Catering FAQs for Full Service Events

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How can I save money?

We offer everything from bag lunches to black-tie, full-service theme parties. There's almost always catering for your budget. We have some unbreakable standards: 1) if we're staffing the event, we will not under-staff it, 2) we will not under-portion. (Nothing is worse than running out of food) 3) We will not use frozen, tasteless or otherwise low-quality food. Other than that, you control nearly every cost variable including the caliber of the linens, the length of the event, the types of beverages at the bar and of course, the menu. Solid-color linens are less expensive than textured linens. Some stationary hors d'oeuvres are more economical than passed hors d'oeuvres. An event that requires our staff to be onsite eight hours or less will enable you to avoid overtime charges. As for rentals, Miraglia fortunately owns many things that other caterers are forced to rent. We can provide china, water glasses, wine glasses, champagne flutes, martini glasses, stainless flatware and truly upscale buffet equipment at a more economical price than other caterers.

How many staff will be working?

Every event has its nuances and challenges, so we believe that boiler-plate staffing formulas don't work. Based on what we learn about your needs relative to service caliber and budget, our detailed catering proposal will show you exactly how many supervisors, chefs, bartenders and wait staff you'll need. If you would like "extra" staff on hand, we're happy to help. We also believe that sometimes a high number of inexperienced staff is not as wise as a lower number of incredibly experienced staff that have worked in your venue on hundreds of events. As with our event supervisors, many of our wait staff have been with us a decade or more.

Do you charge a cake cutting fee?

No. No matter what the occasion (wedding, corporate grand opening, birthday celebration, etc.), we do not charge a fee for cutting your cake when we are providing the meal for the event. (However, if you are renting specialty china and flatware, remember that cake service means extra plates and forks.)

Can we supply our own alcoholic beverages?

Absolutely! We are happy to supply you with a separate quote for bartenders, glassware, ice, and bar equipment. You can have the liquor delivered directly to your venue or deliver it to us the week before and incur a nominal transport fee for us to store and transport it the day of your event.

What do you do to accommodate vegetarians?

We offer a wide variety of vegetarian options. For a sit-down dinner: you should have a vegetarian option available on your response card. For a buffet: we incorporate a vegetarian entrée into the menu. Since our vegetarian meals are so delicious, most guests take a sample, so we portion accordingly. If you know that you will have a very limited number of vegetarian guests and do not want to provide that option to everyone, we will have a vegetarian plate available in the kitchen by request. This requires some advance knowledge (or your approximation) of the number of vegetarians you expect.

Is there a discount for children?

Children require the same amount of linens, stainless, china and staffing as any other guest However, in an effort to make it possible for you to have young guests at your event, we offer a 50% discount on the food price for children between the ages of three and ten. Children under the age of three generally do not have their own place setting, and they typically eat a bite or two from mom or dad's plate. If you have a separate area with supervision for children, and if you have 12 or more child guests, we can offer a child-friendly boxed lunch instead.

Do you charge a corkage fee?

If we are supplying bartenders for your event, Miraglia does not charge a corkage fee for wine and beer that you provide.

What reasonably priced "extras" can provide "wow factor" to my event?

It's very inexpensive to add candles throughout the dining area. Don't buy candles; we can rent them to you for less, and we'll set and clean them up for you. Also, a menu card will help people understand and enjoy the menu. If you don't want to have specialty linens on all tables, consider using specialty linens just on the tables that are most visible: the head table, buffet table and cake table. These tables are not obstructed by chairs, so they're a large and very visible space for you to decorate with beautiful textured linens. Ask your florist to provide great garnishes for the hors d'oeuvre trays and loose flowers for the buffet tabletop or crudité tabletop. A bouquet can also "double" as a head table centerpiece. A little tabletop décor goes a long way.

How long will it take for setup and cleanup?

If the tables and chairs are in their correct places, setup generally takes two hours. Cleanup takes almost always one hour.

What is the Miraglia Catering policy on tastings?

A tasting at a catering facility isn't like a tasting at a restaurant. We offer thousands of menu items, so we don't keep all the ingredients in stock all the time. Therefore, we special order the ingredients just for your tasting. So, to make sure that we're all on the right track with the menu, we ask you to review a full, detailed proposal with pricing to ensure that we are all, indeed, on the right track. You will also need to have your venue booked before your tasting.

The kitchen team requests one week's notice to prepare for a tasting. Private tastings are generally done during business hours: 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday. With more and more couples paying for weddings on their own, we understand how difficult it can be to arrange a weekday tasting and try to allocate a few nights each month for private tastings. Group tasting events are held periodically. (Tastings are for full-service events only)

We want to book Miraglia Catering, but we haven't worked out all of the details. How can we reserve the date?

We offer a "short confirmation" form, which outlines the date, approximate count, approximate timeline, the type of service (buffet, hors d'oeuvre, seated meal, etc.) and a minimum cost. This, along with a deposit, enables you and us to secure that date. It's very common for details regarding the timeline, menu, beverages and count to be unclear when it's time to book a caterer, so many of our clients start with this step. As the details are settled, we'll follow up with a longer, more detailed confirmation that will indicate all of the personal elements that will make your event truly customized: the linen color, the number of staff, the beverages that will be served at the bar, etc.