Frequently Asked Questions
If there's one thing you'll definitely have about your catering then that is questions! Answering questions is a big part of our job and we aim to make this as simple and as easy as we can.
You've got a lot to organise and hopefully we're just full of solutions. A common answer you'll get from us at Caviar & Chips is ...."whatever you want"! That said and for those of you who love a bit of detail, here's some of our frequently asked questions about wedding and event catering that you may have.
If you can think of any others then just let us know and we'll do our best to answer them as quickly and as simply as possible:
How do I book my catering with Caviar & Chips?
If you’ve taken a look through our website and you think you’d like to look into booking your catering with Caviar & Chips then please fill out our enquiry form and we will get back to you within 48 hours.
Tell us your date, if you know your venue and what kind of menu you’re thinking of. If you don’t know any of this then don’t worry. We’ll work through things together.
Alternatively, if you’d like to have a chat, you can call us on 0800 978 8221, don’t worry if we don’t answer, just leave us a message with your name and number and we will call you back as quick as we can.
Look forward to hearing from you.
What’s the process to organising my wedding catering?
With lots of different suppliers to work with they all have different processes and ways of working. We try to keep things as simple and as flexible as possible, but as a typical example; we’d start with a blank piece of paper.
Drop us a line or give us a call and let us know a little about your plans. We’d then arrange a catch up about your plans and ideas and talk through the food and drink that you enjoy. We’d then brief our chefs and they’d get to work on crafting your bespoke wedding menu. We’d send this across to you and if we’re on the right lines then we can start working out some guide prices.
We’d then start refining your menu and work towards a menu tasting. For large events and weddings we often plan in a menu tasting so you can try everything before booking with us. The menu tasting is an experience in itself with a chef and host coming to your home and preparing your menu for you much like a dinner party. Try your menu and ask lots of questions and we’re sure you’ll love the food and the experience. It’s a really exciting part of the planning process. When you’ve finalised your menu then we arrange a deposit and confirm your date. You’re then all booked.
It’s not until a month before your date that we then look at final guest numbers, dietary requirements and finalise timings. We then arrange your balance invoice and look forward to your big day. We keep in touch as much as you need and can help and advise on as much or as little as you need.
Can you provide drinks and a bar for my wedding?
We can do as much or as little as you need for all of your food and drink catering. We often provide a drinks reception with canapes and this could include prosecco, champagne, pimms, cocktails, gins….you get the picture – anything you like!
For the wedding breakfast we can provide wines and water for the tables. We can choose a lovely house red and white wine to go with your meal or we can pair different wines with different dishes and we have some fantastic wine merchants. Equally, if you’d like to provide your own wine then we’ll simply pour it for you and look after your guests – we don’t charge corkage.
If you’d like a bar for your guests to enjoy then we can bring a bar structure, bar team, beers, ales, cider, wines, spirits, make your favourite cocktail, soft drinks or what about our Piano bar?! We can provide a free bar, cash bar or something in-between and we can take care of ice, glassware, garnishes and recycling.
How far in advance should we book our catering?
We are normally booked anywhere from 9 to 18 months in advance for weddings and 4 to 6 months in advance for private parties and corporate events. In some cases we are able to organise catering with short notice and this is easier for mid-week events.
The months of April through to October and around Christmas / New Year / Bank Holiday weekends are our busiest. Weekend dates around these times tend to book up quickly. We really don’t like disappointing people and having to turn customers away so if you're interested in booking us, particularly around these key times of the year, please reach out to us via our contact form as soon as possible so we can let you know our availability.
*UPDATE* We are currently booked for all of our weekends up to November 2020 and approximately half of our availability is taken for 2021
What venues do you provide catering at?
We provide wedding and event catering across the UK. Our production kitchen is in Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham and so we have a lot of partner venues around the Midlands region and counties. But being so central, it’s quick and easy for us to travel. We’ve also have catered weddings and events as far as London, Exeter, Norfolk, North Yorkshire and the North West.
The venues we have worked at are as diverse as tipis and yurts in woodlands and barns and stately homes. If your venue needs a kitchen then we can bring one. We always arrange a venue visit and we work closely with venues to ensure that everything we do together is seamless and you can just enjoy your day. Take a look at our venues page to find out more about the venues we regularly work at and how we can provide full service catering for you.
What if something goes wrong on the day?
Planning a wedding is stressful, we get it and we’ve got your back! That’s why it’s our focus is to make sure that the catering at your wedding goes as smooth as possible and that you and your guests are looked after. Our award-winning team of highly skilled Chefs and hosts are extremely experienced, they all work for Caviar & Chips and have been through our training and development programmes. We always have a lead host at each event and a head chef to ensure that things are kept on track, or if anything arises that we handle the situation.
As you'd expect with any professional caterer we have public liability insurance, employee liability insurance and health and hygiene certification. We work closely with auditors to ensure we're following latest food and hygiene guidelines and keeping people safe is our first priority.
We ensure that we conduct site visits to venues we have never worked at to make sure we bring everything we need to set up and we work closely with you on the build-up to the big day to ensure we know a detailed timeline, contacts on the day and all dietary requirements (whether that’s gluten free, vegan, nut allergies or anything else you can think of).
We have a really specific idea in mind for our menu, can you make it?
Absolutely. We set up Caviar & Chips because we wanted our clients to be able to have whatever they wanted for their catering - food, drink and service. It’s your perfect day and you should have your perfect menu. So whether you want a Thai banquet to remember that great year you both spent traveling and falling in love, or want us to recreate your Granddad's Black Bean Stew recipe (which we have done before) we can make it happen. Just fill in our enquiry form and let’s start creating.
We don’t know what food we want at our wedding, can you help?
Not everyone knows what they want for an event or wedding menu, it’s our job to help you find what will work for you, your location, budget and guests. First up, why not take a look at our menu page for some inspiration, or have a look over our real wedding stories to see if inspires you. If you’re still unsure on what you’d like, then please fill in our enquiry form and let us know your wedding date, venue, approximate guest numbers and any other details you have such as ‘we don’t want a formal sit down’ and we can go from there.
If you'd like even more ideas and suggestions then you can download our menu brochure. We've put together some example menus, three-courses, canapes, sharing food, evening food and drinks. Hopefully this give you a good start to work from!
Do you provide vegetarian / vegan options?
Whether you want to just cater for a few guests or you want a full vegetarian or vegan menu we’re your guys. Our co-founder Marc Hornby is vegan and nothing makes him happier than coming up with exciting options that don’t sacrifice on taste or presentation and fit your vision for the day.
What do you do to ensure you’re an ethical and sustainable business?
We do a lot to make sure that we are an ethical and sustainable business and we take this really seriously. For our team we have a very open and supportive environment where we take care of our team with their mental health, physical health and personal development. We are always looking at ways to support the wellbeing of everyone that works at Caviar & Chips and being better together is one of our key values.
We are also very conscious about our waste and recycling and we put in measures to ensure we minimise the amount of waste that goes to landfill. We separate our recycling and have separate collections for cardboard, glass, food and non-recyclable materials.
We ensure we source as much of our ingredients from local suppliers who follow similar principles to us to ensure we have a sustainable supply chain. We advise our clients on not over-ordering and manage the quantity of ingredients we use to detailed recipes so that we incur as little waste as possible. We also prepare a huge amount of dishes and sauces ourselves and so most of our menus are made from individual ingredients which means we reduce the amount of pre-packaged food that simply gets heated as we prepare everything from scratch.
We minimise single use plastics and only use things like paper straws, glass bottles for water and use compostable boxes and cutlery for street-food style catering. We’re conscious of our travel and carbon footprint and encourage our teams to travel together to events or use public transport where possible.
We also work with several charities in and around our community as well as international ones such as WaterAid. We work with universities and colleges to create opportunities and jobs for young people coming into the hospitality sector and we also mentor students and young people on various programmes as well as our leadership team giving guest lectures on ethical leadership.
How should we budget for our catering – what are the costs?
A good starting point is to come to us with what you need and how much budget you have and we’ll see if we can work something out for you. Pricing for our menus varies depending on your number of guests, what options you pick, if your venue has any kitchen facilities, if you want to give your guests the choice of dish and many other things. We don’t do one size fits all menus, all the elements of our menus are flexible and that can affect price.
However, we know that planning big elements of your day can be hard when you don’t have an idea of what to budget for, so a basic example of our pricing levels*:
For our private events and catering for small numbers we tend to have a minimum spend of £1,000 which helps cover our consultation, preparation and delivery costs. Often these can be private dinners at home for small guest numbers.
A set three course menu with dietary alternatives such as this would start from around £50 per person for 100 guests. See an example of this style of menu here.
A three course menu with paired wine, champagne toasts and three options of mains for your guests would start at around £85 per person for 100 guests. See an example of this style of menu here.
Our evening and street-food style options start from around £7.50 per person for 75 guests. See our menus here.
All our menus include crockery, cutlery, tableware, linen, serving team, chefs, set-up and clear away. For a detailed quote please fill in our enquiry form. *Starting prices listed are correct as of DATE.
I can’t find the answer to my question on the website, what should I do?