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Alex Milenye, CEO and founder, Kijiji Cuisine Group Limited

Marcella Akinyi

What inspired to start your catering business?

I wanted to fill a gap that I noticed in the industry. I was already a culinary practitioner by then. I have been in hospitality for 10 years. I worked at Nas Cuisine for seven years before I took the bold step to go solo.

What should a couple check out before signing up a caterer for their wedding?

They should look out for the caterer’s responsiveness and willingness to cater for their needs. Are they able to cater for your type of event?

How can a couple ensure there is no food poisoning in as far as choosing a caterer is concerned?

When it comes to food poisoning, the main issue is transportation of the food, how it’s cooked and how hot the food is when served. They should ensure it’s a caterer they can trust to serve fresh hot food that is hygienically prepared.

With the rise of many wedding vendors in the industry, how can one tell if a caterer is questionable or professional?

When looking for a caterer, check if they have a website or a presence on Facebook with genuine ratings, and watch out for pseudos. Also, check if they have the necessary certifications, such as health certificates, food handling certificate, business permits and certificate of incorporation.

If a couple is on a budget, what kind of package would you advise them to take? How can they ensure their guests are well served within pocket-friendly costs?

There’s really no one package, as being on a budget is relative. What may be little for one can be a lot for another. My advice though is for the couple to identify their needs and share them with the caterer, who should then tailor-make a menu within the constraints of their budget.

What are the latest trends as far as serving guests in weddings is concerned?

Various trends are changing the scene rapidly. From couples offering welcome cocktails to their guests, to live barbeques at the reception, and having treats during the photo shoot.

What are the challenges facing catering in the wedding industry?

Couples defaulting payments and unforeseen guest overage.

What do you think should change in terms of how wedding suppliers offer their services?

To fellow caterers, be consistent in terms of offering quality and professionalism. That in itself will market your product in a big way. We should grow from just being catering providers to culinary professionals.

On that note, with the rise of many caterers in the industry, what distinguishes you from the rest?

We are prompt, creative, and our delicacies are uniquely customised.

How much do you charge?

We don’t have a standard price. Our charges are dependent on a lot of things, from the number of guests to the type of food and the client’s specific or extra needs.

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