Q. How early should I start looking for a caterer and planning my event?
A. If you are reading this then you have already found your caterer. Depending on the size and scope of your event, three or four months prior is usually sufficient. However, we have booked, planned, and produced a fabulous wedding reception in less than two weeks before. (Not recommended.)
Q. How is off-premise catering different than regular catering?
A. It is like the difference between peeling an apple in your back pocket with nail clippers and knocking over a glass of milk. Regular caterers just take stuff out of the fridge and pop it in the oven and then haul it out to the ballroom. Off-premise caterers have to prep the food in their commissary, place it on rolling stock in containers that maintain healthful temperatures, load the vans with everything required for the event (including ladles, salt and pepper shakers, blow torches, back up plans, and duct tape), drive to the destination, build a field kitchen to finish cooking and then serve the food with warmth and panache, all the while making it look easy and fun. Off-premise teams are the Chuck Norrises of the catering world.
Q. I have found a menu in a magazine that I want at my next party. Can you make it for me?
A. Probably. But we think you should set up a planning meeting with one of our catering directors who make it their business to be ahead of trends. Chances are, if you’ve read it in a magazine others have too, and your guests might end up attending two parties with identical food. That’s kind of like showing up at a formal dance wearing the same dress as your sorority sister.
Q. Is any of your food frozen?
A. Only the ice cream, gelato, and an occasional margarita.
Q. I am gluten-intolerant. Do you offer anything I can eat?
A. We can accommodate any special dietary requests—we’ve catered vegan weddings, Goth engagement parties, nut-free snack mix, you name it. The only thing we refuse to do is remove green M & Ms at the request of demanding rock bands. We are an equal opportunity candy provider.
Q. How do I schedule an event consultation?
A. There are several places on this website where you will find a button that says “Book an Appointment.” We’d say that’s a fine place to start.
Q. Do you do tastings?
A. Tastings are one of those urban myths like Big Foot and New York Sewer Alligators. We think it is more fun to invite you to visit a real event we are catering and taste their food. (We have you come early and we do it in the kitchen--we’re not all Wedding Crashers about it or anything.)
Q. Do you sell alcohol in packages or by consumption?
A. We recommend packages as the best way to go. You can budget for an exact amount instead of stressing when the final reckoning is done at the end of the party when all you really want to do is take off your shoes and go to bed with your clothes on. Your guests have unlimited beverages for a specified amount of time, and you don’t have to chase after people who leave behind half a glass of wine to do the chicken dance yelling ”Hey! You just wasted $7 of my hard-earned cash!”
Q. What’s your favorite party you’ve ever booked?
A. Your next one.
Q. Can you guys help with other stuff like linens and flowers and decorations and invitations?
A. Excellent question! Being a full-service caterer, we can help you with many details but we highly recommend using an event planner to coordinate everything. There are several top notch firms in Orlando who can make your event shine as bright as the lights on Times Square.
Q. What is the smallest party you will cater?
A. We once catered a dinner for two. It was for a gentleman who was popping the question to his lady. That dinner cost more than the ring. Just sayin’.
Q. What is the largest party you’ve ever catered?
A. We catered an outdoor cocktail party for 10,000 one time, and we catered the “wedding of the century’ for a local socialite for 750 seated guests in a 35,000 s.f. tent. That one was five courses, all synchronized service.
Q. What the heck is synchronized service?
A. That’s when eight servers hand-carrying two plates each approach a table and set them on a swanky decorated table simultaneously. We make our service teams practice for hours using empty plates to get it exactly right. When we feel ornery we make them wear tights.
Q. Can I/my daughter/my son/friend/brother/sister come and work with you?
A. We are always looking for fresh, smiling, experienced cater waiters so check out that “Book an Appointment” button on this website and we’ll take it from there.
Q. What words of advice can you give to an aspiring off-premise caterer?
A. Run the other way! Seriously, it is really hard work. But it is also creative, and magical and fun. You can never plan too much and you should take nothing for granted. Check lists are your friends. Have a rain plan, a flood plan, a tornado plan and a power outage plan. Sweat the small stuff. Carry aspirin in your backpack. Be nice. Don’t ever agree to Mashed Potato Martini Bars. Drink your milk, it does a body good.