You Have Questions? We Have Answers!
Planning an event is no small undertaking. It can be overwhelming
with so much to do, but no need to worry....
That's what we are here for!
Below are the most commonly asked questions we are asked
with the answers. Have we missed something?
No worries. Simply give us a shout!
Catering Concepts, Inc. is capable of taking your ideas and transforming them into the event you envisioned, making even the most challenging circumstance appear effortless.
Q-How do I determine my budget?
Well first you will need to determine what level of food and service are you seeking.
Pick Up or Drop off Foods? Provided in disposable containers, or bring your own platters to have them arranged by our chefs. This is best for those who want to supplement their menus, but don't require additional service. (Delivery Fee applies to drop off-fee determined by distance).
Drop off with Setup? Caterer will setup buffet and depart. All foods to be held and served by client at appropriate temperatures, disposable products will be provided for food service. Rental items such as linens, chafing dishes, etc. are available, and will incur pickup charges.
Limited Seating, or Standup Cocktail Reception? These events typically focus on Buttlered, or Tray passed items, with supplemental Stationary Food Displays. These "Mix and Mingle" type events are great for networking after hours, company branding or product launches, or anyone who wants a high end feel to their event, but wants to keeps costs reasonable, with more focus on the food and beverage, utilizing less labor and rentals.
Buffet Receptions with Guest Seating, set with China, Flatware, Glassware, and Linen Napkins. Buffet and Beverage Station Linens Are to the floor: Catering Concepts' provides one buffet line for every 50 Guests for most events. Your buffet will have the latest in Buffet Service-ware, customized to the look of your event. One server per 30 guests, and one bartender per 75 guests is standard.
Rentals? Rentals above are quoted separately on event proposal according to event specifications.
Attended Stations, Plated Dinners, or Large, Corporate or Fundraising Events? These events are the "Crown Jewel" of our repertoire. We are able to accommodate events that other caterers are unable or unequipped to execute properly. From Multi-Venue, Progressive 5 Star Weddings, to a Seated Plated Event for a 1,000+ guests served in 15 minutes with a military precision.
Corporate Events: We can make anything happen, anywhere. These events are not always the highest dollar per person, but require more logistical forethought, and planning. We are also able to assist in suggesting other vendors such as a DJ, Centerpieces, uplighting, and photographer to make your event complete.
Q - Do I need Event Insurance, and how do I get it? Event Insurance is available to offset any unforeseeable losses due to unexpected event cancellation due to weather, venue closure, family emergency, etc. This insurance may also be purchased as a rider to your homeowners policy through your insurance agent, and is highly recommended for outdoor events. Your Venue may also require you and your vendors to purchase this insurance, which can add an additional expense, please read all contracts carefully to avoid unexepected surprises. On-line Vendors for Event Insurance: k and k insurance.com (look under events) and Wedsafe.com
Q – What does being a full-service, off-premise caterer mean? As a full-service, off-premise caterer, we create seasonal standard menus appropriate to our clients taste preferences, budget demands and theme consideration. Our “sample menus” are only an initial indication of our repertoire. Off premise catering is essentially building a restaurant in one day and tearing it down again.. Linens, China, Flatware, Glassware, Lighting, Ice Sculptures and Décor, we offer a wide range of options to choose from to transform your site. The benefit to the client is a unique event experience, one that can be customized to their taste in foods, décor, and location.
Q – What is the process for planning an event? After your initial contact with our office, you will be sent general catering information and sample menus appropriate for your type of event along with the name of your Event Specialist. Your Event Specialist will give you time to review the information, and call to arrange for an appointment to meet or speak with you over the phone. Your Event Specialist will then guide you through the planning process, culminating in a custom proposal for your event.
Q – What size of events do you caterer? Seated Dinner Parties from 10 people to 1,000. Cocktail, Buffet, or Company Picnics up to 3,000.
Q – Some of my guests are vegetarian. How will you accommodate them? We are happy to provide vegetarian or other dietetic menu choices as needed to please your guests. Special meals may be billed at a slightly higher menu rate.
Q – What beverage services do you provide? Full bar services can be provided for parties small and large. We can recommend how much liquor to purchase for any given event, should the client chose to purchase their own alcohol. We carry a Caterers ABC Liquor License. Catering Concepts cannot transport or store client supplied alcohol on it’s vehicles or premises. All alcohol transported and stored on Catering Concepts property must have the Catering Concepts Virginia Alcohol ID# on each bottle. To store or transport alcohol without this number on the bottles would violate our ABC license.
Q – What can I expect to see in your proposal? Our event proposals itemize cost estimates per person for food and beverage in addition to cost estimates for labor, rentals, linens, etc. Changes in the venue, service hours, or final guest count as calculated on our proposal may affect stated cost estimates.
Q – How are labor costs determined? All service labor is billed by the hour, excluding deliveries. Wait staff is billed at a minimum of $20.00-$25.00 per hour, per staff member, including 2-3 Hours for setup, and an hour for breakdown in addition to the event hours. Labor cost estimates in our proposals can also include travel time between our facility and the event site.
Q – Are gratuities included in either my proposal or final bill? Gratuities are wholly at the discretion of the client and are not included in our proposal or invoice. The Service Charge listed on your bill covers miscellaneous costs incurred which are not itemized, as is not a gratuity for the staff.
Q – When do I need to reserve a date on your calendar? As soon as you have a specific date in mind, contact us to reserve that date on our calendar. Some events are booked a year in advance! Normally, we need 10 days advance notice to plan an event, although some can be arranged in less time.
Q – Do you require a deposit? Catering Concepts, Inc. accepts their bookings on a "first come first serve" basis. A $500.00 “Save the Date” deposit will hold your date as booked. This deposit is non-refundable. Once you have secured Catering Concepts as your Caterer of choice with a signed contract and submitted your deposit, the $500.00 "Save the Date" deposit will be deducted from your final bill. A 25% payment based on the estimated total is due for your event no later than 6 months in advance of your event or your date will be released. A final headcount and remaining balance must be submitted 10 days prior to your event date.
Q – What forms of payment do you accept? Yes. We accept Cash, Checks, Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, and American Express.
Q – When do I need to decide on a final guest count? What happens if that number goes up or down shortly before or the day of the event? We require your final minimum guest count (10) business days in advance of your event. This number will be used to establish ordering quantities of food, rentals, number of staff, etc. After this final guaranteed minimum number is given, we will make every effort to accommodate increases to your final count made within three (3) business days of your event, but we cannot lower your final count for billing purposes after the first deadline.
Q – How do I make a reservation? Call us! 757-425-5682Office Hours : Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:00pmEmail us! events@catering concepts.netFax us! 757-425-5923
Q – I may need a tent. Can you provide one? We can arrange a tent rental for your every need. When a tent is used, we plan and diagram it’s orientation at your site, table placements within, etc. When a tent is being used for an event, a rain plan may be reserved at an additional charge, and typically requires a non-refundable deposit. Rain Plan Tents and walkway marquees are best reserved in advance, as they may not be available closer to your event date.
Q – I would like to have an event with a specific theme. Do you supply decorations and other items to suit the theme I have in mind? Your Event Specialist can customize Menus, Food Presentations, Table Linens and Settings with a variety of Themes (chairs, linens, china, serving pieces, etc.). For additional Decorative Theming, we can recommend and coordinate with a variety of event professionals in the area to bring together all aspects of your party, from centerpiece design to large-scale props and dramatic visual effects, we can assist you in creating and staging a truly unforgettable event.
Q – Can you recommend a baker for a wedding cake? Yes. We have several contacts in the area we recommend highly. No special labor charges apply for cutting and serving the wedding cake.
Q – Do you provide shuttle service or valet parking? Yes. These services are contracted through independent service agencies. We are happy to coordinate these services for your event.
Q – How far do you travel to cater an event? We cater state-wide, as well as in surrounding states. In this period of rising gasoline prices, a fuel surcharge applies to all events and will be included in your proposal. Please also note that labor costs will increase with increased travel time. More distant events may also involve special truck or van rental fees.
Q – Do you carry liability insurance? Yes. A Certificate of Insurance can be provided to you or your venue upon request.