Our catering is different
from many, in that we offer customer catering and YOU set the budget. I will work with you to create a menu that includes the foods you want, within the budget you set. I know that setting a budget can be a difficult thing to do, especially when you may not be aware of all the different costs involved, so here is a big bunch of information that can help you to do that.
There is a lot of information here and so I suggest that you take some time with all of this and not rush through it. I am happy to answer questions and give other feedback if you would like me to, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The food-This includes the actual food items that will be served. You can include desserts here, though for weddings, those may also be part of the ‘cake’ budget. For weddings, many brides are opting to forego cake and having another dessert that they like more, or a dessert buffet with an array of goodies.
*Beverages-You can either raise the food budget to include them, or keep them separate, which is good if you are serving wine or other alcohol.
*Tax- 8.7% and must be charged on most food and beverages.
*Service fee, or tip- which, depending on the level of service you are looking for, could be anywhere from 10-25% of the food charges, before tax.
*Servers-we charge $18 per hour, which includes all taxes and travel time, and generally has a minimum of hours that you will guarantee. Our servers do punch a time card for verification, the time is rounded to the nearest 15 minutes. You are not required to have servers for off-site catering.
*Delivery fee is Free in Old Town, $5 in the greater Silverdale area, and outside of that we have a $5 base charge, then .40 per mile, round trip, using Google maps. If you would like delivery/setup and/or retrieval, we usually just combine it into one fee that accounts for the time that it takes. If you have servers, delivery is included in their fee.
*Dishes and cutlery rental or purchase
*Linens rental or purchase
*If you want a bartender that is a separate charge and varies depending on the type and complexity of bar that you may have.
I hope I have not overwhelmed you before we even talk about a menu, which I am really excited to do! I wanted to give you all of this information because these are charges you will have to think about no matter whom you go with, and I think that our prices are competitive, though you will have to decide that. Every caterer that you talk with should be upfront about all fees and charges. We have a 100% satisfaction guarantee for our food and service, and we usually allow you to make small add-ons to the guest list until the day before the party.
In order to hold your reservation, we will usually ask for a (usually fully refundable) 25% deposit. That will become non-refundable about 1 month prior to the event, and we will ask for full payment close to that same time. If someone else requests your date before you have put your deposit down, you will have the first right of refusal. If you choose to put the deposit down to cement the date when someone else has requested it, that deposit is non-refundable no matter how far out your event may be.
Cancellations after full payment will be offered a refund based on how much we have purchased/prepared that we cannot store or re-sell, and we would apply as much as possible to a rescheduled event. Now every job is different and these are our general guidelines, though in your case the timelines may be very different. No matter what, you do not have to memorize these details, as I will put them all into our actual proposal for you. If you want to shop around to other caterers these are good things to ask about so you have no surprises later.
And then there is the menu! Since we do not have set menus and we customize everything, I can give you some ideas from lighter to heavier fare, particularly for appetizer parties, which you would probably want to mix up. This by no means covers everything we offer, though I hope it gives you a good idea of typical costs. Also keep in mind that not every dish should be counted the same way for every guest. For instance I recommend ordering fruit and cheese platters for about 2/3-3/4 of your total guest count. However if you only offer a very few options I might recommend multiplying options such as the chicken skewers, which are so very popular, by 1.5 so you are sure to have plenty. You know your group better than I do and while I will give you opinions based on experience, I will defer to your judgment and wishes in the end. We can talk more about that as you fill out your menu. Of course, we can also cater full meals, dessert buffets, picnics, boxed lunches, and anything else you can possibly come up with. We love to feed you!
Lighter fare ($1.50-$2 per portion) includes items such as:
Crudités (veggies) and dips (hummus, pesto, dressings)
Light fruit platter
Pickled veggie items
Caramelized Onion Tart (a huge favorite)
Deviled eggs (or curried, or plain stuffed eggs)
Savory tarts (delightful 2-bite tarts filled with savory items such as bacon/cheddar, walnut/gorgonzola, or roasted garlic/parmesan, covered in a light custard)
Most breads, including savory scones
Pin wheeled wraps
Medium fare ($2.50-$3.50 pp) includes items such as:
Nut items, such as Spicy Mixed Nuts, or Thyme roasted hazelnuts
Caprese Skewers (tomato/mozzarella/basil)
Full on fruit platter
Triple Crème Cheese wrapped in pastry and baked (brie en croute, or better yet Bavarian Bleu, or camembert)
Roasted olives/grapes/walnuts (SO delicious!)
Chicken appetizers (such as Thai chicken skewers with peanut sauce; Lemon-Herb chicken w/pesto sauce, etc)
Deviled eggs with Anchovy aioli and caviar
savory cheesecake on parmesan crust
depending on the portion size, most salads would fit here or in the heavier fare category
Heavier fare ($4-$6 pp)
most seafood items (fresh crab cakes, lomi-lomi salmon, smoked salmon mousse, Garlic Roasted Shrimp, Crab and Goat Cheese Strudel, etc…)
most meat items, including antipasti meats and sausages (pork sliders, beef tenderloin, cocktail meatballs)
cheese platter or fruit and cheese
Some things on edible spoons
endive ‘spoons’ filled with dilled chicken, or curried egg, or shrimp salad, etc…
Really High End fare ($$ varies)
baked crab cakes
smoked salmon ‘sushi’ rolls (smoked salmon lox wrapped around herbed goat cheese and cut to look like sushi, though it is not raw)
and other particularly expensive and/or time consuming items
Whew! You made it to the end! Though really, this is just the beginning.
Please do not hesitate to contact me to help you wade through this ocean of information!