesy plays a big role, especially if your catering company will be serving at your event.

Fit Your Event

Many caterers become specialists over time, such as only doing corporate catering or wedding catering. If you are looking for the perfect wedding caterer who can provide very formal food and wedding cakes, then be sure you seek out that caterer. Other caterers specialize in more lunch-type, informal foods, such as BBQ catering that Willow Ranch Restaurant provides in the Bakersfield area. While we definitely do our fair share of weddings and corporate events, our point is that you want to find the caterer who will fit your needs for your event catering.

One of the main considerations is the size of your event. You want to make sure that your catering company can handle the size of your catering event. Willow Ranch Restaurant near Bakersfield offers three huge barbeque trailers that can roll out to your location for any occasion, from huge weddings and corporate events to smaller birthday parties and family reunions. We want to ensure that if you want BBQ catering that we can meet that need no matter how big or small your event may be.


Your event catering company should be flexible enough to cater to your needs (pardon the pun). While most catering companies have a stock menu from which to choose, they should also be willing to accommodate your specific requests within reason. For example, if you have a specific dessert in mind or a different meal combination you want, your event caterer should be happy to oblige. After all, it’s your special event, and making it memorable is important. Also, most caterers should be willing to accommodate special dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free, vegan, or peanut-free. Luckily, in today’s world, most catering companies do offer such dietary accommodations, but be sure and ask when you are shopping around, especially if you know this will be of concern to your attendees. Call Willow Ranch Restaurant for your specific event catering needs.


No one can predict the future, and on the day of your wonderful company picnic being catered by your event catering company it rains, you need to be sure you and your catering company have a backup plan in place. Ask them if they have a tent in which to cover the food or heaters if the weather turns cold. Having a backup indoor revenue is important as well, so ensure that your catering company can also set up there and that they know where “there” is.


Pricing is important in catering so when you are interviewing potential catering companies, be sure to get the details on pricing. One sticky point that many customers face with regards to logistics is head count. Final head count is always so hard to predict, especially when you are months away and trying to plan an event. Even the day of the event you will probably have people either cancel or not show up. Life events tend to be that way. You’ll want to clarify with your catering company the date they will expect final head count, as well as their refund policy or charging policy if there are no-shows. Most catering companies charge for the food based off the number of people, which can be significant if your budget is low and 10 people don’t show up.

Willow Ranch Restaurant, an event catering company in Bakersfield, notes that the important thing to remember is to have a good understanding of what is included in the pricing and what is an upgrade. Having everything in writing will be key, even including cleanup procedures and the leftovers. For example, if you want to keep any of your wedding cake that is leftover, make sure this is clearly communicated with your catering company. An itemized listing is a good idea so you can see exactly what you are paying for. This is also an opportunity to see what else you may need to provide because the last thing you want is an event without forks or spoons, leaving someone to have to run and buy some plastic ones from the closest grocery store. One last thing: make sure cancellation information is spelled out in case you need to cancel or reschedule your event. Ask if your deposit is refundable or transferable, and be clear on the deadline.


A catering company can make or break your event. You need someone with years of experience handling unforeseen situations that arise with poise and grace. Willow Ranch Restaurant near Bakersfield offers the best BBQ catering services. With three huge state-of-the-art barbeque trailers and on-site BBQ available, we aim to ensure your patrons are satisfied to the extreme. We can accommodate special diets as well as requests. We listen to your needs and then offer up solutions that will make your event shine.

Willow Ranch Restaurant has over 20 years of making memorable events in the Bakersfield area that will last a lifetime. When you need an expert catering company for your next corporate event, wedding, family reunion, and more, give us a call. We’ll get you taken care of!