Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between “Corporate Catering” and “Special Events Catering”?

Corporate catering refers to smaller parties (of 4-40 guests), or events involving food delivery only (no serving required). Our Corporate breakfast and lunch offerings are all based on smaller events that do not require service staff. Office lunches and meetings usually fall under the “Corporate” category. Special Events Catering refers to larger parties (40+ guests), and events that require service staff and/or rental china. Weddings, company BBQ’s, Cocktail Parties, and Memorials are some examples of special events.

When do I need to book a caterer?

Depending on the event, it is best to book the caterer anywhere from 2 weeks to one year in advance. Larger parties (such as weddings) are best to be booked about 6 months in advance, as the bride and groom typically need time to plan the timeline and menu with their event coordinator. Smaller private or corporate parties (including BBQ’s) can be booked as little as a week in advance, but this may limit the menu choices and availability during peak times.

Are the menus set in stone?

Certainly not! We are more than happy to create a custom menu or mix-and-match from our existing menus. Let us know what you are looking for, and we can make it happen.

How far outside of Vancouver will the Butler Travel?

We are happy to cater anywhere that we can drive! If your event is more than a 1 hour drive from our shop in Vancouver, it may limit some of your menu choices as not all of our food can travel long distances. Our Event Coordinators can certainly help you with a menu that will be suitable and delicious! The Butler may have to charge for travel time and passenger vans if the location of the event is more than 1 hour from the city centre.

Check out our ‘Fine Print’ for more information about deliveries

Is it best to book the caterer, or the venue first?

It is best to book the venue first for a few reasons:

  1. Not all venues allow outside caterers, so you may have to use their in-house catering services
  2. Each venue is unique, and we base our proposals on the location you have chosen. The venue will affect the estimate of costs (delivery, service, etc).

Does the cost on the website include staff and rentals?

The prices listed on our website are for the food only. Staff and rental charges vary on a wide variety of factors, including: timeline, location, menu, venue-provided supplies, etc. The Butler is happy to arrange for a food delivery if you desire to keep costs low. If you wish for the full service option (with staff and rentals), one of our Event Coordinators will be happy to put a detailed catering proposal together for you based on your requirements.

Do I need the Service Staff, or can I just get the food delivered?

You can certainly request a simple drop off instead of a fully staffed event. This may limit some of the menu choices as certain items do need to be assembled by our professional staff, but our Coordinators are happy to assist with building a menu that you can easily serve yourself. Delivery rates vary on the location and size of the order.

Can I meet my Event Coordinator in person?

Absolutely! We are happy to book an appointment with you to discuss your event in detail. We prefer to do this after we have provided you with an initial proposal, as the estimate will answer some of your questions and hopefully help spark more for our meeting! Larger events, such as weddings, will also require a “Walk Through” where our Coordinators will meet you at the venue to discuss floor plan, etc. This is usually done about a month before the event date.

Can I taste the food before booking?

We are happy to organize a taster for our larger events. These are best to book at least a week in advance to ensure the coordinators availability and give the kitchen time to get the menu items in.The tasters are generally $25.00 per person, or free of charge if you have paid the deposit. If you book after the taster, we will deduct the $50.00 off your final invoice, so the taster is always free for our booked clients.

What are the deposit and payment requirements?

To book your date we require a $500.00 non-refundable deposit. Two weeks before the event date will ask for a 75% Estimate Pre-Payment. The final payment is due upon the receipt of the final invoice, which will be mailed to you after your event date.

Will my Event Coordinator be at my event?

We are a large company and can cater up to 8 events a day. While our Coordinators do our best to visit each event, the “Banquet Captain” will be your main contact on site. He or she will ensure that all the details you and your Event Coordinator have gone over will be seen to on the day of your party. Only our most senior and experienced staff get promoted to the Banquet Captain position, to ensure the best possible service at our events. We also offer the service of having an “Event Manager” on site. This is usually required for larger or more complicated events (such as plated dinners). The cost is $45.00/hour. The Event Manager will work with the other vendors, and the venue, to ensure that the set-up and execution of the event are seen to flawlessly.

Do you charge a corkage fee?

No, and we are more than happy to provide Bartenders and serve your beverages for you. Providing your own alcohol is a great way to cut costs on your event.

Do you charge a cake-cutting fee?

We will happily cut your cake without charging you a cake-cutting fee.

Can I have the servers for just a 4-hour minimum?

This depends on the length of your event. Note that some of our staff start and finish at the Butler shop, so their day will include the loading/unloading of the catering van, travel time and set up/strike of the location. Other staff will start and finish on site. If your time line permits we can certainly try to keep the staff to a 4 hour shift on site, but longer events will require longer shifts from our servers.

What does the staff wear on site?

For formal events, the staff will wear black dress pants, dress shoes, and an apron and tie with a white collared shirt. For casual events (such as summer time BBQ’s) the staff wears black dress pants with our “Who Did It” t-shirts. If your event requires a Chef, they will wear black dress pants with a clean and ironed Chef’s Jacket.

Who is responsible to get the Liquor License?

It is the responsibility of the Host to get the License, and the Catering Company/Event Coordinator, etc. cannot get it on your behalf. You will need to get the License at a Liquor Store in the city where your event is taking place (for instance, if your event is in Richmond but you live in North Vancouver, you will need to get the License from a Richmond Liquor Store). If you are planning on a cash bar instead of a Host Bar, the license may need to go through the RCMP and take more time, so it is highly recommended that you take care of this about a month before your event.Technically, whoever applies for the License requires having their own “Serving it Right” card. This can be obtained online, after taking an easy open book exam, and does have a small fee.

Here is a link to the Government website with more information:

http://www.eia.gov.bc.ca/lclb/apply/special/index.htm

 

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TESTIMONIALS:

  • "Incredible Experience"
      "Thanks so much for all your work and incredible experience you provided at our wedding reception! The meal was amazing and the service was impeccable! It was a pleasure working with you and we will definitely recommend you in the future."
    Viet-tu and Gustavo
    Happy Clients
  • "Fantastic Job"
    "Our wedding was absolutely perfect. Your team did a fantastic job. The food was delicious and there was lots of it. It couldn't have gone any better. We really enjoyed working with you and thanks for all your hard work. We will recommending you to our friends that recently got engaged."
    Marina & Andrew
    Happy Clients
  • "Fun Atmosphere"
      "Thank you! You and your team did a terrific job at my client's company picnic. The food was very well received, and I heard many, many positive comments on it - as you and I well know, catering can be the deciding factor in guests' assessments of any given event. Along with cooperative weather and a fun atmosphere, it all resulted in a very successful Family Picnic for about 800 guests. The menu you developed for us was ideal for this event; it met both our guests' needs and our budget needs - no small feat in itself. Your staff were warm and professional, and the buffet was well laid out, prettily decorated, and abundant. As well, I really appreciate your "team" approach with our other suppliers, and your clarity and transparency regarding billing.   I hope this was the first of many events we work on together, and I look forward to our next project. Please relay my thanks to your team as well. Thank you again."
    Ann Charlton
    Principal Full Circle Project Services LTD
  • "Delighted"
    "The Butler Did It Catering services made my event a success! My client was delighted with everything that was provided, and I have no hesitation in recognizing the big contribution their entire team made. The Finer Details is a Vancouver event planing company which specializes in organizing memorable occasions. in searching for a company that would provide catering for a Mardi Gras celebration for a corporate client and their 800 guests, it became obvious that The Butler Did It would provide me with exactly the kind of quality I was seeking. The Butler Did It staff backed up my own event planning with a high quality menu and buffet presentation, which reflectedwell on my team and impressed the client.   Apart from the excellent buffet food, a key feature of The Butler Did It Catering was the excellent customer service. The whole team from the chef serving staff, went out of their way to accommodate the clients requests. And went about their work with care and professionalism.   At their website www.butlerdiditcatering.com The Butler Did It Catering explains their approach as creative, professional and attentive which I have certainly found to be true. I recommend them highly and look forward to inviting them to work with me on future events.

    Sincerely"

    Deborah Wallace
    The Finer Details Event Planning
  • " Brilliant"
    "I can't thank you enough for all of the amazing work performed by The Butler Did It for my husband's surprise 50th birthday party. From our first email exchange through the party's cleanup last Saturday night I've found you and your staff to be exceedingly professional, efficient, and fun. That's neary three months of contact in which one might expect that some glitch could appear, some problem emerge that we might have had difficulty working through. But there was noneof that. There was simply a great working relationship that culminated in an incredible party. All i can say is that you are all very, very good at what you do! We truly had an incredible party that none of us will ever forget. My husband was 100% surprised and really just very bowled over by the whole evening. This was in no small part due to the brilliant job your staff did throughout the night.   I got too-many-to-count great comments about all of the food, from the appetizers through to the deserts. The presentation was awesome and everything looked as good as it tasted. Your staff had done beautiful job setting everything up before we arrived. When we walked in I remember thinking that the tables were so lovely. I'd already known more or less what they'd look like and still it was surprising and fun for me. I can only imagine how blown away my husband was! I'm so grateful to have discovered You and Your company and I will highly recommend You in any way I can in the future. With all very best"
    Karen Parrish
  • "Magical"
    " I just have to say THANK YOU to The Butler Did It for helping to make our daughter's wedding day MAGICAL. From our first meeting with you to the day of the wedding we felt at easy, knowing you had thought of everything! I can't tell you how many tmes I have said "Our caterer is more like a wedding planner." You guys suggested things that we hadn't even thought of and coordinated the day with the rental companies and the photographer and the DJ and the venue. You were a JOY to work with.   When we entered the ballroom and saw how elegant the tables were set it took our breath away. The staff were friendly and willing to please. Our guests enjoyed themselves so much and ranted and raved the quality of the food. We wouldn't hasitate to recommend The Butler Did It to our family and friends."  
    Mrs Dawn Scott
    Happy Client