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.
Which style of service is right for our wedding ?
Style of service refers to the overall flow of the culinary portion of the event. Are guests sitting with several plates, is it family style service or is it a roaming food station event with Buffets? Knowing this information and talking through what that means affects staffing, equipment and cost to the client. We will be happy to meet with you and help you plan out what style best suits your unique needs.
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. . We suggest reserving your date as soon as it is confirmed. Summer weekends and all dates in December fill very quick.
Where does Mega Alexander Foods Cater?
We are happy to cater anywhere that we can drive! If your event is more than a 1 hour drive from our location in Surrey , it may limit some of your menu choices as not all of our food can travel long distances. Our Event Coordinator can certainly help you with a menu that will be suitable and delicious! We 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.
Can I make up my own menu or make changes in your menus?
Absolutely! We love to help you create a special menu just for your party! All of the menus on this website are completely customizable; you are welcome to make any additions or changes you prefer.
Can you provide for vegetarian and special dietary needs?
We have wide variety of vegetarian, vegan and other special needs menu items. When you come in to plan your event, we will discuss your dietary needs and suggest a menu that will be suitable for you and your guests. Please tell us if we need to consider food allergies.
Are rentals provided by the caterer?
It is possible for the event rentals to be provided by the caterer, the planner, or even the client; however we recommend that the caterer contracts and manages the event rentals. This is especially helpful for a variety of reasons. Mega Alexander Foods offer as part of our management, the service that we meet the rental provider, directly load in and count in all rental equipment as well as inventory these items at the end of the event. This reduces and eliminates the question of loss and breakage and ultimately saves you money. In managing this order from the beginning we are able to make sure we have everything that is needed for your event to be successful.
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. Mega Alexander Foods is happy to provide disposable plates and cutlery for a minimal charge, and arrange for a food delivery if you desire to keep costs low. 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.
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.
Will my Event Coordinator be at my event?
Our Coordinator will attend your event when required for large weddings and special events. 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. 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 $35.00/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.
What does the coordination fee cover?
The fee offsets labor and administration costs such as planning for your event, administrative hours and time, shopping for products for your event, site visits, vendor visits, working with rental companies, etc. The fee is not a gratuity and is subject to provincial tax.
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 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.
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 base , 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?
Our trained, professional staff are attired either in black and white uniforms or in all black uniforms with long, black bistro aprons. They are professional, neat, and always ready to help! If your event requires a Chef, they will wear black dress pants with a clean and ironed Chef’s Jacket.
Do you provide wine or liquor?
While Mega Alexander Foods is not licensed to sell alcohol, we do maintain the necessary liability insurance to serve your guests if you provide the alcohol. We can provide you with recommendations on where to find the best buys and offer suggestions on selections.
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.
Do you provide bartenders and servers?
Yes. Our bartenders and servers are trained, professional, and just plain nice! We carry full liability insurance for both food and alcohol service. As a general rule, you need to allow one bartender per 100 guests for beer and wine bars and one bartender per 75 guests for full bar service.
How many servers will be needed at my event?
As a general rule, we provide one server for every 25 people at a buffet. We provide one server for every twenty people at a sit down dinner. However, the server ratio depends on how formal or complicated the event is and may be reduced or increased, depending on these factors. A lavish six-course, sit-down dinner may require one server per 10-12 guests or a very simple buffet may only require 1 server for 35 people. Using your event details, we will recommend the minimum number of servers required based on our experience. Our goal is to make your event run smoothly, therefore we have a two server minimum for events.
Besides the cost of food, what charges can I expect for a catered event?
When we provide your personalized proposal, we list of all of our estimated charges in order to provide you with a complete proposal. In addition to the package per person price, we include the following in each proposal: rental upgrades or additions (that we obtain on your behalf), labor charges for service staff, and sales tax.
Is a gratuity included in your bill?
Gratuities are not itemized in the bill (unless directed to do so by the client), nor are they required. They are, however, graciously accepted by our staff for a job well done. A gratuity of $25-60 per staff member or a percentage of the total is customary. We do not put tip jars on bars for private parties and weddings.
What is your “Drop Off” service?
We bring a buffet to you, set it up and return later to pick up non-disposable serving items. There are no servers. A delivery & pick-up fee is charged. This option works best for informal corporate events and informal parties of less than 30 people. Delivery/pickup charges without staff begin at $40 for the Fraser Valley area. Outside the Fraser Valley or after office hours, there will be an additional 18% catering fee.
Do you provide paper goods, china, linens, or chafing dishes for drop offs?
For drop offs, we include quality paper plates and plastic eating utensils. We also provide a linen for the buffet and will set up any necessary chaffing dishes. If you prefer china and silverware, we will be happy to make arrangements, however these items require that our staff be present at your event.
How can I compare quotes from two different caterers?
In the catering industry there are a variety of ways to present a bid to a client. For example, some caterers include only the price of food in the per person cost, others include food and service, others include linens and/or china in the per person charge. It is important when comparing bids from two or more companies that pricing for all of the necessary items are included in both quotes for an accurate comparison.
How do you charge for labor?
We charge for our staff by the hour, based on a five hour minimum per staff person. We do our best to estimate the amount of time that our staff will be needed for your event. However, since many variables exist, the final cost is based on the actual time worked. For large full service events, we require an Event Manager to oversee staff and ensure the coordination of a successful event.
What are the hourly rates of your staff?
The charge for catering staff varies depending on the skills required as follows:
Catering Supervisor – $35.00 per hour per staff member
Lead Server – $30.00 per hour per staff member
Bartender – $30.00 per hour per staff member
Servers & other support staff – $25.00 per hour per staff member
Chefs – $35.00 per hour per staff member
Cooks – $30.00 per hour per staff member
Catering staff are booked for a minimum of four hours each and an 18% gratuity is applied to the cost of the food and beverage total.
What is the best way to contact you with questions or to place an order?
If you have any questions please call or e-mail us. We are available by phone or email Monday through Sunday 9-9 pm . Call Kali anytime to assist you with all your requests
How many staff do I need to hire for my event?