5 Things to Find Out Before Hiring a Maui Caterer for a Wedding

5 Things to Find Out Before Hiring a Maui Caterer for a Wedding

A newlywed couple cutting their tropical floral topped wedding cake on a vintage desk and under a flower draped chuppah at an oceanfront wedding venue on Maui.If you are getting married on Maui, there are a few important things to know before hiring a Maui Caterer for your Wedding in Hawaii. Nearly all couples planning a destination wedding use the Internet to find wedding professionals for their Maui wedding. From inspirational planning ideas on Pinterest to reception menus and photographer galleries, there is no shortage of information, ideas and offers available. We recommend being informed about the wedding professionals you choose to work with. After finding wedding professionals on the web, ensure you are able to speak with the people who will be directly involved in your wedding planning. Do they followup quickly? Will the chef preparing your reception menu reply with timely answers and share ideas. Does their personality and style match your vision? Are you being charged unnecessary referral fees for wedding venue or introductions? Check references and business information before signing contracts or paying deposits. Keep reading for a few more suggestions to help ensure receive the best wedding catering on Maui.

5 Tips for Hiring a Maui Catering Company for Wedding Receptions

If you are planning a catered wedding reception or a catered wedding rehearsal dinner on Maui, this list will help you hire a Maui catering company:

  1. How Many Years Have You Catered Weddings On Maui? Ask questions to verify you are working with a professional chef with experience catering weddings and events. Be certain you are working with a professional chef and not a home cook who caters part time from their kitchen. Simply offering Maui destination weddings or wedding planning on Maui via a web site does not guarantee you’ve found an experienced professional chef serving from a licensed commercial kitchen with a legitimate business. Inquire about how long the caterer has been a chef and how long they have been catering weddings on Maui. Ask about their experience organizing event and catering weddings with the number of guests you anticipate attending. Find out the types of food they serve and about their experience preparing menus for special diets, food sensitivities or allergies. Ask where they prepare the food being served at your catered wedding to verify a licensed commercial kitchen is being utilized. Even if you are planning a simple Maui wedding reception barbecue on the beach with food cooked on-site at wedding food stations with grills, you’ll want to know the food was prepared in a licensed kitchen and sourced from commercial suppliers and farmers. If children will be attending the reception, ask the caterer about their ability to provide a healthy menu keiki will enjoy.Dessert catering on Maui includes old fashioned ice cream sundaes topped with tropical fruits and nuts.
  2. Are You Able to Provide Catering for My Maui Wedding Location? Not all venues allow outside catering and some only allow certain caterers they have experience with or an exclusive arrangement. For example, one of our favorite venues for Maui weddings, the Maui Eldorado Cabana in Kaanapali, requires the catering company to provide insurance and will only work with caterers able to meet a few requirements. Similar insurance requirements exist for wedding service professionals providing services at the Olowalu Plantation House wedding venue. Ask if the caterer is allowed to cater onsite at the specific resort or preferred wedding location. An oceanfront wedding on Maui with a flower covered arch.If you’ve already contracted a wedding venue, request a list of their preferred catering companies. Some private estates have exclusive arrangements to only utilize certain catering services or chefs and a few offer an onsite chef that must be utilized for event catering, including weddings at the private estate. Alternatively, if you haven’t contracted a wedding location, ask the caterer for multiple wedding location recommendations to ensure they know the island and requirements with at least a few specific wedding venues and resort wedding locations. If they aren’t familiar with your wedding location or aren’t able to supply details of wedding location requirements, consider alternate more experienced catering professionals.
  3. Are Extra Fees Charged? Will I be charged for you to travel to our wedding venue?  Ask about equipment rental fees and request a breakdown of items being charged for. Determine what the caterer supplies before renting wedding equipment. If the planner or caterer is supplying a wedding location on Maui, find out how much the wedding location fee is. If you or your guests haven’t reserved rooms and are getting married at a wedding venue with accommodations, inquire about reducing wedding venue fees by utilizing onsite guest accommodation packages for the wedding party or guests. Beyond wedding venue fees, inquire about service charges, taxes and other permit fees. While Hawaii imposes a business tax you should also expect to pay for the wedding license and county beach wedding permit fees if you are getting married on a beach on Maui. If working with a wedding planner, be aware of sometimes hidden referral charges for wedding venues, wedding cakes, and equipment rentals or introduction fees for catering, photography and other wedding services. You may be able to reserve the wedding venue or arrange the wedding equipment rentals directly to avoid unnecessary charges. Make sure your planner is adding value instead of adding extra wedding service fees or referral charges. If a coordinator is unwilling to let you speak directly with a chef or other professionals providing services or wedding equipment rentals, you probably aren’t getting the best price and should consider alternate planning options such as our FREE wedding planning.A reception under the stars at an oceanfront wedding venue on Maui.
  4. What number should I call you at? Are you on Twitter or Facebook? Do you have a Pinterest page or use Instagram for examples of your catered weddings? What is your email address? Ask how they prefer to be contacted and then verify you will be able to contact them using an agreed upon method and within an expected range of times. Wedding planning requires frequent dialog and you don’t want to wait days or weeks for answers to simple questions. Verify the caterer responds quickly. Does the caterer’s web site display contact forms or an email address without phone numbers? Are you comfortable communicating and sharing ideas only through email or social media? Though we rely on email for some communication, we feel it is very important to be available to discuss wedding A Kings table setting with everyone at a single table for a Maui wedding reception with pink napkins and flowers.plans on the phone or via skype and similar options. If working with a wedding coordinator or planner, ask if they will provide a cell number for the catering chef and will they be reachable when you have questions about the menu and catering for a Maui wedding. Review their Facebook business page and Twitter feed to see if they share wedding planning or wedding catering advice. Take a look at their Instagram and Pinterest boards. When was the last time original content was published to their website? Does their Maui wedding planning blog provide useful tips?
  5. Is the Caterer Asking the Right Questions? Your caterer should ask you several questions and provide solutions or offer advice. Have you selected a Maui wedding location yet? What is the date of your wedding? How many guests are attending? Where are you and your guests arriving from? Will children be attending the wedding? What is your per guest food budget for the wedding? What is the overall budget for the wedding? Do you prefer a resort atmosphere or private accommodations with on-site wedding location? Do you prefer larger or more intimate wedding venue on Maui? Would you like to host an arrival barbecue for your wedding guests or a day after wedding brunch? Do you prefer to stay with your guests? What type of food would you enjoy for your Maui wedding reception? Are any of your guests allergic to any foods or need special diet preparation such as gluten free or dairy free menus catering to food sensitivities.

Want a little more information to help make decisions about hiring wedding professionals? Browse this short list of 10 Questions to ask before hiring a Maui Wedding Catering Company or scan through 5 tips for hiring a Maui caterer for a wedding.

Find out if we are the Maui caterer for your wedding. Get started by completing our short Wedding Planning Questionnaire:{{cta(‘2f3ec34f-8c06-40fc-bb27-75700f95a429′,’justifycenter’)}}

Photos in this blog supplied by Meew Meew Wedding Photography on Maui. 

Not ready for wedding planning advice but still looking for a beach for a wedding on Maui? Get our FREE Maui beach wedding location ebook with more than 40 color photos:{{cta(‘c1354916-fcdd-4e60-8623-19868a9866a3′,’justifyright’)}}

Do you have questions about Maui caterers or planning a Maui wedding? Use the comments section below for questions or to share your own experiences finding a Maui caterer for your destination wedding and subscribe to our wedding planning blog for the latest Maui wedding information.

Maui Catering Makes A Maui Wedding Day Dream Come True

What better way to make dreams of a Maui wedding day reality than a beautiful beachfront wedding on Maui!

We'll help you every step of the way, from finding a Maui wedding venue or event location and matching event and wedding service providers to preparing and serving our catered dishes at your Maui event or Maui wedding reception.

For Full Service Maui Catering with FREE event Planning, RESERVE YOUR MAUI CATERED EVENT NOW!

Or call (808)419-0889 for personal wedding planning advice from Maui Chef Christian Jorgensen.

CJ’s Kaanapali Diner Review

My daughter and I visited Maui a couple of weeks ago and came to your restaurant 3 times. I just wanted to thank you for your willingness to meet our gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free requirements. We loved being able to eat out safely and wish we had a CJ’s at home! I just wrote you a stellar review on Trip Advisor. Hope you have a wonderful rest of the summer!

Kelley MacCabe
CJ’s Maui Restaurant Review

Wonderful for a Sunday Brunch since you can order breakfast until 11:00am! Had a ‘custom’ 3 ingredient omelette (I chose mushrooms, feta and spinach) with nicely crunchy on the outside and soft inside home potatoes, yummy. Hubby had the pancakes with fresh fruit! These are light fluffy slightly sweet batter pancakes, not those heavy bland ones (OK I admit it, I had to have a few bites of his breakfast…) Service was fast and friendly :0). The menu is EXTENSIVE, we live here and love it!

Kathy, Lahaina, Maui
CJ’s Deli and Diner Maui Restaurant Review

Fact: CJ’s Maui onion soup will melt your face off it’s so good. Best I’ve ever had. It gets 20 stars.
Alas, it’s not on the menu every day… But when my fiancee and I went this past summer and were lucky to meet Chef CJ in person and mentioned that we had been thinking about the onion soup since the last time we visited two years earlier, he was kind enough to put it on the next day’s menu. We went back the following day and ordered it, and it was amazing, just as we had remembered. Another fact: the onion soup at CJ’s is better than the onion soup at Mama’s Fish House (and at like 1/4th of the price). Really. It’s that good. Part of me wants to reverse engineer CJ’s onion soup recipe, quit my job, and make millions selling onion soup to the mainland masses! (or: CJ, wanna make a deal?)
I think that the loco moco gravy is made from the same goodness. So that’s great too. The potato salad is tasty as well.
The to-go lunch plate is respectable.

Jonny S, San Diego, CA
Maui Chef CJ Prepares Mushroom Soup for Kaanapali Restaurant Guest

On a previous visit to Maui, I had the most delicious mushroom soup at CJ’s Deli and Diner in Kaanapali. When I arrived in Maui this week, I emailed the restaurant and asked what day they might have the soup. The owner and chef, Christian Jorgensen (CJ), promptly replied even though he was on vacation in Vegas. He gave me a number to call to check on the soup of the day. Then when he returned to Maui on Friday, he emailed me to let me know he would have the soup for me on Saturday. When I got there, he was so friendly and the soup was even more scrumptious than I had remembered. I really appreciated how valued he made me feel as a customer.

Linda D.
CJs Maui Restaurant Customer

Good Morning, My wife and I spent last week in Maui. Your early bird special was the best. After we found you, we ate breakfast there every morning. You had two regular coffees that we just loved.

James T Wilson Jr
Maui Restaurant Customer

The best burger I ever had! Great Service! Fantastic Food!! Simply Awesome.

Pat Janostin, Champlin MN
Kaanapali Restaurant Customer Comment

Thanks for all the Good Food. Best we have ad since we hit the island 5 days ago!

Jeff and Myra V., Ontario, Ohio

CJ’s Maui Restaurant Customer Comments on CJ’s Private Luau in her Blog

Aloha, Just wanted to let you know that this post was up last Friday and it will be included (linked) with all of our Hawaii properties. Thank you both for excellent service. You made our trip to Maui very memorable! Feel free to comment on the post. It’s always good to have additional information and your input.


Nancy Solomon, Travel Writer
CJ’s Maui Restaurant Customer Comment

Aloha, We were in to see you many times during our stay last month in Ka’anapali, couple of things for you:
Need to order some more of your CJ’s roasted Kona Coffee. I see it’s not yet on your website, only the Maui Coffee Co. stuff. We ran out last weekend and are having withdrawls, please help!! Need 2 bags urgently!!
Secondly, your claim about having the best corned beef hash on the island. I think you’ve understated this because it’s the best I’ve had any where in the world! And that covers a lot of ground as I’ve been to every continent multiple times. Just the best anywhere, period!! Don’t suppose you would have that for delivery to Indiana would you? Maybe by the pound(s)?
Great people and even better food, Mahalo CJ’s. Seriously though, please let me know about that coffee. How do we get some ordered and shipped to Indiana?

Bill Clark, Valparaiso, In.
CJ’s Maui Restaurant Customer Comment

​CJ’s Deli & Diner Rocks! Been here several times while visiting Maui – each time we tried different meals and each time we LOVED the food, service and atmosphere. Only suggestion would be to provide regular dinner napkins along with this paper type – because we’re messy!

Aloha and Mahalo from Detroit