How much will my party cost?
Any event, regardless of the occasion, has so many components that it is not easy to give a simple answer. In addition to the varieties of menus, there are the dishes, glasses, linen, number of courses, complexity of the menu (which may determine how many chefs and servers are needed), and the length of the event. The event location can also affect the cost, since some locations are easier to work in than others. In short, pricing for a catered event is determined by many factors including: Location, Number of Guests, Menu, Beverage Service, Equipment & Staffing. In general, the smaller the number of guests, the higher the price per person. This is due to the majority of expenses like truck, fuel and staffing cost the same for a small event as they would for a larger event. We are delighted to prepare a custom proposal for your event!
Why should off-premise catering be more expensive than a restaurant?
Well, essentially we create a restaurant for you, for one meal, one time. Regardless of how clever we may be, it is not possible to do this for less than a restaurant that is open 6 or 7 days a week. The catering business is not unlike the moving business. We must plan ahead, plot routes, figure travel time, load trucks, and pay for staff for travel and down times. In the case of a wedding when the ceremony is in the same location, we will need to complete the catering set-up prior to the ceremony time which means that our staff will be idle for a while. Ours is a business of “Hurry-up and Wait”. In addition, we do not have set menus which means that our repertoire is constantly evolving to keep up with current trends as well as the wishes of our clients. In a restaurant the chefs do the same items over & over.
Our event is scheduled to end at 11:00 PM. What happens if we want to go a little longer?
Our pricing to you includes service until a pre-determined time. The event supervisor will check with you about 30 minutes prior to the original end time to see if we can close the event as planned or if you would like to extend the event time. If you choose to extend the time of your event, we will bill you in ½ hour increments based on the staff required. For the most part all of our staff arrive and leave with us as there is plenty of work prior to the event and after, loading and unloading trucks.
Why do you price Beverage Service separately?
Cartewheels Catering is licensed by the TABC to sell alcohol and we employ TABC licensed bartenders. If your event is at a location off premiss you have the option to provide the alcohol or Cartewheels can provide the alcohol. Our bartenders will serve in either case. If your event is at Events at Water St. or at Cartewheels, we must supply all alcohol.
Can I take the leftover food?
Our insurance agent and attorney both tell us that it is dangerous for us to leave food behind, since we concede control over how and when it is served once we are gone. Generally, we consider all extra food to be the property of Cartewheels and our commitment to the client fulfilled after all of the guests have eaten their fill during the hours agreed upon. The amount of food for a buffet is not an exact science and because of that we always bring more than we think will actually be consumed. Would you really want the last guest in line to see only one portion of green beans in the bowl? We think of this practice as our insurance. At any event there are heavy eaters and light eaters somehow this usually averages out but on rare occasions there are more heavy eaters and we do not want to worry about whether there is enough food. However, we do make every effort to leave you some food that we are comfortable with packing for you from a safety aspect.
Is the 18% administrative fee a gratuity for staff?
NO. We believe that gratuities should be left to the discretion of the client based on their satisfaction with the service they experienced at the event. For this reason, we never automatically charge a gratuity although the staff is always grateful should the client decide to offer one. In order to assure that all involved in the success of your event are rewarded, please give any gratuity to the event supervisor who will disperse to all who contributed their labors to your event. As for the administrative fee, it goes toward consultations, menu development, proposal preparation, transportation, licensing, insurance, and maintaining a commissary and business office.