Updated: Oct 28, 2020
We all know the big day is, well, kind of a big deal, and everything needs to be flawless. And one of the major considerations of your reception is your food and drink choices. Whether you’re hoping for a full, sit-down dinner or a cocktail hour with passed apps, it needs to go off without a hitch, and finding an amazing wedding caterer is a key piece of that puzzle.
Hiring a wedding caterer can be pretty complicated, especially as you’re trying to figure out the budget, guest count, and menu. But the good news is that hiring the right wedding caterer will help you in figuring out all of these things. If your wedding venue doesn't have in-house caterers or a list of preferred vendors, start the search by narrowing down a list of caterers you love.
Choosing a caterer in tandem with your venue can be a total game-changer. Typically, couples will choose a venue, and then try to accommodate catering within that space. Think about your vision, work backward, and consider logistics. Working on the venue and catering needs at the same time will help to eliminate compromises later on. The venue and the caterer are two main party components, choosing them at the same time and making sure each vendor communicates is crucial.
As you’re thinking through catering options, come up with an idea of a comfortable budget for yourself. It’s really important to know what kind of food you want, and a rough idea of your budget. At 1979Hawaii, we work to craft a meal that is very specific to the wants and needs of our clients. We don’t have cookie-cutter menus, because we want our service to match the people we are serving. Without an idea of budget, we don’t know whether to craft a menu for sandwiches or lobsters.
Here are some of the most popular questions & answers:
Venue & Availability
Do you have any other obligations that day?
- We are serving max of 2 events per day.
How will your staff balance multiple events that day (or weekend)?
- 1979Hawaii catering is prepared and trained to easily serve up to 2 events a day.
Can you accomplish our vision at our venue?
- We can accomplish almost every catering vision.
How much space will you need at the venue?
- 10ftx20ft & prep area 10ftx10ft
How much time will you need for set-up and clean-up at our venue?
- 2 hours before serving and 2 hours after serving.
Food & Drink
Do you have a static menu, or can you do a custom menu?
- We have Seafood and Hawaiian food menu but can accommodate almost any menu.
What are your most popular dishes?
- Our Seafood options are the most popular dishes.
Do you charge a bulk fee or cost per person?
- Cost per person.
Can you make kid's meals?
- Yes, with a minimum of 10 kids.
Can you provide vendor meals?
Can you take care of various allergy/dietary requests?
Will food be made on-site or brought in?
- Depend on the client menu.
When will you need final menu choices?
- 2 months prior to the event date.
When will you need a final headcount?
- 1 month prior to the event date
Where do you source your food from?
- Most of our ingredients are locally sourced.
Can/how will you handle last-minute requests?
- We will do our best to accommodate any of our client requests at any time.
What are the portion sizes like?
- Most of our events are in the form of an all you can eat buffet
What do you do with leftovers?
- You don't get to keep the leftovers. You only get what you paid for and your guests ate, unless you've pre-arranged something differently on the contract. An off-site caterer will have brought more food than necessary to make sure they have enough to satisfy all of wedding attendees.
Do you make wedding cakes as well?
- No, but we can arrange a wedding cake with our favorite vendor.
If not, will you provide cake cutting services?
Do you offer other desserts?
- Yes, we have a big variety of dessert such as Shave Ice, Acai bowls, fruit platter, Rum pineapple cake…etc.
Can you provide bartending services?
If so, will we need to provide alcohol, or can you?
- Clients provide the alcohol. We can arrange an alcohol shopping list, pick up and deliver.
Are any non-alcoholic beverages included in the food costs?
- Yes, water service.
Logistics & Details
How many weddings have you done in the past?
- Over 200 events.
Do you have photos of past events and references from past clients?
- Yes, please check out wedding wire, The knot websites and 1979Hawaii IG.
Do you provide linens, table settings, and accessories?
- Table, benches and decor canopies rentals available.
What colors and style options do you have for linens, table settings, and accessories?
- We do not offer linens and or accessories. We have farm table & hardwood table options.
If you don’t provide linens, table settings, etc., will you handle coordinating the rental?
- We can.
Will your staff handle setting place cards and menus, if desired?
- Yes, we can.
What is your typical server to guest ratio?
- Most of our wedding handled as a buffet style, otherwise each server will handle a table of 8 guests max.
Do you have the proper catering license requirements, as well as liability insurance?
Will we need any special event permits? Will you obtain those?
- Depend on the permit.
Will there be an onsite coordinator day-of?
- We have a catering and bar service manager.
Can you provide a copy of your standard contract?
What is the amount of the deposit due to hold our date, and when will the remainder be due?
- To reserve 1979Hawaii service we requested 50% of the total invoice despite and remaining balance due 3 months prior to the event date.
What is your postponed policy?
- We offer a postponed event date 3 months prior to the event date with no additional charge based on 1979Hawaii availability.
What is your cancellation policy?
- All deposits are non refundable.
Do you offer a payment plan?
Please let us know if you have any questions.