Your catering staff comes to the shop two hours before departing to your event venue to pull last minute equipment and load the trucks. They get transported to the event in the company vehicles and when arriving they unload the hundreds if not thousands of pounds of catering equipment, reorganize them, set up a "temporary kitchen", set up / decorate the buffet, heat the food, arrange the meal, serve the meal, clean up the plates, clean the kitchen, break everything down, load the van, return to the shop, unload the truck, clean the equipment, store it away, check out and go home. (usually a thirteen hour day).
Can I use a staffing company instead of your staff?
Sorry, no, our reputation is on the line every time we cater an event. Letting others handle our product is not an option.
How do you determine how much staff we need?
The management of Dominion Catering has worked hundreds of parties as attendants both for our company and other caterers in the past; we know what it takes to get the job done. We won't give you more help than you need unless you ask for it. On the other hand, we won't ask our staff to do more than is humanly possible. If your budget is tight we may be able to find other ways to save money but under staffing is not an option.
Can I use my house keeper instead of one of your attendants?
No, your house keeper has already had a tough day - give him or her the night off. We haven't time to train them and it's hard to delegate to someone not in our employ. If your house keeper is there, we do not need someone watching over our shoulders; please assign them tasks away from our work space.
My friend is a bartender at a local restaurant. Can I use his services?
An "off premise" bartender may have many skills and tools that your friend may not have as an "in house" bartender. "In house" bartenders work for tips and have more time than an event bartender to prepare drinks and may not be able to handle a big crowd..
It is important to note that if you choose to use another bartending service that our liability insurance and workers compensation insurance will not cover them. Also, we will not have any control if they choose to put themselves on the guest list and start drinking. We will have no control over the "tacky" practice of putting a tip cup on the bar* or bad sanitation practices.
It takes a lot of equipment to practice "off premise" bartending and we will only supply equipment for our own bartenders. If another service is utilized they need to have pourers, pitchers, paper towels, sanitizing equipment, brushes, coolers, a portable bar, sanitary ice, ice scoop, glassware, wine openers, can openers, rags, garbage can, cocktail napkins, stirrers and more. *Tip cups are bad etiquette but if a group of guests keeps insisting on it's placement, it's embarrassing to fight with them so we reluctantly just leave it.
How much of the amount that I pay for party staff actually goes to their salary?
The party staff receives only half of the amount that you pay the caterer for the time (five hours) they are at your location but that compensation is really for ten hours ( when you include loading, travel time - to and from job -, unloading, cleaning equipment, and restocking equipment). If you do the math you will see why a gratuity is really appreciated.
You Pay Caterer
$30.00 Per Hour
$15.00 per hour
Staff actually works
$7.50 per hour
Where does the rest of my staffing fee go?
Fair question! The balance of the staffing fee goes to staffing time, uniforms, workers compensation insurance, additional auto insurance, training sessions, liability insurance, staff accounting fees and all other overhead needed to hire and keep top-notch employees.
I understand about gratuity, but how much?
Every client is different and every event is different. Many events require extraordinary measures just for loading and unloading and so we leave gratuity to the clients discretion and usually they make the right choice.
It is very important to note that your attendants have to share their gratuity with members of our staff that worked on your event but did not have the opportunity to go to your event. There may have been three individuals at your location but there may have been several more supporting them.
We are doing our own food. Can we hire your staff without your other services?
Yes, but you must wait until twenty four hours before your event to call. We cannot sell our product without staff and we exhaust every opportunity to sell before releasing staff. This policy also relates to friends and family.