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FAQ Regarding Wedding Receptions

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN YOUR SERVICE?
We offer many different types of services. For most wedding receptions, we recommend our full service menu (plated or buffet). But we do offer other types of services including picnics, hors d’oeuvre buffets, family style or stations.

All full service menus include durable high-end plastic dishware (dinner plate, salad bowl, flatware and water glass). Paper dinner napkins and biodegradable cake plates are also included if needed. Or, for our eco-friendly customers, we also have all biodegradable service. Gaylord Catering has a complete inventory of china dishes, stainless steel flatware and glassware for an additional charge. If your facility has china service, we can use their china however there would be a dishwashing fee for Gaylord Catering to wash and put away the dishes.

We also have linen table covers, napkins and skirting available for an additional charge.

If you are using our full service menu for your reception, our prices include four and one half hours of service staff time. This is usually sufficient to serve most weddings. Included in the service staff time is setting the tables, serving the meal, maintaining the buffet, clearing after dinner and cake cutting service. We will cut your wedding cake at no additional charge.

DO I HAVE TO HAVE A DINNER?
No. We often cater a picnic lunch for weddings. Or, we can also serve an hors d’oeuvres buffet or stations. If you choose to serve hors d’oeuvres we recommend that you select one of our hors d’oeuvres cocktail buffets for your reception. That way, you don’t need to figure how much food your guests will eat. You can leave the figuring up to us. Or we can customize a menu to fit exactly what you are looking for. If you are planning a morning or early afternoon reception, we could also cater a brunch or lunch.

WHAT KIND OF DISHES ARE INCLUDED?
See above. Our full service menus include high end disposable dishes. We can also provide china dishes for an additional charge or biodegradable dishes.

ARE THERE ADDITIONAL CHARGES FOR OUT OF TOWN EVENTS?
Yes, we charge $1 per mile round trip to your venue if you are not in the immediate Madison area (50 miles radius of our commissary). In addition, we charge an hourly rate for our staff to get to the venue. The hourly rate is currently $25/hour/service staff.

HOW MANY WEDDINGS DO YOU TAKE IN A DAY?
We are fully equipped to cater two weddings on any given day. We have enough delivery vans, equipment and service staff to accommodate two weddings easily.

IS THERE AN ADDITIONAL COST IF I WANTED A PLATED SIT DOWN DINNER WITH MORE THAN TWO ENTREE CHOICES?
We ask that you limit your entree choices to two. If you need alternative meals for some of your guests (vegetarians or children, for example), there may be an additional charge of $80 for three or more entrees. If you only have a handful (less then 5% of your guaranteed number) of special entrees, then there is no charge.

CAN YOU SERVE CHAMPAGNE OR WINE FOR A TOAST?
We will only serve alcohol to your guests if you have purchased it from us. We will not serve it if you are at a facility with an exclusive alcohol provider. They should serve it to your guests.

DO YOU MAKE WEDDING CAKES?
We do not have a baker on staff. We would be happy to make some recommendations if you need help finding a bakery.

IS THERE A CAKE CUTTING CHARGE?
No, not usually. The only time that there would be a charge is if you want the cake cut later in the evening or not immediately after dinner. If our staff has to stay later than the time that is included, there will be an hourly charge to serve cake later.

CAN I PROVIDE SOME OF MY OWN FOOD?
No, our insurance company won’t permit this. It becomes a question of liability if someone were to get sick. The only item allowed that is provided by someone else is a cake from a licensed establishment.

CAN YOU MAKE A FAMILY RECIPE?
Yes, if you’re willing to share a recipe, we can incorporate it into your menu.

CAN WE CUSTOMIZE A MENU?
Yes, we would be happy to make a custom made menu so that you can have the menu of your dreams. Several couples have wanted to incorporate items from their home states.  We can certainly incorporate these items into your menu.

CAN YOU ADAPT A MENU TO MEET CERTAIN FOOD RESTRICTIONS?
We are often asked to make exceptions for certain diet restrictions. We will try to accommodate all requests as best as we can. However, all food is prepared in a commercial kitchen that handles nuts, shellfish, raw eggs and other allergens regularly. All of our sauces are already made gluten free.

WHEN DO I RECEIVE A CONTRACT?
We usually wait to do a contract until we get a finalized menu from the customer. We can send a contract sooner, but the menu and prices are not guaranteed. We guarantee our prices 90 days prior to an event (sometimes exemptions are made).

DO YOU REQUIRE A DEPOSIT?
Yes, we need a $500 deposit to secure your date and at least four months before. A deposit is welcome sooner, but your prices will not be guaranteed until 90 days prior. Your deposit is non refundable.

WHEN ARE FINAL NUMBERS REQUIRED?
We need an estimated number of guests when you reserve us. We need your final numbers one week prior. You can increase your number, but not decrease, up until three days prior.

WHEN DO I NEED TO PAY?
A deposit is required (see above). Your final payment is due three days prior to your reception.

WHAT WILL YOUR EMPLOYEES BE WEARING?
Depending on the style of service you have selected, our wait staff will probably be wearing black blouses, black pants, black aprons and a silver paisley tie. Back of the house employees will be wearing khaki pants and black chef’s coats.  Picnic menus will be less formal dress. Our staff will be in polo shirts and khaki pants.

HOW MANY STAFF WILL BE AT MY EVENT?
Once again, this will be dependent on what kind of service you have chosen. As a rule of thumb with our full service menus, we figure one wait staff for every 50 guests for a buffet. For plated dinners, we figure one wait staff for every 40 guests. In addition to wait staff there will be back of the house people you may not see. For less formal events (picnics and hors d’oeuvres), there will be less staff.

DOES YOUR PRICES INCLUDE A GRATUITY?
No. Gratuity is at the customer’s discretion and based on their level of satisfaction. If you feel like you had excellent service and would like to give the staff a gratuity, you may do so. Any gratuities are greatly appreciated by our staff.

WHAT IS THE FACILITIES FEE ALL ABOUT?
For several years, facilities have asked caterers to pay a fee to use their venue. Usually, these fees range from 10% - 15%. This fee is collected from the customer and then the caterer pays it to the facility. None of the facilities fees collected remains with the caterer. This fee is in addition to any room rental charges you may have already paid.

WHAT IS THE 18% SERVICE CHARGE COVER?
There is an 18% service charge on food and beverages which covers expenses incurred to produce your event. They include but are not limited to logistics planning, administration, recycling, trash removal, liability insurance coverage, sanitation, food prep & storage, equipment maintenance, and vehicle expenses (gas, insurance). The 18% service charge is not assessed on rentals, facilities fees or labor charges.

HOW DO YOU FIGURE AN INVOICE?
If your reception has both a facilities fee and service charge added to the price of dinner, those charges are not compounded upon each other. That is to say, the facilities fee is only figured on the food and beverage cost. Then the service charge is also only figured on the food and beverage cost. Facilities fee and service charges are not charged on any rentals. According to state law, sales tax will be added to all charges including service charge and facilities fee.

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