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.
Is it best to book the caterer, or the venue first?
It is best to book the venue first for a few reasons:
- Not all venues allow outside caterers, so you may have to use their in-house catering services
- 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. 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:
Didn’t find the answer?
Why not contact us? We can help you out for your catering requirements.
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