Questions About Corporate Catering

Are there advantages to having my business event catered in my office rather than at a restaurant or banquet facility?

Catering a business event in-office may have tax benefits, as the tax laws changed in 1987 look more favorably on the business lunch or dinner that is catered in-house. Privacy for business-related discussions and more a effective use of company time are also considerations for in-office catering. The French Gourmet provides many options for take out or delivery for corporate catering.

Everybody in the office is making their special dishes for our office party, and we really only need a few items. Can you help?

Of course. We are more than happy to incorporate any dishes you would like to provide in our full service catering, or if you are on a tight budget but would still like to enjoy our quality and convenience, party food is available on take-out trays for you to pick up or for us to deliver. Plan your menu easily online with our “Parties Made Easy” Guide or email us.

What is included in a corporate catering event order?

The French Gourmet can supply your needs for any style of corporate event catering. For more informal events we provide disposable plates, utensils, napkins & disposable tablecloths. For more formal professional business events, we can provide china, cutlery, linens, and glassware. Hot items also come with chafing dishes and Sterno pots to keep food hot. Any beverages that are included or additional beverages come with disposable cups & beverage napkins as well as ice, creamers, sweeteners, as applicable. Our professional corporate catering staff will deliver and set up your order, as well as return to clean up afterwards unless you prefer us to drop-off the items.

How far in advance do I have to place my corporate catering order?

How far in advance you need to place your business event catering order depends upon several factors. The size of the event, time of day, type of event, and venue play a part. For to-go catering, please contact us at least 24 hours in advance. Other events require about a week’s notice. Please contact us as soon as possible to plan your event.

General Questions About Catering

How can I save money on catering?

The French Gourmet can provide catering for almost any budget. The cost of your catered event will depend on several factors.  Check out our Service Styles to understand the pros and cons of each style and how they affect cost. Menu and Venue choices will also affect cost.

What types of food service styles do you offer?

Are you planning a formal or informal event? Are you entertaining friends and family or business collegues? The answer to these questions determines if you need Full Service, Partial Service, Delivery and Set-Up, or other catering style options. Check out our Service Styles section for more ideas.

What information should I have available when inquiring about catering?

Please provide your catering coordinator with an estimate of the number of guests you plan to invite, the date and time of the event, and the type of location you are considering. The parameters of your budget are also important. Keep in mind that the time of day influences the amount of food necessary, and consequently the cost of your catering. We have put together a catering checklist that will aid us in assisting you with your event planning.

Is my catering quote all-inclusive?

The French Gourmet will send you a written itemized proposal based on your catering checklist. Your final catering quote will include all the food and other items you require. As full-service caterers, we can fulfill many needs besides the food, including china, glassware, place settings, skirted display tables, waiters, bartenders, valet parking, furniture and equipment rentals, tents, flowers or other special decorations, referrals for musicians and other entertainment, and even the location of your event.

How can I offer food that is different from other events?

We understand that you don’t want to offer your guests the same fare that has been offered at every other catered event. That’s why, at the French Gourmet, each menu is individually planned with you. You can incorporate your decor, party theme, and any special recipes ideas that will help make your party the memorable occasion it should be.

My schedule is very busy. Do I have to meet in person to make my catering arrangements?

If you prefer, most of the catering arrangements can be made on the phone, by e-mail, or by mail. We welcome personal meetings as it gives you the opportunity to both experience and taste the quality and presentation of our products. We would be happy to make an appointment for you with one of our full-time professional catering consultants at your convenience. Evening and Saturday appointments can be arranged. An appointment at the party location can also be very useful in helping to plan the logistics and in familiarizing us with the space available.

Will I save money providing the champagne, wine, and liquor myself?

It is not necessarily less expensive to provide your own champagne, wine, and liquor when catering an event. The French Gourmet is fully licensed and insured by the State of California to vend and serve alcoholic beverages. There are several levels of beverage service when hiring a caterer. One of your options includes a full bar – in which we provide the liquor, mixers, ice, bar fruits, other garnishes, glasses, and napkins. If you provide the liquor you will need a to set up the bar as well as the liquor and that is expensive and time-intensive. A full-service bar provided by your caterer means our bartenders and wait staff will take care of everything. If you choose to have us provide the wine and champagne, you will only be charged for the open bottles. Our large volume allows us to price our champagne and wines very competitively. You may find that the benefits of not having to worry about procuring the liquor or of running short, combined with our expertise in recommending wines and the wide range of sources available from wholesalers, outweigh the savings, if any, you might make.

Can you help me find a location for my catered event?

We are happy to help our clients find the appropriate venue for their catered events. The French Gourmet has extensive experience in catering events at different venues throughout San Diego and the County. Our relationships with many of the best party venues means that your event will go smoothly. We can also suggest ways in which your home or office space can be arranged for your guests’ comfort.

How do I cancel or change an order I placed online?

To change a catering order, please contact the Catering Department as soon as possible. Fill out the form or call your event manager at 858-488-1725 and leave a message if your call is placed after business hours.

Catering Check List Questions

How far in advance should I make catering arrangements?

You should make arrangements to meet your caterer as soon as possible in order to secure your date. However, at The French Gourmet we may be able to accommodate you even on short notice. Unlike most caterers, we have a retail outlet and a restaurant, which allows us to accommodate last-minute catering event needs.

What catering style should I choose?

Full Service? Partial Service? Delivery and Set-Up? Check out our service styles for more ideas.

What catering menu styles are available?

The French Gourmet has many different and custom menu styles. Plated and passed Hors d’ Oeuvre are great for a cocktail party. Are you planning a buffet or station lunch or dinner? A Sit Down Dinner? Check out our sample menu pages for ideas.

How many guests will be attending the event?

You will need an estimated guest count to begin planning your catered event. The final guest count can be finalized a week prior to your event.

What time of day is the event?

The time of day of the catered event is important. This will determine the types and quantities of food served as well as service style. Be sure to ask your catering consultant for advice.

Does the catering venue have all the equipment for the event?

Once you’ve selected the venue, you will know if you need rental equipment. The French Gourmet can provide china, glassware, place settings. skirted tables, tables, chairs, and more. Ask your catering coordinator what you will need to make your event a success.

Does my caterer have a liquor license?

The French Gourmet is fully licensed and insured by the State of California to sell and serve alcoholic beverages at your event and venues.

Where will my event be held?

The venue for a successful catered event is very important. The French Gourmet can recommend many event locations city-wide, or suggest ways in which your home or office can be used. Contact a French Gourmet catering consultant and take a look at our catering event locations for more information.

What are the specifications for the location?

The specifications for the location for your party vary. Because every catered event is different, the location needs to be suitable for the event’s theme, time of day, size of the guest list, and more. Our catering experts are familiar with many event locations in San Diego and can assist you in choosing the right catering venue that will have the best layout for your event.

How can I make sure my caterer is reliable and competent?

When hiring a caterer for any event, it’s important to be sure you’re hiring a reliable caterer that will show up on time, provide the goods and services contracted, and will communicate all costs in advance. Check for experience, references, and ask to sample some of the things you are considering serving on your menu. The French Gourmet’s restaurant and bakery are located at 960 Turquoise Street in Pacific Beach. We welcome your visit to taste samples. Located in San Diego since 1979 under the ownership of professional Chef Michel Malécot, The French Gourmet is the caterer of choice of many local residents, companies, and institutions. The French Gourmet is a proud member of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) and the International Special Events Society (ISEC). Our commitment to excellence, quality and value make us a leader in the San Diego catering industry. The same degree of quality and professionalism goes into every job we do.