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The Chef's Table FAQs

What is the difference between Full-Service and Self-Service Catering?


  1. Full Service Catering

  • Full-Service Catering is available for events that require staff, equipment rentals (tables, chairs, linens, tableware, etc) and/or bar service.  We can also assist with tenting, floral and decor recommendations along with other auxiliary services as needed. As caterers, our job is to make entertaining as stress-free as possible so that you can enjoy your event!  We realize that events come in all sizes and budgets and are happy to supply suggestions and recommendations for your financial parameters.


  1.  Self-Service Catering

  • Self-Service Catering provides a budget friendly option for those who only require help with food for their event.  Our Parties to Go Menu has been designed with items that can be served room temperature or will easily reheat using the provided instructions.  All items come packaged on high quality plastic platters or in oven safe reheating pans. Reheating instructions are provided.  Please note that some items may not be available on certain dates so we ask that all orders be placed online to view the most current menu. Orders may be placed online


Do you offer Hot Deliveries?

Generally, no. Most foods do not travel well when heated. If you are hosting an event where it will be difficult for you to heat the food, we suggest speaking with our event planners for options.  We offer a variety of items that can be served room temperature, or we can suggest local staffing options that can assist.


How Do I Get Started with a Full- Service Catering Quote?


  • First Steps: The first step is to check the availability of your date.  When you call, email or fill out our event form to inquire, we will ask you for the date, type of event, venue, level of service needed and approximate guest count.  We will then verify that we have the necessary staffing resources to successfully execute your event.  We understand that all of these details are just a preliminary start and can be adjusted throughout the planning process.


  • Planning Process: Once some basic details are in place, your planner will work with you to design a preliminary proposal which includes pricing and a breakdown of menu and beverage selections, appropriate staffing levels and any necessary equipment rentals.


A required retainer amount will be indicated on the proposal to secure the date.  Changes may be made to the menu up until 4 weeks prior to the event date and final guest counts will be due approximately 3 weeks before the event date.  

In the two weeks leading up to your event, our planners will confirm final details with you, including the delivery and pick-up of any rental items.


What Does It Cost to Cater an Event? 

We wish there was an easy answer to this question!  The beauty of off-site catering is that it allows you to customize your event.  However, this makes it very difficult to offer standard packages that are typical of function halls.  The degree of complexity of logistics and existing available equipment will have a substantial impact on costs. For example, a plated dinner from a venue with a fully operational catering kitchen is going to be less in terms of both labor and equipment than a tented event requiring the creation of a field kitchen.  If you have a target budget in mind, we encourage you to share this with your planner as early as possible in the process so that we can guide you to choices that will meet your budget and needs.


Which Menu Should I Choose? 


  • Celebrations:  Events such as showers, milestone celebrations, rehearsal dinners or other special occasions.


  • Weddings:  Our wedding packet includes all of the information you will need to get started planning your special day!

  • Hors D’oeuvres:  Our extensive Hors D’oeuvre menu is perfect for cocktail parties or other events where seating may be an issue.


How does the bar work? Can I provide my own alcohol?  

The Chef’s Table is fully licensed and insured to provide bar service in Massachusetts.   Our 12C Liquor License allows us to bypass the need for a one-day license at most venues. Use of our bartenders requires that we provide all of the alcohol. Several weeks before your event you will be provided a beverage menu of current beer, wine and alcohol selections. You will be charged on a consumption basis for all alcohol consumed. 

Some venues have their own liquor license and may either do the bar service on their own or ask us to provide the bartenders.  In these instances, we must defer to their rules.  We suggest checking our venue guide here to see the rules at specific venues.


Is Gratuity Included on the bill? What is customary? 

Gratuity is always at the discretion of the client, never required but always appreciated by the staff.  We often see the range of 15-20% of the food and beverage portion of the bill. Gratuity may be paid by cash or check and given to the on-site contact. All gratuity is split evenly amongst those working the event.  If you would prefer gratuity be added to your invoice, just let us know!


What happens to any unused food from my event? 

Our primary concern is the safety of you and your guests.  Our chefs are ServSafe certified and will abide by all food safety guidelines presented to us by local boards of health.  Food that has been heated or has sat out at room temperature most often cannot be saved.  The packaging and disposal of leftovers will be solely at the discretion of the event chef. 

If you have cancellations after providing your final guest count, please let the staff know upon arrival.  They can work with you to decide if you would still like to make all of the food available to your guests, or if you would like them to place some portions aside for your use after the event. Please be advised that some venues do not allow us to leave any food behind under any circumstances.


We have guests with allergies/food restrictions, can you accommodate them?

Our planners and chefs are well versed in designing menus that can accommodate a large variety of food restrictions. We encourage all clients to include some gluten-free and vegetarian options in each menu. Our online ordering system notes major allergens when applicable.

Please bear in mind that while we take all precautions possible, there are nuts processed in our facility on a regular basis.


Do you offer special menus for holidays?

We offer several special holiday menus for Valentine's Day,  Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas to incorporate traditional favorites. Holiday Menus are available for pickup or delivery with seasonal minimums. Due to the volume of orders we receive, we regret that we cannot include items from any other menus for these dates.

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