Frequently Asked Questions
Our mission as a company is to provide the highest standard of customer service, top quality food and unparalleled creativity and passion while exceeding every guests expectation, all for the glory of God.
Q: How much experience do you have in the catering industry?
A: We have been in business, perfecting our craft for over 37 years. Our management team has a combined 77 years of experience. David Miele, a Susquehanna Univeristy graduate, has run the Genetti, the Ross Club, opened a chain of sub shops down South, Zeros Subs, and owned The Hillside Restaurant prior to opening The Hillside Catering. Michael Miele, a Penn State Graduate, has worked in the catering industry since he was 13 years old-he knows the catering business inside and out. Michaels abilities include figuring the logistics of a party, working in the kitchen to perfect the perfect meal, and working with the staff to execute a great event.
Q: What do your services include?
A: We are a full service caterer, we provide everything from set-up to tear down, we help to coordinate any necessary rentals, we have our own supply of china, silverware, glassware, linen and decor.
Q: What is a "Full Service Caterer"?
A: We consider ourselves to be full service caterers in that we take almost every aspect of an event out of the Host or Guests hands so that they can fully enjoy the event. We do outlines the week before the event for the staff to follow, we coordinate timelines and touch base with the vendors of an event, our servers pass all of our Hors D'oeuvres, refill water glasses all night (we do not just leave a pitcher of water on the table), always serve salads before the main course, serve coffee & cake, help any elderly or handicapped guests with whatever we can, take care of all of the set-up and tear down, we help carry your gifts, flowers and decor to the car at the end of the night...We do whatever we can in order to make the day less stressful for you, your family and friends.
Q: How many servers/bartenders do you put on each event? Are your staff trained/certified?
A: Our standard is 1 captain/event, 1 server/15 guests for a served meal, 1 server/20 guests for a buffet, hors d'oeuvres or small plates party, 1 bartender/100 guests and 4 kitchen staff/ 100 guests. Our staff attend monthly training meetings and are fully unifomed in all black, each server has a Hillside Catering button down shirt and wears black dress pants. Our Bartenders are RAMP and ServSafe Alcohol certified, copies of certifications are available upon request for each event.
Q: What is typically included in a catering invoice from The Hillside Catering?
A: Our estimates/invoices are always tailored to our guests exact wants & needs, therefore, they are never the same. Below we will break down what a standard invoice for a buffet for 100 guests could look like- please keep in mind this is a sample invoice and all estimates/invoices are a direct reflection of your requests.
100 Lite Hors D'oeuvres Package @ $10.00/guest = $1,000.00
20% Service Fee on Food Sales = $200.00
100 Homestyle Buffet @ $24.00/guest = $2,400.00
20% Service Fee on Food Sales = $480.00
100 Bar Set-Up's (beer & wine only) @ $3.00/guest =$300.00
20% Service Fee on Bar Sales = $60.00
100 China Rentals @ $3.75/guest = $375.00
13 Guest Table Linen Rentals @ $8.50/ cloth = $106.25
100 Napkin Rentals @ $.65/napkin = $65.00
* ESTIMATED *Labor (1 captain @ 10 hours, 5 Servers @ 8 hours each, 1 bartender @ 10 hours
& 4 Kitchen Staff @ 6 hours each) 84 estimated hours @ $20.00/staff member = $1,680.00
6 % Sales Tax = $399.98
ESTIMATED TOTAL = $7,066.23 or $70.66 per guest all inclusive
Q: What does the Service Fee on the estimate/invoice cover?
A: We add a 20% Service Fee onto our food (hors d'oeuvres and meal) sales as well as our bar fee. The service fee offsets labor and administration costs such as dishwashing, packing for your event, customiing outlines, shopping for food, clean up, site visits, working with rental companies, etc. The service fee is not a gratuity and is subject to state and local tax laws.
Q: Do you offer event consultations?
A: Yes, we would love to meet with you to figure out your exact wants, needs and budget. We are available at your convenience and can meet at our office or can come to you!
Q: Do you offer food tastings?
A: We do! We offer complimentary food tastings for the Bride and Groom- once you have booked with us, food prepared for any additional guests is $25.00/person. If you have not yet booked with us but would like to set up a tasting the price is $50.00/person and we will prepare an assortment of our most popular Hors D'oeuvres, entrees, sides and salads.
Q: Can i customize a menu or make changes to your menus?
A: Absolutely! We would love to help you create a special menu just for your event! All of the menus (available upon request) are completely customizeable, you are welcome to make any additions or changes you prefer.
Q: Do you accomodate vegetarians, vegans and food allergies?
A: We do! We can accomodate vegetarians, vegans and any food allergies - please keep in mind we do not have a certified Gluten Free kitchen - although we do everything in our power to ensure cross contamination never occurs with food allergies. When you come in to plan your event, we will discuss your dietary needs and suggest a menu that will be suitable for you and your guests. Please tell us if we need to consider food allergies.
Q: Do you offer childrens' meals? If so, what are the prices?
A: We offer kids meals at 50% of the regular menu price, we generally serve home made chicken fingers, macaroni & cheese and applesauce. We always serve the kids meals when we are serving the salads to the adults.
Q: Do you charge extra to cut the cake and serve it?
A: No, we do not charge to cut and serve the cake, it is included in the cost.
Q: How do you charge for Labor?
A: We charge for our staff by the hour, we do our best to estimate the amount of time that our staff will be needed for your event. However, since many variables exist, the final cost is based on the actual time worked. For large full service events, we require an Event Manager to oversee staff and ensure the coordination of a successful event.
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