Common questions and answers
What is the server to guest ratio?
The ratio varies with the type of service. We have heard of ratios as close as 2:1 (1 server for every 2 guests) but ratios of 6:1 or 10:1 are more common for plated service. This does not include beverage servers, bartenders, stations attendants or kitchen staff.
How to choose the right caterer?
Selecting your caterer is extremely personal – it is more than just liking their food. Caterers must be able to understand what makes the client tick and help them sort through the myriad of decisions to get to the core of what they’re looking for. Great caterers combine their planning skills with a pinch of psychology, a dash of humility and a large serving of humor and compassion.
How do tastings work?
Once a menu is selected, a date for the tasting is arranged. Depending on how far in advance from the event date and how seasonal the menu selections, the tasting menu may match or deviate from the actual menu. We see the tastings helping the client determine the style and feel for their wedding. Whenever possible we provide the actual food that will be served, but not always possible due to seasonal food supply from our area.
Do caterers normally provide tables and how is this arranged?
Tables fall into a broad category of rentals that include chairs, china, glassware, etc. These are provided either by the caterer or by a rental company through the caterer. The caterer usually handles the rentals and is therefore responsible to guarantee the performance of the rental company. The relationship between the caterer and rental company is one of the most closely guarded relationships in the industry – each is dependent on the performance of the other rental companies assiduously compete for the business from the best caterers. This is their primary pipeline of business.
Aside from great food, what else do caterers provide?
Many people just assume that they can plan and cook for their own events. But when the deadline starts to get closer most people realize they forgot to polish the flatware or steam the linens so a crease does not tip a wine glass. Caterers have to pay attention to detail in every department and keep the client happy till the last moment before service.
The executive chef will begin with a consultation with the client. This will include a survey to provide to all potential guests to point out food allergies, food aggressions, and themes to just name a couple items. After the client and chef make clear of the cuisine, theme and momentum of the event, they will then either meet with the planner or decide on the venue and location. The best reason to hire a caterer is easily explained to the public by showing them the details at hand. When someone decides to have an event they should focus on their guests and mingling.
The details of planning, cooking, presenting, and serving should be assigned to a profession that can micro manage stress and get the ball from point A to point B without a hitch. Keep in mind that caterers have the experience over thousands of events to pull from memory when an issue arises and a solution is just a thought away. Contact l’étoile catering for your next event – we look forward to celebrating life with you.