Phil's Catering Service - Special events catering services.
 
 
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~ Frequently Asked Questions ~
Who’s Phil?
 N# 1 asked question!
Phil “Philbert” Vierra is Gary’s Dad
Gary Vierra is the founder & sole owner of Phil’s Catering Service
Gary started his catering business in 1986 and named his catering business after his father
Dad loved to cook
Philbert E. Vierra
1947-2011
 
I need to work with a budget
 This is what I tell all my clients when it comes to figuring out cost for their catered event. Here are the fastest ways to add or cut costs for your event: A) Adding to or cutting your guest list down B) Adding or cutting down rentals, i.e. china, glass stemware, dance floor… C) Adding or cutting services i.e. plated dinner service, staff bar, relocation of ceremony chairs… D) Last but not least, Food costs
 
Is the cost of cake cutting included in your all of your wedding quotes?
 Yes and includes the disposable service ware if needed.
 
Does Coffee service come w/ the Cake cutting service?
 Yes ~ w/ disposable coffee cups and all the required condiments
 
Is the cost of the champagne toast included in all your wedding packages?
 Yes ~ the Champagne table service w/ disposable champagne glass (placing an open bottle on the guest tables)
The Best Man toast service may costs extra ~ Why? The toast is a pour and may require extra staff
 
Do you offer a cheaper meal option for our photographers, DJ and other wedding venders or how does that work?
 When you give me your final head count, count your vendor’s in separately as they do get a reduced meal cost. We do provide free meals for the Event Site’s staff.
 
Do you offer Food Tastings?
 Yes.
Food tastings are by appointment only and are held in my Tasting Room at my Commercial kitchen in Grover Beach or my home in Atascadero. I like to hold tastings in the evenings and I may even schedule 2 tasting on the same day; the first appointment would be scheduled for 4:00 and if I book a second tasting that appointment would then be scheduled for 2:30. If an evening appointment isn’t convenience for you I will be glad to work with you on a better appointment time. Your tasting is for 2 people but other guests are invited. The tasting will be of any 3 items of your choice from your menu. Most tasting will take up to 30 mins. but you should plan on another 30 mins. to review your services, rentals and or other details of your reception. Your tasting is complementary (FREE) but there will be a $30.00 fee for Appointment Reschedules or Cancelations. Please double and triple check your calendar before scheduling your tasting. Please give me a couple of dates that work best for you to schedule your tasting and select 3 items from your menu that you wish to taste.
 
What is the average additional cost for using rental China & Glassware per guest?
 Depends on the dinner service and amount of stemware you select?
Rentals + Extra service staff will average between $6.00 to 12.00 per guest
 
Do you have a different meal charge for children when using disposable dinnerware?
 Our charges and meal size portions are based on adult guests. Events that have disposable dinnerware;
Children 2 years old or younger need not be counted because they usually eat off their parents plates. Children 3 years old to 8 years old may be counted as kid meals at a reduced cost. This is just a rule of thumb and we encourage all our clients to use their own judgment on counting their young guests.
 
If we supply our own Disposable dinnerware will they be a discount or are we being double charged?
 Our Wedding quality disposable dinnerware is provided for free has long as there are no other “rental dinnerware or glassware used on your event, w/ the only exception is wine glasses
 
Do you have a different meal charge for children when using rental dinnerware?
 Our charges and meal size portions are based on adult guests; we do offer a discounted price for young adults 3 years old to 8 years old. This is just a rule of thumb and we encourage all our clients to use their own judgment on counting their young guests. Children 3 years old or younger need not be counted unless they require place at the dining tables and a dinnerware place setting.
 
What is the estimated cost for a party of 100 per person for a Plated dinner?
 Your site, rentals and menu will have a lot to do with determining your final cost.
In general you should estimate the per person cost between $35.00 to $50.00
 
What is the estimated cost for a party of 100 per person for a Buffet w/ China & Glassware?
 Your site, rentals and menu will have a lot to do with determining your final cost.
In general you should estimate the per person cost between $28.00 to $35.00
 
What is the estimated cost for a party of 100 per person for a Buffet w/ Disposable dinnerware?
 Your site, rentals and menu will have a lot to do with determining your final cost.
In general you should estimate the per person cost between $25.00 to $30.00
 
What is the estimated cost for a party of 100 per person for a Appetizer reception?
 Your site, rentals and menu will have a lot to do with determining your final cost.
In general you should estimate the per person cost between $15.00 to $30.00
 
What is the cost of a Un staffed wine & beer bar for a party of 80 and what does it include?
 The estimated cost is $50.00 ~ We supply the table w/ table drape linens for the bar and disposable glassware. Our staff sets up the bar and maintains it keeping the white wine and beer chilled and opening wine bottled as needed. No staff will pour drinks. Ice can be provided if needed for an additional cost. We do not offer “Un staffed wine & bar service” for a guest count of 80 or more.
 
What is the cost of a Staffed wine & beer bar for a party of 100 and what does it include?
 The estimated cost is $225.00 ~ We supply the Bar staff to pour drinks for your guests, the table w/ table drape linens for the bar and disposable glassware. Ice can be provided if needed for an additional cost.
 
What is the cost of a Staffed Full bar for a party of 100 and what does it include?
 The estimated cost is $275.00 ~ We supply the Bartnder to make drinks for your guests, the table w/ table drape linens for the bar and disposable glassware. Ice can be provided if needed for an additional cost.
 
How many guests does the average bottle of champagne/wine serve?
 8 guests
 
Is there an opening fee per bottle of champagne?
 No
 
Can we add a Signature drink to our Bar service?
 If a client wish to provide a Signature Drink that is 100% ready to serve to their Staffed Wine & Beer there is no additional charge.
 
Do you have liquor liability coverage?
 No, the client or site must supply this coverage if required
 
Do you have a set menu? Can the menu be modified?
 We encourage our clients to create their own menu. We may make some changes to your first submitted menu if we feel we can improve it but ultimately you have the final say on the food served at your event
 
How many appetizers/entrees/sides are on your typical menu?
 3~ types of appetizers
2~ choices of two entrees w/ portions being an average of 8 to 10 oz per guest
1~ vegetable dish 4 to 6 oz
1~ starch dish 4 to 6 oz
1~ green salad
2~ dressings
1 type of bread
 
How many appetizers per person do you generally account for (we love appetizers)?
 The Catering industry calculate that the average appetizer serving per guest is 3~ servings
 
Will the hors d'oeuvres be served by staff or at a station?
 That is up to the client and the type of appetizers they select ~ I prefer passed appetizers for cost and over all guest service appeal
 
Is there a steak option that you can suggest or that is most popular? I am not sure how different steaks are supposed to taste.
 To answer your question on Beef steaks:
Tri tip & Top Sirloin are the most popular for someone on a tighter budget; they are good steaks in flavor but are average to poor in tenderness
New York steaks are good in flavor and a little better in tenderness
Prime rib is hard to beat in flavor and tenderness but can be too fatty for some
Fillet is the best of all steaks w/ very good flavor and unbeatable tenderness but pricy
 
Do we have to have our guests choose an entree on their RSVP?
 Only if you have a Plated dinner service. You will also need to make some kind of arrangements for identifying what each of your guests entrees will be at each table ie. Entrée cards w/a Seating charter.
If your service is a buffet style service there isn’t a need to ask your guests which entrée they wish to have. We estimate 45% of your guest will chose chicken and 55% will chose steak and or a combinations of the two. If you feel this ratio incorrect please advise and we will adjust
 
I have a question regarding your salmon. Is it Wild or Farmed?
 This choice is up to you on the type of salmon; Wild or Farm raised. I know the debate is an extensive one but we only want to focus on the difference in the cost, cooking/serving conditions and portions size for now.
Cost: The same
Cooking & serving conditions: Farm raised salmon filets are more caterer friendly
Portion size: Wild salmon 6oz per serving. ~ Farm raised 8oz per serving.
 
Do you provide vegetarian’s meals and if so what do charge?
 Yes, la carte Entrée’s (Vegetarian, Vegan, Special diet needs….) are $15.00 + the cost of the original meal cost
 
Al cart vegetarian option – how does this work? How do the vegetarians get their meal?
 As your guests come to the end of the buffet where the Chef is stationed he will notice that a guest does not have any protein (steak or chicken) he or she will then receive an al cart entrée. The Chef will be aware of how many vegetarians and al cart entrée there will be and be on the lookout for those special guests
 
What type of meal do you offer Vegetarians?
 Here are a few ideas: Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, Vegetable Wellington Redux, Baked Vegetable Pasta w/a Bechamel sauce
 
Do I understand correctly that Phil’s would arrange our rentals?
 Yes
 
Are there extra fees associated with rentals if so what are they?
 No extra fees ~ The Rental pricing is just an estimate on your quote and will be finalized after you have selected all your rentals
 
I am not certain about my guest count to estimate for my tables, chairs…rental needs, how do brides usually deal with this dilemma?
 Most clients will estimate their guest count at max and match rentals w/ that number; this will insure that all rentals are secure and then adjust to the final guest when that your final guest count is due 7 days prior to the date of your event.
 
Do you provide linens?
 Yes, we have nice low cost table linens and or can rent specialty linens for you
 
Can I see available linens?
 Yes, at either my Grover Beach kitchen or my Home office in Atascadero or on my web site under Pictures
 
What are the colors you offer for your rental table linens and cost?
 Our basic table lines are called 90s and are 90”x90” square and fit over a 60” round table and come to the floor at 4 points. The 90s also can be used as Table drapes for specialty tables ie. Head tables, gift tables, sign in tables… these tables require 2~ 90s to drape a 6’or 8’ banquet tables, Colors: White, Ivory, Burgundy, Forest green, Chocolate brown and Sandalwood. Cost $10.00ea
 
For the linens, glasses & silverware rentals are there a variety of choices? Is there somewhere online or a document that shows me my options?
 Yes; your quote for rentals is just an estimated quote for all items & fees.
I do have my own rentals but I have no idea if you want to rent my style of dinnerware, glasses & linens or have me sub-rent a different style from one of our local rental companies. I can send you pictures of my dinnerware & glasses or if you wish to have me sub-rent from a local rental company they will have web site to view rentals and pricing. Please be aware when price comparing that I do include all taxes, damage insurance, delivery & pick up fee on my estimated rental quotes.
 
Do you set the tables w/ the dinnerware?
 Yes if requested as a service: Dinnerware setting service, Site setup or early site setup
 
Will you put floral arrangements out on the guests’ tables?
 Yes we can set centerpieces out on your guest tables for you but other decorations i.e. party favors, place cards may have an additional fee associated with your final service cost.
 
Could we remove the rentals for now from the proposal? We might get the rentals via another source.
 Yes, FYI: The rental quote on your proposal is an estimated quote
 
Is there an advantage to go through you?
 Yes
1. Better cost
2. I make all the phone calls and emails for your rentals
3. You are required by most rental companies to rinse the dishes or the will charge you an extra fee
4. If the renal company or you make a mistake on your order it is your headache not mine
5. If there is a problem w/ your order I would have a better and faster chance of getting it fix than you
 
We would like to know what your price would be if we did our own rentals. Do you provide this option?
 We do but I would rather handle the rentals ourselves whenever given the option. Aka; we just catered a beautiful wedding this pasted weekend and while setting the dining tables for the client’s dinner service we notice that the rental company had forgot the bread baskets. Since I deal with multiple rental companies and spend thousands of dollars a year sending them my business I have a little more influence than the average customer off the street would have. With one quick phone call to the “owner” of the rental company the bread baskets were delivered with in 20minutes. Unless you have a rental outlet with better pricing the cost should be the same as if we were to handle the rental. If you would like to arrange for your own rentals just let me know and I will send you a new proposal w/o the rentals and cost.
 
Are you a licensed caterer?
 Yes Business licensed for the City of Grover Beach where our main kitchen facility is located.
 
Do you have a County Heath inspected kitchen?
 Yes, we are a County and State inspected facility.
 
Do you have Workmen’s Comp Insurance?
 Yes coving ALL employees who work for Phil’s Catering Service
 
How does your staff dress?
 Phil’s catering service owns over 100 Catering and Chefing uniforms and they are professional cleaned and monogrammed
 
What is the staff-to-guest ratio for a plated dinner service for 100 guests?
 1 Chef, 1 Food prep staff, 1 Banquet Manger and 4 serving staff
 
What is the staff-to-guest ratio for a Buffet style dinner service w/ China & Glass stemware for 100 guests?
 1 Chef, 1 Banquet Manager and 2 service staff
 
What is the staff-to-guest ratio for a Buffet style dinner service w/ Disposable dinnerware for 100 guests?
 1 Chef, 1 Banquet Manager and 1 service staff
 
Will your Banquet Manage act as our Master of Ceremony? “M/C” our event?
 Yes, if your event does not have a DJ or M/C the Banquet Manager will announce the “basic” proceedings
 
What are Banquet Managers actually duties
 1. To contact you the client the week of your event to review your time line and services
2. The Banquet Manager will be in contact w/ you and or coordinator thru out your event to harmonize the time line with the services
3. To supervise PCS catering staff
 
We are interested in the Banquet Manager acting as the Day-Of Coordinator and would like to know what her duties would consist of and cost.
 She would be your Coordinator for the day of your wedding and her duties and time line would be up to you to decide on.
These duties & time line would be email to me 2 weeks prior of the date of your event so I may review, select and schedule a suitable Banquet Manager for your event, then I would forward your email to her.
The Banquet Manager that I have select would then contact you the week of your event to review your schedule of duties and time line
Banquet Manager/Coordinator are hired by the hour at $80.00 an hour w/a $200.00min
 
How much advance time will you need to set up?
 Even though we are capable of catering up to 5~ events a day, our popular wedding dates are booked 6 months in advance. If your date is available your deposit and a signed contract is all that is required to book your event.
 
Will your company do a site check if requested?
 Site Checks conducted 14 days prior to the date of your event are FREE. Site Checks conducted less than 13 days prior to the date of your event cost $50.00
 
How much advance time is needed to confirm a reservation?
 Even though we are capable of catering up to 5~ events a day our popular wedding dated are booked 6 months in advance. If your date is available your deposit and a signed contract is all that is required to book your event.
 
What is your policy for leftover food?
 A. We bring extra food to feed staff and we don’t want to run out.
B. SAFETY FIRST, SECOND...

If the conditions are right leftover food may remain w/the client:
A. In door event ~ safe environment
B. Site has refrigeration or client provides a cooler w/ ice
C. Client provides LARGE food containers (Tupperware ~ Aluminum pan)
D. What food that is to be left to the client will be determined by the Chef
 
What is your cancellation policy?
 Loss of full deposit
 
When is the Final guest count due?
 14 days prior to your date of event
 
When is the final payment due?
 14 days prior to your date of event
 
Can I arrange to view the catering of another wedding reception to check food display, service style, flow, organization?
 No, that would not be in good taste! We do attend wedding fairs and Special events that are open to the public Please let us know that you are interested in attaining one of our upcoming events and we will send you this information
 
What additional charges might be incurred other than the food, beverages, rentals and requested services?
 1.) Over time: The client will be approached about O/T as soon as the Banquet Manager feel O/T is emanate We start O/T only if the client runs 15min over their “End of service or End of event clean up” service time We charge O/T in 30min increments
Charges for O/T are based on each staff member that has to remain for O/T:
Chef ~ Banquet Manager ~ Full Bartender $80.00 hr ~ $40.00 ½ hr ~ Staff $40.00 hr ~ $ 20.00 ½ hr
WE DO NOT WISH TO GO O/T IF AT ALL POSSIBLE ~ WE GO O/T BECAUSE THE CLIENT WOULD LIKE US TO STAY LATE.
2.) Guest overages
3.) Added service
Payment for any additional billing will be due by the end of your event.
 
What is the policy for payment, cash, checks or credit cards?
 Yes cash is always nice ~ Checks yes ~ Credit cards; we except most CC for deposit ONLY
 
Can you give me a ceiling on anticipated menu price increases due to rising food costs an increase?
 0% increase for food and labor. Rentals and sales tax 10% max
 
Is the Commissary fee included in your proposal the same thing as gratuity (I understand tips are separate)?
 The Commissary fee is for Over Head Costs
1) The preparing of your proposal, supplies and food for your event.
2) A food tasting and site check if requested or required
3) The cost of our kitchen facilities & catering vehicles needed for your event.
Any gratuity/tip is up to the client and is usually only given to the staff working at the event and not too staff who helped prepares their event.
If you chose to tip your staff I know they all would love the any amount of a tip.
 
You charged us 8.00% tax for everything, but for our area we only should be charged 7.50%. We are not technically part of the city of San Luis Obispo and do not pay city tax.
 We base sales tax from our business location in Grover Beach in San Luis County and that is the California Tax Law
 
We did have one question on the following text from your contract: "If the confirmed guest count is less than the original guest count, the per person cost may increase. The amount of the increase is calculated in proportion to the overall size of the event." It's my understanding that the total cost in the contract is quoted for 300 adults. We are certain that some will be children and some of our guest may not be able to attend. Does the aforementioned statement from the contract mean that the total cost would increase if our conformed guest count or the number of adults (meaning children) is less than 300?
 No, your Final Cost would go down by the meal cost per guest not attending your reception. Sample: If you were to divide the overall cost of 300 guest into your final cost of $10,720.31 your per guest cost is $35.73 per guest. If your guest count goes down to let say 275 your final cost would be $10,157.25 your per guest charge would then be $36.94 per guest, so the per guest cost would actually be higher
 
Phil's Catering Service - Special events catering services.
Phil's Catering Service is a proud members of the Central Coast Wedding Professionals since 1997
Phil's Catering Service | 967 Huber Street | Grover Beach, CA. 93433 | Main Office: (805)489-3869
Events Director: Chris Krebs | (805)757-3536 | Email Events Director