Successfully planning for any event, be it a wedding, a birthday, or a corporate event, requires coordinating among the various service providers. You cannot afford to make any big decisions in isolation, and this includes selecting a venue with the catering in mind.
The major considerations that you cannot afford to neglect include the following.
Are You Allowed Your Choice of Catering Service?
Some venues have their own catering service and require that you use that service as a package deal. Others insist that you work with a catering service with whom they have an exclusive agreement. In both cases, you may need to pay a little extra if you want to bring in a catering service of your choosing.
If you are not satisfied with the reviews of the venue's catering service or of the company they recommend, then, by all means, go ahead and find another venue that allows you to bring your caterer of choice for free.
Is There a Suitable Space for Setup?
Your catering service will require a suitable place for setting up and staging. How big this needs to be will depend on the number of guests and your menu for the day. When booking the venue, talk arrangements, and picture where the caterers will set up and how much space they will have.
Is the area flat and level? Will the catering service have to put in some work to set up the staging area? You may want to pass along this information to the caterer early on or bring them along for a survey of the venue before the day of the event.
What About Access to Power and Water?
The catering service will need water for washing hands and rinsing off the plates and cutlery. Access to power will also help to keep the food warm and ready for serving your guests.
If either or both of these resources are not readily accessible at the caterer's setup site, then your catering service will need to make alternative arrangements. In this case, the caterer will bring in a generator and a water tank.
There is certainly much to consider when choosing a venue for your event. As outlined, you also need to factor in how well suited the venue is for the catering element of your event. You can also choose to go at it a little differently and ask for venue recommendations from your caterer.