Q How much does it cost?
A Some factors include:
a. Number of Guests
b. Formality-Paper plates or china? Buffet or sit-down plated meal?
c. Rentals-Linens, Glass-ware, etc – Who is providing these items?
d. Service-Will you need or want staff?
Please refer to the “contact us” form and fill it out as completely as you can. This information will help us better estimate a budget that works for you.
Q What is included in your pricing?
A The food prices on our menu include cooking, preparation and presentation of the food items listed. We offer menu packages as well as individually priced entrees, sides, beverages and desserts for your convenience and customization.
Q What if I want to provide my own food item or beverages?
A We understand that it is sometimes cheaper to go get some items yourself, and we respect your right to do so. There are advantages to doing it yourself, and there are advantages to having your caterer do it-above all, we want to work with you to provide you with exactly the amount of service you want-not what you don’t!
Q Do you provide linens and other rentals for our event?
A We can provide some of the rentals you may need for your event including china, silverware, linens, glassware, and tents. Our prices are comparable to rental companies.
Q How much is staffing?
A Our staffing fees are as follows: An Event Manager is $26 per hour, and support staff is $18 per hour. Staffing fees begin on the day of your event at the moment we depart from the restaurant to come to your venue, and end the moment we arrive back after the event.
Q How much staff will I need?
A We recommend at least 1 Event Manager per staffed event. We also recommend 1 Staff Person per 30 guests for buffet-style service. For sit-down plated meals, we recommend 1 per 20 guests, NOT including the event manager. However, it is ultimately up to you what level of service you prefer, and of course, in keeping with state-approved safe food handling practices. Staffing also depends on the venue you choose and facilities available. The more services and facilities your venue provides, the more efficient our set-up is and will require fewer server hours.
Q How much is gratuity?
A As a general rule, Schipano’s charges 15% of the food & beverage total for gratuity.
Q How do I avoid any last-minute surprises as far as costs?
A Some caterers charge fees that they do not tell you about up front. We believe that is unfair to you and disrespectful of your budget. Our goal is to be forthcoming about ALL costs.
Q What if I have a very tight budget?
A Regardless of your budget, we have solutions for you. Our coordinator will work with you to find the right level of service for you, and make informed recommendations that will help keep your costs down. We are much more interested in developing an ongoing relationship with you and earning your trust than taking your last dime! We want you to use our services again in the future and to recommend us to your friends, and we believe that you will want to do so if you feel you have received only the best value and service.
Q What will my guests be expecting?
A This is a very hard question to answer without knowing the specific details of your event and more information about your guests! Some questions that may help you anticipate your guests needs: is it a Formal, or Casual affair? Will any guests have special dietary needs? What time of day is your reception? Please feel free to contact us via email, phone, or fax, and let our professional catering coordinator work this out with you.
Q How do I reserve your services for my wedding or event date?
A When you have decided that the Schipano Fine Foods is the right choice for you, don’t wait to reserve your date! Just make a deposit with us to officially book your event and secure our commitment to you. As a general rule, we ask for a minimum of 20% of your event total as a deposit.
Q Will you cut the cake for us?
A While our servers are on your clock, they are there to help you with whatever you want. Not all of our servers are professionally trained cake cutters, but we will do our best to meet all of your requests. It is a good idea to discuss these details with your catering coordinator: Who will provide the plates, forks and napkins for the cake? Who will provide the cake serving utensils?
Q Is there a delivery fee?
A If you are having a staffed event, you will not be charged an additional delivery fee. As well as mostly of the times our orders over $ 200 are free delivered.
Q Do you have a facility we could use for our event?
A Yes! We have contact with many venues and banquets halls in Toronto and outside the city to accommodate your needs. However, we are also specialized as outside caterer and you can provide our service directly to your favorite venue.
Q How will the food stay hot and fresh?
A We use approved technology for maintaining safe food temperatures for all our food. Hot food is transported in hot boxes designed to lose no more than 1 degree of heat per hour. Once onsite, it is transferred to one of our elegant chafing dishes for presentation, which is heated by sterno heating elements underneath the food. These sternos are designed to remain lit for 2 hours, and we always bring extras. Cold food is maintained with ice and food safe coolers.
Q Do I have to have staff at my event?
A Absolutely not. If you prefer not to have staff at your event, our coordinator will gladly work with you and make informed recommendations about how to choose a menu that does not necessitate staff. You may pick up your food at the restaurant, or have it delivered.
Q How can I get the best value for my money?
A It’s as simple as this: Choose the Schipano Fine Foods. No other caterer in the Toronto GTA is as committed to value as we are. Our coordinator will guide you through the process and help you choose the most satisfying menu for your budget.
Q What is the difference in price between a buffet and a sit-down plated meal?
A There is no difference in the cost of the food for a buffet versus a plated meal. However, it takes more time and more staff to plate and serve a plated meal than for a buffet.
Q Do I have to have appetizers?
A You do not have to have appetizers for your guests-it is definitely something to consider if for example, they may be waiting around for some reason-either you are taking photos after the wedding ceremony, or it’s a casual event and people may trickle in rather than arrive all at once. It is a good idea if you are having the ceremony and the reception in the same room and need some time to reset the room before the meal begins. You may even wish to serve them as refreshments before the ceremony!
Q My family wants to help-is that OK?
A If your family is willing to help clean up after the reception, you can send your catering servers home as soon as the meal service is complete, saving you some money on staffing hours. Other than that, there is liability involved with food service, and some food handling tasks require special certification by law. Also, please consider your family’s safety when asking them to help -catering involves heavy lifting and handling some very hot items. Without the proper training, they may be at risk.
Q Can I get multiple options for my guests’ menu?
A You may choose up to different options for your guests, plus exchange one with a vegetarian item if you need one. Just keep in mind that if you want us to serve multiple entrees for them, you will have to decide how much of each option you would like us to provide.
– Many of our portions can be cut down or in half, but presentation may be compromised.
– It takes more space, equipment, and staffing to offer more choices.
– You may run out of one choice before everyone has been served.
– It can be more expensive to have extra choices, and often there is a lot of food left over.
Q Can you bring a barbecue and cook the food onsite at my chosen venue?
A Absolutely! Please ask about our set-up fee, and which menu items work well.
Q I don’t have a venue/florist/cake/etc. yet-can you help me?
A You bet. We will be happy to refer you to vendors that we work with regularly and trust. Referrals are available for Venues, Flowers, Cakes, Balloons/Décor, Event planning, Video Production, DJ service, Limousine Service, Photography, and Lodging. Just ask-We are here to help you.
Q When do you need to know our final headcount?
A We ask that you give us your final headcount no later than 5 days prior to the event, for groups of 50 or more, so that our staff has time to order and prepare the food for your guests.
Q What if unexpected guests arrive?
A It is often wise to plan for a 5% “buffer” to ensure that your event runs smoothly. For example, if you are expecting 200 people, you may want to order 210 plates, linen napkins, glassware, etc. It is better to have an extra plate than to be unable to accommodate all your guests. As well, you may want to order extra entrees or other food items if you have a group of heavy eaters, or are concerned about a large number of unexpected guests.
Q What happens if there is food leftover?
A It is up to you! They can be donated to the needy (Mission or Salvation Army shelter), or, you are welcome to bring containers and take it home. Please be aware that you must be able to keep the food at a safe temperature (i.e. refrigerated or on ice) until you are ready to eat it.