Please see our answers to frequently asked questions about our catering services below. If you have further questions, contact us.
When is the appropriate time to book an event?
It depends on the event. We typically book wedding receptions four to fifteen months in advance. We love doing weddings and, for popular wedding months – especially May/June and September/October in the DC area – we tend to get booked up early, so we recommend contacting us as soon as you set your date. We typically book parties and dinners one to two months in advance – although weekends of course book faster than weeknights. A few weeks are usually ample notice for corporate events, particularly on weekdays. Of course, even if your event is last minute, it can’t hurt to call us. If we can make it work, we will.
Can I make changes in my event’s menu or make my own menu?
Of course! We believe in customizing menus to each client’s personal tastes and vision of the event. We generally work by talking with you about what foods, cuisines and preparations you most enjoy, how you see your event unfolding, and then suggesting a menu. You can then ask for any additions, subtractions, or modifications you wish. You are also welcome to develop your own menu, working from our sample menus or your own creative vision. Even after the menu is agreed upon, changes are generally possible as the event approaches.
Can you adjust for special dietary needs?
We do it all the time! A good percentage of our clients are vegetarians, vegans, or gluten free, as are their guests. We can work with you to design an entirely vegetarian or vegan menu for any event, or just to ensure that there are appetizing options for your guests with dietary restrictions. We can also work around any allergy or special requirement – just let us know.
Do you provide tastings?
Yes. We are happy to prepare tastings upon request. If you are planning your event well in advance, it may not be feasible to offer you the same menu items for a tasting that will be available on the date of the event. This is because we use seasonal and locally sourced foods. However, we can always create options that will give you a good sense of what will be on offer. Because there are significant expenses associated with the preparation of tastings, we do charge a fee of $35 (plus tax) per person. If you hire us and your party is over 75 people, that fee goes toward your future balance. The tasting fee will only be waived if you have not booked at the time of the tasting. If you would like subsequent tastings these will be charged on a service and supplies basis.
Can you arrange rental items for my event?
Yes. We can organize all the standard items, including tables, chairs, linens, china, glassware and silverware. We can also arrange tents, dance floors, coat racks, lights, concessions (e.g., popcorn machine, cotton candy machine, etc), tent heating/air conditioning, stages, and public address systems. Please feel free to ask us if there is something unusual you are looking for – if it is available, we will find it. The rental company we generally use has a $250 delivery fee for weekend deliveries in the Washington, DC area. This price can be reduced to $100 if your rentals can be delivered and picked up on weekdays (Monday through Friday). If your event is outside of the DC area, there may be an additional delivery charge. The rental company calculates this delivery charge, but the fee usually increases based on the mileage. There is also a damage waiver you may purchase for 10% of your total rental fee, excluding the delivery fee, which will protect you from paying for any rental item accidentally broken by one of your guests. If one of our staff members accidentally breaks a rental item, Farm to Feast will pay for the damage.
How do you charge for labor?
For staffing events we charge by the hour. We pay door to door, so travel time is included in the estimate. Though we do our very best to estimate the amount of time our staff will be needed at your event, the final cost is based on the actual time worked. For large full service events, such as weddings with 100 or more guests, an Event Manager will be required at the event to ensure everything runs smoothly.
How many bartenders, servers, cooks, etc, will you hire for my event?
In general, we like to provide one server per every twenty-five guests for a buffet. For a plated dinner, we like to provide one server per every twenty guests. Like many other aspects of the event, hiring depends on how formal or complicated your preferences. The number of bartenders depends on the number of guests, but also on the type of drinks you will be serving (e.g., beer and wine only, custom cocktails, full bar). In general, we like to provide one bartender up to 100 guests at a beer/wine event. The more complicated the bar, the more bartenders you will need. Our Executive Chef, Alexis Starkey, personally oversees food preparation for almost all of our events. Your menu and the number of guests will determine the number of additional on-site cooks. Weddings and events with more than 50 guests can expect one to two additional cooks. Nearly all events will have a cleaner. The number of guests and if you are using rentals that must be washed will determine the number of hours a cleaner will be assigned, along with the number of cleaners hired.
Do your servers wear a uniform?
Yes, our servers, event managers and bartenders wear white shirts, black pants, and a Farm to Feast black apron. Our staff can also wear all black if preferred.
Do you have a corkage fee?
No we do not. Just let us know if you plan to supply your wine or champagne and how many bottles you will be bringing. There is no charge for opening and pouring.
Will you charge extra to handle externally sourced desserts (for example, cutting a cake)?
No, of course not! Just let us know if you would like us to do so, along with how many servings, so that we can be prepared with the correct number of knives.
Do you provide alcohol?
We may be able to supply beer, wine, champagne, or liquor upon request. There are legal and permit issues that vary by jurisdiction and event venue. Once we know the details of your event, we will figure out what is possible. Please note: When you are planning to supply your own alcohol, we are happy to recommend wine pairings at various price points, suggest signature cocktails or craft beers, or recommend local vendors. Whoever supplies the alcohol will be responsible for obtaining the liquor license.
Do you arrange set up and clean up?
We provide set up and clean up services. Weddings and other large-scale events usually require two hours for set up. Smaller events may take only an hour or half an hour to set up. Once we have all the details of your event, we will let you know how much set up time will be needed. Our drop-off service includes a built-in half an hour set up charge; additional time is added upon request or if the menu or event is especially complicated. Clean up after the event typically lasts an hour. However, this will be dependent on a number of factors, such as the number of guests, the complexity of your event breakdown, and amount of rentals.
What types of charges can I expect for a catered event?
Your proposal will include an estimated cost of all the components your event requires of us. This may include rentals, labor charges, food costs, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, delivery fees, damage waiver, and DC sales tax.
Do you accept credit cards?
We happily accept credit card as a form of payment. However, there is a 2.5% surcharge that will accompany all credit card payments.
What is your “Drop-Off” service?
“Drop-Off” means that we prepare and deliver the food (usually buffet-style) to your venue. We send a staff member to set the food up for you and your guests, but provide no on-site servers, bartenders, cleaners, etc. This is best for informal corporate events and informal parties, but can also work for larger events (including weddings) provided they are casual. This service does not include clean up services, unless requested. Delivery/pick-up charges begin at $30 for the District. Outside of the DC area, charges are somewhat higher and vary with mileage.
Do you provide equipment for Drop-Offs?
Yes, we can provide things such as paper goods and chafing dishes if requested. Usually, we will use compostable disposables. Drop-Off service can be done with rentals or disposables. If you use rentals, all items must be rinsed clean, returned to their crates and placed together in an area accessible to staff from the rental company.
Do you have a price list?
Our corporate menus are listed under the “Corporate Catering” tab on our website and these do include prices. Although, each event is unique and prices vary based on needs. If you would like general cost information please email us.
Is gratuity included in the bill?
Gratuities are not itemized in the bill, nor are they required. We will add them if directly instructed to do so by the client. A gratuity of $25 and up per staff member or a percentage of the total is customary. We do not put tip jars on bars for private parties and weddings.
Do you have children’s prices?
Yes, children four years and younger are free, but are counted for seating purposes.
Do you offer a nonprofit discount?
We are always willing to work with nonprofits to meet their needs.