What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Once we receive an inquiry, we try to provide whatever specific information is requested. Usually an event has so many variables that it is most helpful if we can talk with our customer for 20 - 30 minutes. We like to get a good understanding of what is needed, as every event is different. We like to know first what type of event is planned, and then get more event details (number of guests, style of service, theme or decor, other event services that are needed, type of food, budget, beverage or bar service, staffing details etc.).
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
Catering is the heart of our business, so our pricing is based on the cost of food service that is needed. Our menus are priced per person, with the exception of our "Gourmet a la Carte" menu, which is priced per quantity. From here, we add whatever is needed to provide an accurate estimate of catering costs for a particular event.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
As You Like It Catering & Events was started in 1996, when the owners took over a small cafe in Corona. Pretty quickly, it became clear that catering was the way to go, and the dining room was changed over to office space, and the kitchen was revamped to handle larger catering orders.
What types of customers have you worked with?
We have worked with all kinds of customers over the years! Small and large companies, non-profit organizations, school groups, civic groups, and families and individuals all over the Inland Empire and beyond. Our customers have had us assist with very casual, laid-back events, turn-key events where we provide everything needed, and weddings both elegant and down-to-earth.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
We recently catered a 50th wedding anniversary for the sweetest couple. Planning started about 10 months ahead, and we met with them frequently to help get all the details together. We handled the venue, service staff, bar service, plated dinner service, decor and linens. It turned out beautifully, and it was such a pleasure getting to know the couple and their family.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Make sure your caterer knows what is most important to you. What is it about your event that is absolutely critical? It could be the ambiance you want to create, making sure you stay on budget, providing an exceptional meal, or simply making sure your guests are well fed and happy. For us, our focus is on the quality and presentation of the food, and on providing excellent service. Make sure you have a good fit with your caterer, and they have the resources and experience to handle what you need them to do.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Have an idea of what you would like to spend, and what that will included in that cost.
For an event, it is important to have a date selected; your caterer or event planner might be reluctant to provide an estimate if you don't have a firm date.
Decide what is most important for your event. What are your goals? Also decide what would be nice to have, but that is not critical.