Posts Tagged ‘caterers’
Article from The Knot
You’ll spend more money on wedding food than any other aspect of your reception, so you’ll want to work with a top-notch professional. When making appointments to interview wedding caterers, try to schedule a tasting of their wares at a later point. Don’t forget to ask them the questions below, and choosing a caterer will be as easy as pie — just make sure your taste buds have a say in the matter too.
- Does the caterer specialize in certain types of food or service? (They should provide you with sample menus to review.) Find a wedding caterer who can make a memorable meal.
- Can the caterer arrange for a tasting of the specific foods you’re interested in prior to hiring? (They should.) Schedule a tasting if you get a good vibe.
- What is the caterer’s average price range? Are costs itemized depending on the foods you choose, or is there an all-inclusive flat rate? What would that include (linens, tax, and gratuity)? Does the caterer have printed price sheets for food selections? Make sure there’s room in your wedding budget.
- How involved is the caterer in a typical reception — does she work like a wedding coordinator or banquet manager, cueing the band, telling the couple when to cut the cake, adjusting the schedule if guests don’t seem ready to sit down to dinner? (You will need to find someone to fill this role — if your site manager or caterer isn’t going to do this, think about hiring a wedding coordinator.)
- Will the caterer provide tables, chairs, plates, table linens, silverware, salt-and-pepper shakers, and more? Ask to see these items to make sure they’re acceptable. Do you have to rent tables, place settings, or other equipment? Or will they arrange for the rentals? If not, find wedding rentals in your area.
- Who is the main contact? Will the same person you work with when planning also oversee meal service on the day of the wedding? (You want this to be the case.)
- Will the caterer work any other weddings on the same weekend, the same day, or at the same time as yours? (You want to be sure they will devote sufficient attention to you.) You may want to pass on a smaller outfit who indicates they have another job or two scheduled for that day.
- Does the caterer handle all table settings? Will they put out place cards and favors?
- Will the caterer provide wait staff? How many would they recommend for the size of your wedding? What will the waitstaff wear? (Top caterers say they always use their own serving personnel, even if the site’s staff is available, because they understand the caterer’s way of doing business.)
- Will the caterer be willing to include a recipe you provide, like a special family dish, or an appetizer with some sort of sentimental significance? Can they prepare vegetarian, kosher, kids, or halal meals for just a few of your guests?
- Where will the food be prepared? Are there on-site facilities, or do you, the caterer, and the site manager need to make additional arrangements? If the caterer must bring in his own equipment, is there an additional fee?
- Does the caterer work with fresh (not frozen) food?
- Does the caterer have a license? (This means her business has met health department standards and has liability insurance — make sure this includes a liquor license if you’re having a bar.)
- Can the caterer provide alcohol? Or can you handle the bar separately? If you can provide it, is there a corkage fee? How and when will you get the alcohol to the caterer? If the caterer will provide it, do they have an flexible wine list, and can you make special requests?
- How is this list priced?How will the caterer arrange the food on the buffet table or on plates? Can you see photos of previous work displays?
- Can you speak to previous clients? (Get at least two references that had a similar number of guests and a similar menu style.)
- Does the caterer also do wedding cakes? Can you use an outside baker if you desire? Is there a cake-cutting fee?
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How many times have you been to an event and been blown away by the visuals? Now how many times do you remember the food that was there? Chances are if you remember the food, the display of the food had something to do with the enjoyment of the culinary experience.
Too often, caterers believe that as long as the food tastes good, that should be enough. But let’s face it, most of us are visual people and eat with our eyes first. We found a very good article online that explains the process and elements of “staging” food for events and we thought we’d pass it on.Full article can be found at www.foodservicewarehouse.com
You need two things to design a fantastic looking buffet: a good eye for aesthetics and an assortment of decorations and food display items. With these tools at hand, you can create a dazzling buffet that is sure to impress your clients and their guests. Research the design elements below to learn how to create a beautiful buffet display.
While some caterers have had success using sleek, modern tables without linens for their buffet, usually, table toppers and table skirts are needed to dress the banquet tables. You can always just throw a simple tablecloth over the buffet line, but then the ugly frame of the table will show underneath,
and if someone tugs on the overhanging cloth the entire buffet could come crashing down.
Instead, you might want to look for traditional table skirts and table toppers – table coverings specifically designed to fit on the surface of a long banquet table with eight inches of overhang, since the table skirting will take over at the edge. The color and material of your table linens will set the tone for everything that goes on top, so choose wisely.
The food at your buffet should be organized in an order that resembles the dining experience. That means you should usually put appetizers, salads and soups first, followed by entrees, side dishes and breads, with the dessert coming at the end of the buffet line or even at a separate dessert station.
Because the food is the central part of your catering operations, make sure that it takes center stage at your buffet table. The best way to highlight the color and appearance of your food is to use high-quality food display supplies.
For many wedding receptions and other formal events, it is common to designate a separate buffet table to hold and present beverages. Another common practice is to serve alcoholic beverages at a separate portable bar area. If you do not have room for a separate beverage station, always put your drinks at the end of the buffet line, so customers will not have to carry them through the line and risk spilling their drinks as they serve themselves food.
Once you have your food and beverage display taken care of, you can begin to add other embellishments to your buffet line. This includes the decorative and non-edible elements that add extra color, lighting and movement to your buffet.
So please add this to your arsenal of tools when you’re out shopping for a caterer and take a look at the staging at the next catered event you go to and tell us what they did. Was it effective? Don’t forget to visit our amazing list of caterers in San Antonio and Austin and see how they stage their tasty feasts. Make it beautiful people!
It’s Foodie Friday! If you’re looking for some places to try this weekend, here are our suggestions.
Austin – In a town that lives and dies by tortillas and salsa, it’s nice to see that some new culinary niches are trying to gain momentum. What first exploded on the east coast, sushi is gaining ground amongst couples that want to give their guests a little something different.
How Do You Roll? is a unique maki sushi restaurant that caters to each individual “roller.” It’s all about YOU there, where you get to personalize your sushi experience as much as you like. With pre-determined rolls like a 3 Alarm Roll for the super spicy lovers and locale specific concoctions like the Fruit Roll-up dessert roll made with fresh fruit, to “you call it” type of orders, you can’t go wrong at this place.
Stop by and visit our new friends at the Arbor Walk location and tell them the Wedding Guide sent you. Rob and Susan will take good care of you.
San Antonio – Although Mexican food reigns supreme in San Antonio, Italian has to be pretty high up on our short list of food favorites. And it’s always a lovely surprise when Zio’s Italian Kitchen shows up in our offices for lunch. We can smell it from a mile away as it wafts down the hallways, distracting us from the task at hand. It’s funny how Zio’s seems to make everyone in the office want to take an early lunch. I can’t imagine why?
All the traditional items are well represented on their menu, but favorites in this office have to be the heavenly stuffed pillows of pasta they call 4 Cheese Ravioli, the island inspired flavors of their Greek Pasta and their yummy brownies for dessert…mmmmm.
We love the fact that after a busy show season, our boss rewards us with this tasty treat. Thanks Bob!Tags: caterers, catering, food, foodies, Italian, Reception, rehearsal dinner, sushi
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If your wedding reception is being held at a facility that does not provide catering, you should hire a professional caterer. Because a caterer is experienced in planning and working with large groups, they have the knowledge and expertise to ensure that a sufficient quantity of food will be available and that it will be properly refrigerated and/or heated on your special day. A professional caterer will work with you to select menus and ensure that your reception comes off without a hitch.
Hiring a caterer can be a time consuming, if delicious, chore. It is also a choice you do not want to put off too long. You should select your cater between 9 to 12 months before the wedding. You will want to visit with several before narrowing your choices to two or three.
Before you contact caterers you should know the date and location of your reception, the number of guests and your budget. By having this information before you start setting appointments you will not waste precious time interviewing caterers who are not available on your date or are out of your price range. Locally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $18 and up per person, plus tax and tip. Remember, in most cases, the cost of the meal proposed does not include these two amounts, which usually adds another 13% to 15% to the total cost of the plate.
After you have narrowed your choices to two or three caterers, ask for a test tasting of the proposed menu. When selecting a menu, consider your guests. Save the unusual dishes for your first dinner party and keep your reception food fairly middle of the road. Your caterer will assist you in selecting an appropriate menu for the time of day. One way to reduce your catering costs, other than reducing the number of guests, is holding your wedding and reception during a different part of the day. After a morning wedding you could provide a brunch reception, which would reduce the cost of the food as well as the alcohol. At a reception after a late afternoon wedding guests are going to expect a substantial meal.
You can also save money by carefully choosing the type of meal you would like. Smaller parties, less than 100, are best served by a sit down dinner while a buffet service usually works better for larger groups. While it is possible to host a sit down dinner for several hundred people, your costs for staffing will go up. While a staff of three to five people can handle a buffet meal, you need many more servers for a sit down dinner.
Not only does your caterer select, purchase and prepare the food, a full service caterer will do the set-up, serving and clean-up as well. Most catering services also provide table linens, china and silverware as part of their service as well as cake cutting and serving. Be sure to ask your caterer exactly what services are included in your price quote.
Using a professional caterer allows your family and friends to participate in your wedding and enjoy the day as guests, not workers. So, let a caterer attend to all the necessary tasks of making sure the punch bowl and hors d’oeuvres are always fresh and full.
A good caterer will also help arrange an appropriate floor plan with your rental facility to ensure that your guests are accommodated in the most comfortable way.
When shopping for a caterer, check references and look through photo albums of past wedding receptions. Interview each company to determine exactly what services you will be receiving. Make sure you are comfortable with the caterer and their staff. A competent, qualified caterer will welcome your questions, answer them, and make you feel confident that they can handle your reception with skill and ease.
To find a caterer in the San Antonio area, visit the catering section of our San Antonio website.
To find a caterer in the Austin area, visit the catering section of our Austin website.Austin, caterers, catering, San Antonio, wedding catering, wedding food, weddings
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