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A Catered Affair to Remember!

Questions Frequently Asked About Wedding Catering

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1. What are the different levels of service that you offer? Dinner's Ready offers many levels of service designed to meet the needs of your vision and your budget. Our most formal manner of service is a plated dinner with Dinner's Ready's staff plating and serving your guests their meals. Another popular method of service is a buffet. Gone are the days when buffet food was cold and bland. All of our foods are prepared under the supervision of our Owner and Executive Chef with close attention to the quality. Buffets can be a highly cost effective way to serve your guests. You can offer a self-service buffet or our staff can serve your guests the food from the buffet. One of the most fun ways to serve your guests is an interactive action station. Your guests can enjoy the action and entertainment of watching their food being prepared for them on the spot. Action stations are a great way to get your guests up and mingling and provide not only decor but entertainment to your event. But the best part about catering with Dinner's Ready Catering is that you are not limited to only one form of service. You can combine two or more methods of service to create the event you envision. Combine stationary hors d'oeuvres with a plated dinner or a buffet with an action station. Because Dinner's Ready is a boutique caterer, we design the catering specifically for you and your needs, customized for your budget, your vision, your theme.

2. How long have you been catering? How much experience do you have? The owners of Dinner's Ready have been in the food industry for over twenty years, owning several successful restaurants before becoming caterers. Dinner's Ready was founded in 2004 and since then we have catered thousands of events including hundreds of weddings. Catering is not an easy business. It is unfortunate that if you were to pick up a phone book from five years ago, you would see a mass of catering business that were listed then that have since "disappeared". Unlike many restaurants that also claim to be caterers, Dinner's Ready Catering's focus in on providing the best catering service we can and providing our clients with consistent and reliable quality.

3. Do you have the trained staff necessary to cater my event? Dinner's Ready's staff are experienced, well-trained professionals. Most of our staff have been with us for a long time and have shared in our successfully catered events. As a family-owned business, we recognize the importance of creating a positive working environment. For the majority of our staff, Dinner's Ready is their primary job, the way that they support their families. For that reason, they are extremely invested in making sure that your event is resoundingly successful.

4. Can you help me with the rentals I'll need for my event? Dinner's Ready offers rentals on dishware, glassware, silverware and linens when you cater your event with us. If we don't have what you want, we can take care of procuring the necessary rentals, getting them delivered and set up, and then getting them returned to the rental company so that you don't have to worry about any of the details.

5. Who will take care of me and my event if I hire you to cater for me? Will I be dealing with someone in particular? At Dinner's Ready you will have one Catering Coordinator who will assist you with planning your event from start to finish. You will know the name of your Coordinator and they will know yours. When you call with questions or need to adjust your plans, you will know that the person you are talking to is familiar with your event and invested in making it successful. In other words, Dinner's Ready Catering offers you peace of mind that your event will be what you envision it to be.

6. What are the payment terms? After we have met and decided on a menu, a method of service and your rental needs Dinner's Ready will prepare a Catering Contract which will set out all of the costs and terms of the catering. A non-refundable booking fee of either $250 or $500 (depending on the size of the catering) is due at the time of signing to reserve the date for your event. Fifty percent of the remaining balance is due 30 days prior to the event and the remaining 50% is due 14 days prior to the event.

7. What if I need to make changes to my order when I get closer to the wedding date? With wedding catering in particular changes are almost expected because the planning is begun sometimes as much as a year in advance. If you decide that you need to make changes to your order as plans start to solidify just let us know. We will do our best to accommodate your changes.

8. Do you charge for the same price for children? Generally, we do not set up separate food tables for children and we do not monitor how many children versus adults that are served food. For that reason, we charge the same price for all of the guests you order for. If, however, in your discretion you believe that you have two or three small children who together will not eat as much as one adult at a buffet you can count them as one guest.

9. Do you offer tastings? A tasting at a catering facility isn't like a tasting at a restaurant. We offer thousands of menu items, so we don't keep all the ingredients in stock all the time. Prior to a tasting to make sure that we are all on the right track with the menu, we ask you to review a full, detailed proposal with pricing to ensure that we are all, indeed, on the right track. After we have met with the bride and groom and agreed upon a menu and pricing, we will provide a tasting for the couple of some of the menu items for weddings that cost $2,000 or more. The cost of a tasting is $100, which cost will be taken off the final invoice for the catered event.

10. How do I determine the number of guests I should order for? We are frequently asked by couples how do you determine how many people to order for when you have sent out 200+ invitations. We strongly recommend that you use RSVPs to help you determine this number. But even then, there will be guests who RSVP and then don't show or guests that don't RSVP who will show up. If you really have no idea how many guests will come to your wedding, we generally tell our couples to look at the guests list and split it into three categories: (1) those who will definitely come to the wedding; (2) those who most likely will not come but who you needed to send an invitation to; and (3) those who you're not sure whether they will come or not come. Divide the unsures in half and add them to your definitely coming. This method generally provides a pretty good starting place for the number of guests who will come. But be careful. At Dinner's Ready we work very hard to keep our prices lower so that our brides can have the wedding of their dreams. For that reason, we do not bring extra food "just in case". We bring food for the number of guests you ordered for, or in the quantities you ordered. The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day is not having enough food to feed all of your guests.

11. Do you provide food for our other vendors? We will gladly provide food for your other vendors, including bartenders, DJs or band members, but you will need to include those people in the number of people that you order for. We work very hard to keep our prices lower so that our brides can have the wedding of their dreams. For that reason, we do not bring extra food "just in case". We bring food for the number of guests you order for.

12. What happens to the food if there is any left over after my wedding? The Arkansas Department of Health imposes very strict guidelines on the safe handling of food items. Once food has been put out for any length of time we do not make it available for guests to take home with them. We do not want to mar the memory of your wedding day by risking having someone not properly handle the food once it leaves our control and then getting sick because it was mishandled.

13. Can I bring in food prepared by my mother/grandmother/mother-in-law to add to the buffet? Dinner's Ready understands your desire to serve your family's favorite family recipe at your special event. Unfortunately, the Arkansas Department of Health's guidelines, as well as our liability insurance, prevent us for serving food that is not prepared in a fully licensed and insured kitchen.

Catering to Central Arkansas email us at 1305 Hot Springs Highway, Benton, AR 72019 501-315-4443