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?
Short answer: it depends. We book wedding receptions anywhere from two to 15 months in advance. We love doing weddings and, for popular wedding months — especially May, June, September and October in the DC area — we are booked early, so contact us as soon as you set a date. When it comes to parties and dinners, we typically book them one to two months in advance, with weekends booking faster than weeknights, unsurprisingly. A few weeks are usually sufficient notice for corporate events — particularly on weekdays. Of course, even if your event is last-minute, but 48-hours out, give us a call. 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 for the event. Usually, we start by talking with you about which foods, cuisines and preparations you most enjoy and how you see your event unfolding. Based on those conversations, we can make menu suggestions. You can then ask about any changes you might want to make. You are also welcome to develop your own menu, using our sample menus as a starting point or coming to the table with your own vision for the event. And even after the menu is agreed upon, we can usually accommodate changes, as the event grows closer.
Can you adjust for special dietary needs?
We do it all the time! Many 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?
We are happy to prepare tastings upon request. Since we use seasonal and locally sourced foods, if you’re planning your event far 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. However, we can always create options that will give you a good sense of we can prepare on the day. Because there are significant expenses incurred in preparing tastings, we charge a $35 fee (plus tax) per person. If you hire us and your party is more than 100 people, the fee for up to two tasting attendees goes toward your future balance. If you would like subsequent tastings, these will be charged on a service and supplies basis.
Can you arrange rental items for my event?
We can organize all of 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 HVAC, stages and PA 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 contract with has a $350 equipment minimum. In addition there is a $300 fee for weekend deliveries in the DC area. The fee goes down to $120 if the rental items can be delivered and picked up on weekdays. 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. You may also purchase a damage waiver (10% of your total rental fee, excluding the delivery fee), which will protect you from paying for any rental items 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. While we do our best to estimate how much time our staff will be 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 in the front of the house.
How many bartenders, servers, cooks, etc, will you hire for my event?
In general, we like to provide one server for every 20 guests for a buffet. For a plated dinner, we like to provide one server for every 15 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 for 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. For weddings and events with more than 50 guests, you can expect one to two additional cooks. Nearly all events will have a cleaner. The number of guests and whether you are using rentals that must be washed will determine the number of cleaners hired and the number of hours the cleaners will be assigned to work.
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. If you prefer, our staff can also wear all black.
Do you have a corkage fee?
No. 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, but that depends on the jurisdiction and event venue and any related legal or permit issues. Once we know the details of your event, we will figure out what’s possible. Please note: If 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. For all events, whoever supplies the alcohol is responsible for obtaining the liquor license.
What are my service options?
Drop-off catering: our delivery driver brings the food hot from the kitchen and sets it out where you would like your buffet set-up. Your food arrives plated on compostable platters, in compostable bowls, or in aluminum pans. If you have ordered disposable chafing dishes they will set these up too. Rentals cannot be used with drop off unless you are willing to take care of their arrival and return. Delivery driver will not re-plate food. Adjusted-Drop Off: This is designed as help with food only. One–two servers are dispatched with your order, they will bring the food hot, set up the buffet, replace food during service and then clean up the buffet area. They do not bus or cleanup tables after your guests, they stay only for the dinning portion of the event. They will re-plate food onto permanent dishes, otherwise your food will arrive plated on compostable dishes or aluminum hot pans. There is a 3.5-hour minimum charge for the server’s time. Rentals are only possible if you will be taking charge of them for service and pick-up, these will be outside of server’s responsibility. Full-Service: All of your needs are attended to. Set-up, food service and cleanup are all included.
Do you arrange set up and clean up?
We provide setup and cleanup services with our full-service packages. In general, weddings and other large-scale events require two or more hours for setup. Smaller events may take only an hour or 45 minutes to set up. Once we have the details of your event, we’ll let you know how much setup time will be needed. Our drop-off service includes a built-in 30-minute setup charge, with more time added upon request or if the menu or event is complicated. Cleanup after the event typically lasts an hour. However, this depends on several factors, such as the number of guests, the complexity of the event breakdown and the number of rental items. We do not supply clean-up for drop-off events.
What types of charges can I expect for a catered event?
Our proposals include estimated costs for all components that your event requires of us. This may include rentals, labor charges, food costs, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, delivery fees, damage waiver and DC sales tax.
Do you accept credit cards?
We happily accept credit cards as a form of payment. Please note, however, that there is a 2.5% surcharge if you do pay by credit card.
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 cleanup services. Delivery/pick-up charges start at $35 per hour for events in the DC area, and increase depending on the mileage from this area.
Do you provide equipment for Drop-Offs?
Yes. Upon request, we can provide compostable paper goods, disposable chafing dishes and the like. Drop-off service is done with disposables, or platter, chafing dish and coffee service rentals, these will require a pick-up fee. If you use rentals, all items must be rinsed clean, returned to their crates and placed together in an area accessible to staff.
Do you have a price list?
Check out the Corporate Catering page for our corporate menus and pricing, but remember that each event is unique, so prices may vary. If you’d like general cost information, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is gratuity included in the bill?
Gratuities are not included in the bill, but they are certainly appreciated. 100% of the gratuity is passed on to our very hard working staff. We do not put tip jars on bars for private parties and weddings. If you would like to find out more about tipping Martha Stewart has a good guide here: http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/226661/tipping-wedding-vendors
Do you have children’s prices?
Yes, children three years and younger are free, but are counted for seating purposes. If you are getting rentals they will need to be counted into the rentals.
Do you offer a nonprofit discount?
We are always willing to work with nonprofits to meet their needs.
Delivery FAQ and Policies
How to order?
There are multiple convenient ways to place a delivery with Farm to Feast. See if you find what you need with our corporate menus. If not, fill out our questionnaire (http://farmtofeastcatering.com/get-a-menu-and-quote/) to get a unique menu designed. You may also feel free to email us at email@example.com or call us at 202-674-7629.
Do you have a minimum order?
We have a $250 minimum Monday-Friday and $750 minimum for Saturday and Sunday before tax. D.C. standard sales tax of 10% will be charged on every order, unless the event is for a tax-exempt organization.
How much notice do you need to place an order?
All our dishes are hand-crafted with the freshest ingredients possible; therefore, we ask for notice 2 business days in advance when placing an order.
When is the latest time I can make a change to my order?
We accept changes to your order up until 48-hours before your event. If you would like to make changes following that time, we may be able to accommodate your request, but a fee will be charged, and your original delivery time may not be guaranteed.
What is your cancellation policy?
Any cancellation of deliveries made less than 24 hours in advance will be charged in full. Any orders cancelled within 48-72 hours will be charged for all out-of-pocket expenses.
What are your payment procedures?
We accept all forms of payment – cash, check, or credit card payment. If you would like to pay by credit card, there will be a 2.5% surcharge on every transaction. Credit card invoices are available upon request.
Do you provide serving items and utensils?
We provide all environmentally friendly, compostable serving platters and serving bowls. To prevent waste, we do not automatically provide plates, napkins, utensils, and cups, although they are available upon request for a small fee.
When should I expect my delivery?
Your delivery driver will typically arrive 30 minutes before your event starts to set up. Depending on the size of your party and equipment needed, this time may be extended. However, you should allow 10 minutes before or after the expected arrival time due to the unpredictability of traffic conditions.
Do you charge a delivery fee?
Events held in D.C. will include a $35 delivery fee/set-up fee. Extra travel time for delivery drivers will be charged for any events outside of D.C. based on the actual distance from our kitchen. Extra set-up time should be scheduled and will incur extra charges, for example, if you would like the delivery driver to transfer food to special platters. Large events may require 2 delivery drivers or special equipment which could change the delivery fee.