Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Kind of catering services do you provide?
A: The FoodSmiths Catering is a commercial kitchen facility that provides a wide range of services: from boxed lunches and party platters that can either be picked up at our location or delivered to yours, to full service dining at the location of your choosing with service staff, bartenders and equipment rentals. You can host your event in your home, office or at one of the many banquet facilities that we work with in the area.
Q. When should I call a catering company?
A. As soon as you have decided on the date of your event or party. The more lead-time you have the more likely you will be able to work with the caterer of your choice. For a wedding or large-scale event it is recommended that you start your search up to 12 - 18 months in advance. If you are already closer to your date than that, we will still do our best to accommodate you. Remember that peak times for catering companies are weekends and holiday periods such as Christmas. Late Spring, Summer and Fall are peak wedding times so allow additional time if you plan your wedding between May and October.
Q: How do I start?
A: Call Gretchen, the Chef/Owner, directly at (614)477-8030 or email her at Gretchen@thefoodsmiths.com. You can also contact Stephané Carpenter, Event Coordinator, directly at (614)602-7802 or via email email@example.com. We will answer your questions, try to help you clarify your vision and put your entertaining priorities in order. Tell us about the style you are envisioning for your party, your budget, and the services you need. We can then create a estimate which will include a description of your menu and your specific service requirements and rentals. We pride ourselves in offering transparent pricing that line itemizes each aspect of your event for you to make choices about what you would like. We'll work together to fine tune this proposal and negotiate your budget.
Q: How do I book an event?
A: After you have chosen us as your caterer, we'll proceed with the Date Reservation contract and deposit. For larger events, that date is yours alone. You have our full commitment and attention to detail; we do not double book. If needed, we can schedule a walk-through of the location of your event.
Q: How much will it cost?
A: Good question, but no easy answer! This will depend on your guest count, location, the party style, and overall service requirements. Prices vary and can be custom fitted to your needs. It does help to have a rough sense of your budget. That way when you are ready to begin, we can give you the best scenario to allocate our costs accurately
Q. Do I really need to set a budget before speaking with catering companies?
A. Most people are apprehensive about talking about budget upfront but it is a good idea to have a general idea of how much you want to spend per person on your event. This will save you and the caterer time and it will enable the caterer to develop menu with your budget in mind. It is far more important to choose a caterer on their overall approach to your event or party than solely on price. Most good caterers work within a wide range of budgets.
Q. How much do catering companies charge? Can they work within my budget?
A. Every event is different and every caterer will have a unique approach. Catering costs depend on a number of factors: the type of menu, the style of service, the length of event, the location and the complexity of the event. At The FoodSmiths, we custom build our menus to meet the needs of our clients. Prices range from $10 per person for finger foods, to $100 and over for formal sit-down style dinners.
Q: Where can I have my party?
A: Parties may be held at your own location or at one of the many local rental facilities that we work with. The location for your event sets the mood for your celebration. We have catered events in a wide variety of locations from a picnic area in a city park that we transformed into a secret garden setting to the main room of a warehouse building that we transformed into a beautiful hall for the night. If you need assistance finding a space for your event, we can help.
Q. What does the term full-service caterer mean?
A. We are a full service catering company who, in addition to taking charge of food preparation and service, also can handle other elements of the event such as table settings, decorations, bar service and event coordination.
Q: Who will I work with?
A: You will be working directly with the Chef/Owner Gretchen Smith Bonasera. Chef Gretchen handles each client personally to ensure the highest quality of service.
Q. Should I get a written catering proposal?
A. Yes. You should ask each caterer to provide you with a written proposal and make sure this includes all charges from menu items, rentals, staff, service or delivery charges, taxes and times for delivery, set-up, tear down and service. Make sure that it is clear that the price you are being quoted is the full price that you will be paying. We, at The FoodSmiths Catering pride ourselves in offering our transparent pricing estimates that line itemizes each and every aspect of your event for you to make choices about what you would like. We'll work together to fine tune this proposal and negotiate your budget.
Q: Do you have references?
A: Yes! We are happy to provide you with a list of references for past events. Also, check out our 'Client Testimonials' page to see what other people are saying about us.
Q: What if I have a favorite recipe or want to make some of my own food?
A: Generally, we work from our own recipes, but we are happy to create or adapt a dish based on a client's request.
Q: Can I bring any of my own food?
A: Specialty decorated cakes are one item you can provide, although we do serve cupcakes and a variety of delectable desserts.
Q. Can I provide my own alcohol or do I have to use the caterer for bar service?
A. Some facilities will be holders of a liquor license, which means that they provide the alcohol service at your event. If you choose a venue without a liquor license, you can bring in your own alcohol, as allowed. This can be a significant money saver. We can then provide bartenders and service goods and equipment as you need them. Our infused beverages make great mixers!
Q: What if I need a Specialty Station?
A: Gourmet Salad Tossing Stations, Pasta Stations, Sundae Bars, and Carving Stations are an example of what we offer on a regular basis. However, other ideas you may have are welcome. If you can think of it, we will do our best to accommodate you!