Wedding food logistics
The Bride Link
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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Wedding Food Service: Day Of Logistics

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Wedding Food Service: Day of Logistics

Welcome to The Bride Link podcast, your home for expert wedding planning advice! Today, we've got Destiny with Rothchild Catering to talk about wedding catering food, or food day-of logistics. We'll cover helpful hints about wedding food services and planning tips for getting food to your guests quickly and efficiently. Get advice straight from a pro! Rothchild Catering completes hundreds of events every year that include catering for a wedding! There is so much to cover, join us! Don't forget your free copy of our Ceremony Cheat Sheet to help keep you planning!


Lindsay: Welcome, Destiny! We're thrilled to have you here and all ears for your expert catering tips! Tell us more about wedding food service and what some things we should know!


Destiny: Thanks you! Yes! That is so important! Even if you're not hiring a professional, having someone designated to be the point of contact is great. When you hire a professional, they know all the right questions to ask and they know all the right details to give other vendors no matter what, it's important to have somebody designated for your vendors to talk to when they get to the reception. 


Lindsay: What we say is if you can't afford a day-of coordinator, get your aunt Patty to do it! Somebody other than you, the bride! Its not your responsibility to be in charge of your timeline and coordinating with the vendors.


Destiny: You don't want to be attached to your phone while you're trying to get into your wedding dress. Someone else needs to be dealing with that. So you can enjoy your day. 


Lindsay: So as far as working with a day-of coordinator, I know there's a lot of questions to discuss. Can you talk about the timing, like your foodservice timing, and what's important with that? 


Destiny: Yes. So timing is key. From our arrival time to foodservice and conclusion, a caterer needs to know that so they can provide the utmost quality of service. We need to know when to arrive because every location varies. 

Your ceremony might be right beside your reception location. And if that's the case, we need to arrive earlier. That's we're fully set in place before the ceremony starts. So there's no extra noise. If the ceremony is far away from the reception, we can arrive closer to the reception time. We don't have that noise concern. So that needs to be taken into consideration with the timing. The absolute most important part is knowing when people are ready to put food on their plates. We want that food to be delicious. We want it to be fresh. We want it to be hot. So we need to know when are people going to be eating Adjustments like 15 minutes here, or 15 minutes there, mean a lot for your service and the actual timing of your guests eating. So trying to make that eating window as accurate as possible is tremendously helpful for us.


Lindsay: I know the more time the food sits around after when food service was supposed to start, you start to worry about the quality of food if it's going to be as good of a presentation. And so it's really important to keep the timeline on track for food service to start at the right time. 


Destiny: Yes, for sure. People don't think about the presentation part. We try to time everything to make sure it goes out for the guests perfectly. We've got to have everything it nailed down! There's so much that you have to consider, a lot of the stuff has to be set up and prepped before the ceremony starts. With travel time, plating, and everything associated with service, how do you all work that out? With great staff and lots of practice! Utilizing multiple vans. It can seem like basically, we're in two places at once!

Rothchild Catering keeps all of our food in Cambros! They only lose one degree of temperature per hour and are great for food travel. They don't replace timing. We have to make sure we're in the right spot, at the right time, and surrounded by everything we'll need to feed sometimes 300+ people.


Lindsay: Yeah. And then as a wedding planner, we're starting to think about, okay, if we have multiple vans coming, are we going to hear the van arrive? Where's the ceremony taking place? Are they going to see a van drive through? That leads us to our next topic, which is parking. Food caterers need some sort of access to your van. No way around it on some occasions.


Destiny: Parking can be a logistical nightmare for any event. And that does not exclude your wedding vendors! We have to be able to access them. Simply put, 150 pieces of steak is not going on the buffet table at the same time. You would need a large buffet table. Food is held in food-safe containers before being served to your guests. If there's a prep kitchen on-site or somewhere designated for the caterer to set up, we may be able to plan for no van. If we have access to that, that is a tremendous help. A great wedding coordinator or the couple can help us determine where they would like us to park and set up beforehand. It's the best way to relieve stress upon arrival. 


Lindsay: We always say caterers consistently need things throughout foodservice. Having access to your mobile kitchen is the best way to make sure that you can get what you need easily. Slow food service keeps your guests hungry and takes away from their experience. If you have to run to your van located in the parking lot, it will make the process incredible more difficult. 


Destiny: You have to decide what's more important. Is it more important that the van is not visible or is it more important that your guests are getting food quickly? 


Lindsay: You either have to cope with the van in the photos or just kind of around the venue. Somewhere visible, and maybe in space you'd prefer to be empty. At some venues, it's just not possible to hide it. 


Destiny: Knowing those expectations in advance is important. We want to make sure we're doing what makes the couple, the happiest. So we'll do whatever we need to do, but we also want to make sure the food's great. 


Lindsay: How does the type of foodservice impact day-of logistics? 



Destiny: Doing a served meal versus a buffet meal is very different than a served meal. It requires a lot more equipment. If your caterer doesn't have a kitchen onsite, it requires things like a hotbox, plate covers, et cetera. More importantly, it requires more staff. It's a lot more involved than a buffet. Buffets generally put food out on a line and it doesn't require as extensive of a setup. We're happy to do either one. We just want to make sure people understand the difference because of all those additional resources. 


Lindsay: So when people are looking into different tables settings or when they're trying to just think about how their day is going to look, what information do they need to be giving you as a cater about what goes on their table? 


Destiny: If you want a fully set table and you just love that look because it's stunning! It always represents an additional cost. We are going to need to arrive earlier and your food might need to come at a separate time to ensure that it's fresh. So if clients would tell their cater in advance their expectations, that would help tremendously and it will help them get a more accurate quote. 


Lindsay: Yeah, it's a lot. You can't just throw this stuff on the table. It has to be placed perfectly. You want it to be lined up correctly every single time!


Destiny: To your point. This is exactly where a wedding coordinator is so helpful. They usually communicate with the cater on the day of you want to make sure that you have somebody there that knows exactly what the goal is for the table. 


Lindsay: Yes. And if I could tell couples right then to please have some mercy on us! Don't pick a napkin fold, that's some complicated origami design. It would make things a lot easier for us.


Destiny: There are some stunning ones out there, but they sure do take some time! 


Lindsay: If we have to fold napkins, ew need your napkins at least a day before. We have to get to napkins the day before. Then, that's just what we signed up for a Friday night, folding 150 napkins. 


Destiny: Advanced prep is the way to go. You might think; "Oh, this is not going to take me but 15 seconds per fold. But then you multiply that by your guest count. And all of a sudden it's taken a long time!



Lindsay: Yes! Or the napkins are not perfectly square I've folded one napkin like 15 times. So other than that, let's talk about when it's time to pack up and leave. As far as Day of food logistics, I know there's a lot of assumptions made when it's time to leave and end service. Who's responsible for certain things like glassware drinks, the trash, linens, flatware, all of those items?


Destiny: At Rothschild catering, we provide the plates, cutlery, and linen with every order for a wedding. That is our responsibility. However, we understand that some couples have a look that they're going for and they might choose to have plates or napkins or cutlery that we don't offer. In that situation, we try to be as accommodating as we can. But at the end of the night, if the equipment is ours, it comes with us. We scrape it, we clean it, we take it back and we wash it and you don't have to worry about a thing. 


Lindsay: Every catering company can be different from what they offer. What they are going to take with them when they leave. It is always a good idea to talk about it in advance with whomever you've hired for more specific details.


Destiny: As long as we're communicating, we'll figure it out and make sure it is the best possible solution for the client!



Lindsay: Another thing people are so concerned about with weddings is the specific look they want to create. How everything looks put together. And so talking to your caterer about the presentation is always recommended. But then it's clean up time! How does cleanup work? And the worst thing we could do is figure all of that out at like 9:30 at night. 

Destiny: Yes, absolutely. And that's one of the reasons that even though we provide the place cutlery and linen napkins, we do usually recommend for wedding receptions at venues offsite. They do plastic. If we have plastic cups on the, on the beverage table that allows the guests to continue getting their beverages. If the cater needs to pack up and take the glasses, 

Lindsay: I always like it when a wedding serves bottled water and keeps it cold!
And then guests can get bottled water too. Like on the way home, they can grab one on their way out the door and then stay hydrated the entire night. 

Destiny: Yeah, that's a great idea!

Lindsay: Thank you for coming today to give us some insight on day of logistics! If somebody wanted to reach out to Rothschild Catering, just to have a conversation with you about catering in general, how can they get in touch with you? 

Destiny: The best way to get in touch with us is through our website, We have all our menus with pricing and if somebody wants a custom in you, that's great too. But we have a contact form comes directly to our email addresses. It does not go anywhere else and we will see it and we will respond within 24 hours. 

Lindsay: Awesome. So we'll put a link down there too, so you can contact Rothschild catering directly. If you're looking for food service here in Knoxville, in the surrounding areas!

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