Most Frequently asked Questions
We understand everyone’s event is different and each client has different needs, so it is hard for us to itemize a price structure until we know what you are looking for. After a brief consultation we will assess your event and send you the appropriate menus to look over. Once you decide on a menu we will send you a itemized quote for each selection based on a person price for our services with any other rentals or staff you might need. Dont be fooled by catering company’s who give you an inferior product or processed food for low prices. Our goal is to give you the freshest seasonal ingredients that we can obtain. Like I have seen in the past “you get what you pay for”
We generally create custom menus for our clients, we also have a general price structure for 25 to 100 guests. Note that we will come out for parties of 2 to 4 keeping in mind that $500.00 is the least we will come out for.
All event prices may vary based on your final menu selections and seasonal availability of ingredients. We only shop for the finest ingredients that we can possibly find. Please note that we are subject to change any ingredient due to seasonal availability.
Upon reserving your event a deposit must be held towards the grand total to hold that date open for your event. On that date the total number of guests cannot be reduced and all food will be delivered.
However, you may increase the number of guests to be adjusted at the time of the event. A final head count will be taken at the event and the bill will reflect any increase in the number of guests.
Tableside Gourmet reserves the right to substitute ingredients and or raise prices, in the event that food prices rise substantially between the time of the signing of the contract. This will be discussed with the host at that time.
Inclusive In Menu Pricing
All of our buffet events include banquet tables to serve our food on, crisp linens for the buffet table, decor based off your themed event, runners, risers, cocktail napkins, votive candles, serving utensils, chafing dishes and platters.
Our sit down formal tasting menus include all necessary plates for each course, fine hammered stainless steel utensils, linen napkins and tablecloths on request depending on the size of table you want to dine at.
What Makes us Different?
Tableside Gourmet differs from other companies because we cook your food on-site, we try to stay within the seasons, we buy mostly from local purveyors, farmers markets and our food is made fresh, so as not to lose quality. We believe it just makes more sense to serve from pan to plate.
When we provide your customized menu we list all of our estimated charges in order to provide you with a most up to date proposal. In addition to the per person price for food we will include the following in each proposal: 18% catering fee, cost of rentals, labor charges for service staff, and 6.8 % sales tax for the phoenix metropolitan area.
18% Catering Fee
This charge offsets labor and administrative costs such as administrative tasks, working with rental companies, dishwashing, packing and unloading for your event, site visits, shopping, ordering groceries and travel time to and from the event. This charge is not a gratuity for the service staff and is subject to state and local tax laws.
We understand sometimes you need a little reassurance for your investment. We do offer tastings that may be planned weeks or months before your event commences. Because we are not like a restaurant and have all supplies on hand at any time we must purchase those supplies specifically for your tasting. There is a $70 charge for two people per tasting or $110 for four people. This allows you to pick three items from your specific menu which we will prepare fresh for you.
We will provide a set amount of food based on the guest count given by client. We are not responsible for your guests eating habits. If you are at all worried that some guests may consume more than the average person, we suggest you take that into consideration.
General Service Staff Information
Providing excellent service to you and your guests is of utmost importance to us. We have developed a server/bartender to guest ratio based on our experience to assure we meet our goal of excellent service to you and your guests. Many factors affect the number of servers required for an event.
Some of these are:
1) The number of guests at your event
2) The set-up requirement for your event
3) The type of service you select buffet, served or family style
4) The type of menu you select
5) The amount of time to set-up the event
Event Staff Quantity Guidelines
Plated meals with rentals: 1 server per 8 to 12 guests
Buffet service with rentals: 1 server per 20 guests
Buffet service with disposable: 1 server per 35 guests
Full bar: 1 bartender per 30 guests
Beer and wine only: 2 bartenders per 75 to 100 guests
Note that at least two servers are required for all events that are fewer than 50 guests, due to the work required to load in and prep food in a timely manner requires two staff members on site.
In general there is a 6 hour minimum for staffing. Weddings typically require at least 8 hours of service. Staffing hours include the following:
1.5 to 2 hours prior to the event for set-up
1 hour after the event for clean up
Drive time to and from the event
Event captain @ $30.00 per hour (For events over 100 guests, not a necessity)
On-site chef @ $35.00 per hour (For events with carving stations)
Bartender @ $25.00 per hour
Server @ $25.00 per hour
Kitchen staff @$23.00 per hour (For events over 100 guests)
Gratuities are always left to your discretion, if you would like to include a gratuity for a job well done you may choose to give a percentage of the total or an amount to each staff member. Gratuities may be added to your payment or given to the staff members the day of the event. Average gratuities are $30.00 and up per staff member.
Tableside Gourmet delivers to a majority of the Maricopa County area. There is a delivery charge for drop off orders, and the standard 18% catering fee will be charged. All drop off orders are served in aluminum reheatable pans with specific heating instructions.
Please allow 24-48 hour notice on all drop off service when possible