August 27, 2010

Catering Tips: The Earlybird Gets The Worm!

Timing is important when placing your catering order. Advanced notice is always recommended, especially for weddings, when a weekend can potentially be booked an entire year before a given date. While short-notice events can certainly be accommodated for emergency situations, they can also be stressful for you and your guests, so try to plan your parties and menus ahead of time whenever possible.

Still wondering if August is too early to book your office or personal holiday party? Of course not! Take advantage of our earlybird savings:

Our NEW 2010 Holiday Menu is now available. Just right-click on the menu image to save and use it to book your holiday party. Call us (912.964.9604) to book your holiday party today!

As a special incentive, if you book* by the end of September, you will receive China Service for HALF PRICE! 

*Booking must be complete with signed contract and paid deposit by September 30, 2010, to qualify. 

Do you have a catering question? Ask us, and we'll be happy to answer it in an upcoming post.

August 20, 2010

Catering Tips: Food Quantities

Now you have the basics for what to order, but you may still be wondering how much you should order. We have found the answer depends on several factors:
  • Type of event (guests eat more at casual functions than at formal ones)
  • Length of event (the longer the event, the more food needed)
  • Time of event (guests tend to eat more at dinner than at lunch)
  • Season of event (guests eat more when they are cold than when they are hot)
  • Number of guests (the more guests in attendance, the more food needed)
  • Ages of guests (younger guests typically eat more than older ones)
  • Type of menu (plated dinners are vastly different than boxed lunches, buffets, or hors d'oeuvres)
You'll want to give all this information to your caterer, who will take every aspect into consideration and prepare the appropriate amounts for your specific event, even when using a pre-planned menu.

Hors d'oeuvres are perhaps the most complex type of food to determine quantities. There are basic guidelines, which will vary with the above factors:
  • For a short party (2 hours), plan on 10-12 bites per person or 20 if they will replace dinner.
  • For serving before a meal, plan on 5-7 bites per person if it is a light meal, and 3-4 bites per person if it is a heavy meal.
  • For a long party where only hors d'oeuvres will be served, plan the following number of hors d'oeuvres, breaking them up into "light" and "heavy" ones to be passed and set up in active, attended stations:
    • Less than 25 people: 5-6 different hors d'oeuvres
    • 25-50 people: 9-10 different hors d'oeuvres
    • More than 50 people: more than 10 hors d'oeuvres
Do you have a catering question? Ask us, and we'll be happy to answer it in an upcoming post.

August 13, 2010

Catering Tips: Menu Planning

Formulating the menu can be one of the most difficult aspects of planning an event. Whether it is a corporate function or a wedding, if you are the host, and you are feeding your guests, you are going to have to plan the menu. Use the following advice to make it a stress-free process:
  • Take advantage of a pre-planned menu. This is by far the easiest solution, where the Executive Chef has done all the planning work, determining the best food combinations for different types of events, and all you have to do is provide your event information and place the order. Or use a menu as a starting point, adjusting a few of the choices to personalize it to fit your needs, while keeping the basic structure already provided.
  • Choose an overarching event theme. A Southern menu with a shrimp and grits appetizer and peach cobbler for dessert is always a crowd-pleaser for a classic Savannah occasion! Or try a brunch theme with an omelet station. The sky's the limit. Once you have a solid theme in place, the menu will naturally flow from it.
  • "Give your guests an 'out.'" Paul's statement is tried and true. It means that it is okay to be true to yourself in your menu choices, but if you want to avoid having some guests leaving your event hungry, provide variety or a "safe" (universally-liked) alternative. For example, an all-seafood fare is likely not going to be well-received by many children, so also offering chicken tenders or grilled cheese sandwiches is a nice solution. Expanding on this, there was an interesting article published this week in the New York Times regarding vegetarian and vegan brides feeling pressured into serving meat at their weddings solely to please their guests. We firmly believe you should never feel pressured to serve something against your religious or moral beliefs! There are always ways to accommodate the needs of both you and your guests. Talk to us about it; we love being creative with the menu!
Do you have a catering question? Ask us, and we'll be happy to answer it in an upcoming post.

August 6, 2010

Get to know Paul Kennedy Catering: Meet Paul

At Paul Kennedy Catering, our motto is, "We build relationships one event at a time," and we understand relationships start with people. So to help build our relationship with you, we are beginning a new series to help you learn about our staff, who all have a part in making your event special.

Today we kick it off with an interview with Paul Kennedy, founder and namesake.

How long has Paul Kennedy Catering been in business? 
"We started serving Savannah 10 years ago in January!"

How did you start this business? 
"I sold a restaurant and began catering out of a 450 square foot room in Sandfly. As they say, the rest is history."

What does Paul Kennedy Catering look like today?
"We now have a staff of 12, including an executive chef, sous chef, two sales consultants, director of catering, and several kitchen staff, event managers, and event staff, all of whom are the heart and soul of making this company function like it does. We also have a fleet of trucks, including a refrigerated one, and a 3,000 square foot kitchen and warehouse in Pooler."

What is your specialty?
"We specialize in great food and great service, whether we're catering a large high-end wedding or a small corporate lunch. Our focus is building relationships; I always tell clients, 'I think you should like your vendors,' and giving clients confidence in their catering services is a key factor in that."

What is your top goal for Paul Kennedy Catering in the next five years? 
"Being one of the premier offsite catering companies in the region."

What do you enjoy most about catering?
"I find huge satisfaction in making an event come together and having a happy client."

What does a typical day look like for you? 
"There are definitely no typical days here! Every day is exciting and brings new challenges for growth and learning as well as opportunities to please customers."

What hobbies keep you busy when you're not catering?
"You can find me on the golf course or behind a set of drums."

Feel free to leave comments saying "hi" to Paul or sharing your own stories and experiences with him. Also, stay tuned for next month's interview, where we bring you insight to another member of the Paul Kennedy Catering crew.