The Why’s of an Event

We often get asked “why” in regards to specific parts of an event. So today, we thought we would go through some of those frequently asked questions and give you the answers.

Question 1: Why does catering cost more than eating in a restaurant? This question comes up regularly. At a restaurant, you travel to a location and sit down in their facility. As part of the meal price, the owners have established the average meal price based on expected turn out. The meal pricing is split across the averages. In catering, you are asking the caterer to bring it’s entire operation to you. In catering, the exact cost of an event is calculated and split per person across the guest count of the event. What would it cost you to have your favorite restaurant move to you? Ridiculous right? Of course it is but that’s what catering is. Here at Hometown Elegance, our culinary division is dedicated to producing a restaurant quality experience for you and your guests.

Question 2: Does Hometown Elegance do event planning? Short answer- Yes. Long answer- we provide the level of service that you need. Our coordinators can work with you to coordinate vendors, products, and timelines to make sure you get exactly what you need for your event. Or we can simply provide day of coordination for you. We can be involved as much or as little as you would like.

Question 3: Why do you charge for coordinating an event? The same reason anyone charges for anything. We need to cover our costs and make sure that everything we do adds value to our company while providing a value to our clients. What’s the value of not having to worry about anything on your event day? What is the value of just showing up to your party like a guest and just enjoying the party instead of worrying about the details? The average event takes over 300 hours to plan before execution. Most people don’t have that sort of time to commit to properly planning an event.

Question 4: Can we bring our own food and include it on your buffet? No. Our insurance policy does not allow for non licensed food to be included with food prepared by licensed providers. From a safety standpoint, we have no way to verify the food safety of anything not provided with us.

Question 5: What does it take to book your services? We require a $500 non refundable booking fee in order to guarantee the date for your event. This fee covers the costs of holding the date and the initial planning process to develop a proposal. Once a proposal is drawn up and signed, 50% of the remaining balance is due at the time the contract is signed. The remaining balance is due no later than 7 business days prior to the event.

Question 6: What is the operations/administration fee? This fee covers other costs that are incurred by our company to produce the event. Compared to a restaurant experience, we must pack up, sort, load, unload, and pack up, sort, load, and unload before and after each event. This covers the nitty gritty detailed work that is never seen but is always required for an event to be executed flawlessly.

Question 7: When do we need to have a guest count numbers into you? Depending on the services you require, that day will change. For linens, we need to know guest count  no later than 14 business days before the event. For catering services, the minimum guest count required by 3 PM the Monday before your event with an updated count due no later than 3 PM the Wednesday before your event. For floral services, the florals must be finalized no later than 14 business days out from the event. For speciality florals, 30 days could be required.

These are just some of the questions we are asked on a regular basis. Hopefully this provides you with some information to help you get started with planning your big event.