**Preparing a served banquet/meal (lunch or dinner) requires a lot of planning, coordination and labour. When you request a meal to be served at a given time, everything is prepped and cooked so it is at its best to be served at the requested time. Delaying the start of your dinner service means the meal will not be at its best, as well as causing an increase in all related labour costs. In light of this, after an initial 20 to 30 minute buffer starting from the scheduled start time, there will be a $50 charge added to your booking fee for every 15 minute delay in service.**
Cocktails & Cocktail Dinatoires
We offer a selection of both stationary tray items and passed or stationary hors d’oeuvres trays.
When offering passed hors d’oeuvres there is a very easy general rule to follow: Order at least one of each type of hors d’oeuvre you want to offer for each guest. For example, if you are expecting 60 guests and want to offer 5 types of hors d’oeuvres you would want to order 5 doz. of each type, for a total of 300 pieces. When looking at our menus and its prices, keep in mind the prices for hors d’oeuvres are per dozen pieces.
When offering a stationary tray buffet, you do not need to be as exact with your numbers. You do still want to order enough so everyone can try everything, but as all of our trays (with the exception of our standard Sandwich Tray) are designed to offer several pieces per person you do not need to order each tray to the exact number of people you expect. As well, the more selection you offer, the less of each tray you need to offer, to an extent, and still achieve the goal of having some of everything for everyone. For example, if you are expecting 60 guests, and you want to offer 6 types of trays, you could easily order each tray for 45-50 people and have plenty for a good snack. Of course depending on the time of day for your event, and whether you are doing something before or after, perhaps having the cocktail as a precursor to a dinner, all play into determining how much you want to offer. If the tray buffet is to replace a lunch or dinner, you would want to alter your quantities accordingly.
For a Cocktail Dinatoire you definitely want to err on the side of over-ordering rather than under-ordering. Though a traditional cocktail dinatoire is strictly food passed around by servers, ours generally include a solid mix of passed hors d’oeuvres, both hot and cold, buffet trays, and even buffet salads, depending on the desires of the client. If the event is being planned far enough in advance, we are always open to working off-menu if our current offerings do not quite fulfill what you have in mind for your event.
Served Dinners & Lunches
For the served dinner menu there are quite strict guidelines to follow.
When looking at the appetizer, soup, salad and dessert menus you want to remember that for these courses you will be ordering the same item for everyone. Of course if someone has allergies that must be considered, we are always happy to make a special dish.
With the main course we can do up to two choices, generally meat vs. fish or meat vs. vegetarian, though this can vary. For the meat/chicken/fish dishes the type of starch (potato or rice) and vegetable must be the same for everyone. Depending on the vegetarian choice selected the vegetables may also be added to this option. If you are looking at offering two meats (chicken and beef) or a meat and a fish, but know you have just one or two vegetarians, it may be possible to add a third, vegetarian, option, however if a significant portion of your group requires a vegetarian meal you will need to go with just a meat dish and a vegetarian dish as your two options. As well, if there is someone with a particular allergy that can only be accommodated by offering that person a modified or special meal, we will do our best to accommodate you.
It is very important to verify your menu and its options with us before sending out RSVPs or confirming the menu with any of the attendees, just to make sure we are all on the same page in terms of what we are offering. At the time the final order needs to be placed (10 days before the event) we will also need the main course breakdown in terms of how many of each main course option you need. Once the order is placed it is possible to make minor adjustments up until about 3 days before the event, depending on the day of the event (i.e. a Monday event cannot take changes after the Thursday morning before).
If possible, it is ideal to have place cards with each guests’ name and their meal selection (often done by colour coding stickers on the front of the place cards) so guests can have that card showing where they end up sitting, and the staff will know what meal to place in front of each guest, without interrupting them.
Hot Buffet Dinners & Lunches
The most common mistake that organizers make when planning a hot buffet lunch or dinner is trying to offer too many choices. Because you do not know what guests will take, and because guests will often assume it’s okay to go back for seconds, or overload their plate the first time around, you will need to over-order slightly for each option you offer, so it is best to keep your options limited as opposed to ordering a lesser amount of many different things, only to run out of that which guests want most. A buffet dinner, for this reason, can often cost as much, if not more, than a served meal.
A good rule to work with is to order at least 5 more servings of each option you plan to order than guests you expect to feed with that option. Alternatively, it is possible for us to have service staff stationed at the buffet to serve out the food in a portion controlled manner. If you would like to go with this option, please be sure to make it clear when you are placing the order as the default is a self-serve buffet.
When it comes to salads refer to our Buffet Salad menu, and refer to our Buffet Tray menu for items to supplement the Main Course order, particularly for dessert options, i.e. the Fruit Tray and Assorted Mini Squares Tray.