Frequently Asked Questions
An Eye and Palate Pleasing Assortment of Appetizers
Q. Does Delectables have a minimum/maximum size for events?
A. Like most caterers, we have minimum and maximum size events which we can handle effectively. For a takeout or delivery meal, without servers, our minimum is 10 people. With servers, our minimum event size is 35 people. Our maximum size is over 3,000.
Q. Are you open on Saturdays?
A. Yes, by appointment, which we are glad to make. Call us at 727-781-1200.
Q. Are you open on Sundays?
A. The office is closed on Sundays. The kitchen is open only if we have a scheduled full service event that day.
Q. Can I place a pickup or delivery order for a Saturday?
A. Absolutely! Delivery times are 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM, and pickup hours are 7:00 AM until 4:00 PM.
Q. Can I place a pickup or delivery order for a Sunday?
A. Generally no, but if the kitchen is scheduled to be open, we may be able to accommodate you. Please call 727-781-1200 several days in advance and discuss your situation. Food that is delivered or picked up on Saturday will be just fine if it’s refrigerated for a Sunday event. We really want to help, but just like you we need a day off now and then!
Q. What about Holidays?
A. We are available most holidays to serve you. But we are closed and book no parties on Easter (Sunday), Thanksgiving (Thursday), and Christmas day.
Q. Do I have to pay for food before I receive it?
A. Yes, like virtually all caterers, you must pay before your event takes place. A small deposit serves to guarantee your event date. Final payment is due eight (8) days before your event. This enables us to order the food to prepare your event. Different rules may apply to corporations and other established customers.
Q. What are the cut-off dates for changing the number of people I have at an event?
A. It depends upon the type of event.
For events with servers, it is eight (8) days before the event, when final payment is due.
For take-out events, it is 24 hours before the event.
Q. Does Delectables have tables and chairs available for rent? What about China? Glasses?
Yes, we rent tables, chairs, bar setups, tablecloths, glassware, china, utensils, chafing dishes, and more. Information is on the Rentals page.
Q. How do Delectables servers dress for events?
A. Delectables servers generally have three outfits available:
Formal, consisting of a white tux shirt, black slacks and shoes, black bow tie, and black vest.
Informal Our informal outfit consists of a black polo shirt and black or khaki slacks.
Causal Tropical This outfit is a Hawaiian-style shirt (style varies) and khaki slacks or shorts.
Other options may be available, please call our coordinators and discuss your ideas.
Q. What methods of food service does Delectables offer?
A. Most of our events fall into one of five categories: Sit-down, buffet, cocktail party, delivery, and pickup. Other options are available, but may not always be appropriate for catered or large events. Here are descriptions of these types of events, in case you are not familiar with them:
Sit-down dinner is where a chef places food onto individual plates and servers bring the hot plates directly to the guests. Considered the most formal, and is the fastest to serve-yes, the way we do them, sit-down dinners serve food faster than do buffets. We have served 800 sit-down dinners in under 20 minutes! This means at a wedding, a sit-down dinner allows more time for dancing and fun than does a buffet.
Buffet, where guests walk down a buffet line choosing the food they wish themselves. A variation is a stations buffet, where several stations, each serving a different kind of food, are setup around a room, rather than a single buffet table. The stations may or may not share a common theme, say Tex-Mex or Italian. You can combine a traditional buffet with a station or two as well.
Cocktail party primarily serves appetizers and hors d’ oeuvre, and individual desserts, all of which are eaten off small plates that guests carry as they mingle. You can add stations to an all-hors d’ oeuvre event to make it more satisfying for your guests.
Delivery. This type of event has no labor charge, except for a small delivery fee. The food is delivered in single-use containers. We will arrange the food on a table if you prefer, if the table is set-up and ready prior to our arrival.
Pickup. Identical to delivery, but you do the driving.
Q. Is there a difference in price between a Sit-down dinner and a Buffet?
A. In general, sit-down events cost a little more than buffet’s for smaller events. Sit-down events require more servers (1 per 20 for sit-down events, versus 1 per 25 for buffets) and you need to hire a chef unless your event is over 75 people, when we waive the chef fee. As an example, if you do a sit-down dinner for 45 people, you would need 3 servers plus a chef, as opposed to 2 servers for a buffet.
With larger events, the differences become negligible. For example, with 105 guests, a buffet would require 5 servers, and a sit-down 6 servers.
All parties require one supervisor per 300 guests.
Q. Any hints on laying out tables for an event?
A. To maximize the available space, lay your tables out in a staggered fashion, as shown below, instead of in a grid pattern:
Q. How many different appetizers do I need to serve for an event with a meal? For just hors d’ oeuvre?
A. A great question. With a meal, the minimum is generally four different appetizers for a typical cocktail period lasting an hour. If you expect your cocktail period to exceed an hour, its best to add two additional appetizers per half hour. If you are serving appetizers as a meal, a good guideline is 12 appetizers and/or presentations or 8-10 appetizers and a couple of stations, plus dessert per person for a typical 2-3 hour event.
Q. When I order appetizers, what should I need to think about?
A. The most important thing is variety. Not everyone has the same tastes as you. So, a good rule is with just a few appetizers (4-5), avoid having more than one seafood, one red meat, or one breaded appetizers, as some people just won’t or can’t (allergy, diet, or religious taboo) eat certain things. These days, it is probably a good idea to have at least one vegetarian appetizer as well. If you are just having appetizers, be sure to include some that are more filling, like a cheese tray, kebabs, or brochettes, or add a station or two, to ensure your guests don’t have to stop on the way home to eat!
Allergies & Dietary Restrictions FAQ’s
Q. Does Delectables handle special requests based on allergies, dietary, or religious restrictions?
A. Guests at your party allergic to nuts, eggs, seafood, or have some other food-related restriction? Are they vegetarians? Vegans? No problem-we handle these situations everyday, at no extra charge*, as long as we are told about it in advance.
For takeout or delivery events, we must be told about allergies when the order is placed. For events with servers, we must be notified at least eight days in advance.
It is vital to note that due to the nature of the catering business, special requests because of allergies cannot be accommodated on the day of the event! *Assumes same main ingredient.
Children’s Food FAQ’s
Q. I don’t see it on your menu, but do you offer food for children?
A. Of course!
At buffets, children will generally eat something from the buffet, so children’s meals are not needed for buffets.
For sit-down dinners, our most successful children’s dinner includes chicken fingers with dipping sauces, Mac ’n Cheese, vegetables, and a fresh-baked cookie. Other options are available-just ask.
For events like a child’s birthday party or a bar/bat mitzvah, a complete and separate children’s menu can be developed, with that special child’s preferences in mind. Ask your coordinator for details and prices.
Wedding Reception FAQ’s
Q. Do you have any hints for making wedding receptions more enjoyable?
A. Absolutely! At a sit-down event, have the Bride and Groom’s entire meal (salad and main course) delivered at once, while the guests are served their salads. This allows them to eat their entire meal while the guests are eating their salad and having dinner served, allowing the bride and groom to circulate while the guests eat. It really maximizes the brides and grooms time during the reception, and allows more time for the fun parts of the wedding!
Q. I am being asked by different people (photographers, DJ’s, etc.) about feeding their employees. Why is this? I am already paying these people.
A. Great question, one that is frequently misunderstood by people new to planning events. Yes, it’s true, you are paying your photographer, DJ, bartenders, etc., so why should you feed them as well? Well, to start with, many of them have it in their contract that their employees must be fed. More importantly, its customary to feed them since many of them (especially photographers) are working 8 or more hours straight on your event, and most cannot leave to get a meal.
By federal law, all employees are guaranteed a meal break after four hours of work, and there is no exception in the law for wedding photographers!
And if you see the catering staff eating, it’s not your food-it’s extra food that we provide them since they too are working hard for 8-10 hours, and they cannot leave your event to get food, so we provide food for them.
Pickup and Delivery FAQ’s
Q. When you deliver food, is the hot food delivered hot or cold?
A. If you are eating entrées within a few minutes of delivery, we can deliver the food hot. If there is going to be a delay, it is better that we deliver the food cold, so that you can reheat it for best quality. If you are serving several hot dishes, we recommend chafing dishes to keep the food at safe and delicious temperatures.
An exception to this is hot appetizers-since they are bite-sized, they tend to dry out if delivered hot, so we send them cold so you can heat them for optimal quality at party time.
Q. in what kind of containers is your delivery/pickup food prepared?
A. Hot foods are delivered in disposable Aluminum half-hotel pans. Most hot entrees come with garnishes, such as orchids, pepper rings, stems of rosemary, etc.
Cold foods are presented on disposable plastic serving trays, already decorated-just remove the lid or plastic wrap and they are ready to go!
Cold beverages (sodas, bottled water, etc.) are served with ice and plastic cups.
Q. What comes with food that I have delivered or that I pickup?
A. We include, at no extra cost, the appropriate serving utensils, plates, bowls, eating utensils, and napkins. For hot foods, disposables chafing dishes are recommended and available for $15 each, including two cans of sterno, good for two hours, or you can rent chafing dishes if desired. Each chafing dish holds two pans of food.
Q. How do I reheat the appetizers you just delivered to me.
A. While some foods have different requirements, here are the general recommendations:
If it is food that should be CRISPY, like fried or breaded foods, heat UNCOVERED in a 350 °F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until hot.
If it is food that should MOIST, like most entrees, potatoes, vegetables, etc., heat COVERED in a 350 °F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until hot.
Please, do not reheat appetizers in a microwave.
Note that we generally include a decoration or garnish with our pickup/takeout food, like a decorative flower, pepper rings, etc. Be sure to remove these before heating the food.
Q. Can I taste Delectables food before I hire you?
A. Absolutely! We have a monthly tasting, generally the first Saturday of every month (though the date, time, or location change occasionally) from 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM. While the tastings are free, we do require you to sign-up in advance. Call 727-781-1200 during business hours to RSVP, and see the Tastings page for more information.
Q. What if I can’t make a tasting?
A. If you absolutely cannot make our monthly tasting, we can arrange a private tasting, for a fee. Call 727-781-1200 during business hours for details.