Catering Events Planning in Santa Barbara Chef Michael Hutchings
Michael's Catering - Serving Discerning Diners in Southern and Central CaliforniaContact Us at 805.568.1896
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Style of Service for Catered Events

I suppose that the Neanderthals had limited dining styles, eating on the run or running to eat. Now that we are civilized and dining has rituals, there are a number of ways to enjoy a meal. Creating a memorable meal is a matter of harmonizing all the elements from location, room and table decor, guests dress, menu selection and style of service.
The type of service you choose depends on your personal preference and budget. Each style offers a different level of service and formality to your guests. Options range from casual hors d’oeuvres to a classic sit-down meal, and are suitable for everything from a simple reception to an elegant dinner. In our catering world, we have to consider the overall affect of how a menu and service style reflects in the expense to our client. We do staffing levels from four servers for twelve guests to two servers for a stationed wine and hors d'oeuvre reception. Here are the basic service styles we offer.

Self Serve Beverage
- This is an easy,efficient manner to serve pre-poured beverages to a large crowd. The bar has a limited variety of drinks that are pre-poured for guests to serve themselves.

Full Service Beverages - Professional mixologists prepare and serve a variety of beer, wines and mixed drinks. We provide a full bar service using the wine and spirits that you provide and supply all the needed mixes, garnishes, pick and such.

Tray Passed Hours d'Oeuvres - Our service staff offers guests bite sized morsels from decorative trays as they walk amongst the guests. The style lends itself to pre-dinner gathering or cocktail parties.

Stationary Hours d'Oeuvres - This is a fixed point of service that allows guest to serve themselves. Our staff replenishes the selections frequently as gusts serve themselves. This style requires less service staff. Stationary appetizers are also used in combination with passed items to maximize service.

Tapas Plates - Tapas originated in Spain as "bar food" but has morphed into a style that offers interesting mini meals on a plate. We use single portion, small plated selection set on environmentally friendly mini plates. All are neatly composed and easy to enjoy.

Buffet - The buffet style is an effective and efficient style to offer and enjoy a variety of menu selections. We offer simple taco buffet to elegant chef attended, highly decorated buffets. Lower staffing levels allows for greater variety of food selections.

Buffet Stations - This is a buffet with attitude. Multiple buffets offer different menu items, sometimes with a chef preparing or carving to order for each guest. It creates a fun energy as guests discover new selections to enjoy. This is the ultimate in grazing.

Family Style - This style is reminiscent of the Sunday supper. Servers bring platter and bowls of food to the table for guests to share. This can offer multiple courses and has the advantage of creating a fun, sharing atmosphere. Additional platter and bowls means there are additional costs for rentals.

Sit Down - This is classic table service and creates an elegant, more formal event well suited to weddings and gala dinners. It requires additional service staff to insure prompt, elegant service. We work on server to guest ratios from 1:8 to 1:20 depending on style and budget. Guests feel pampered and are free to enjoy the evening.

Whatever style you choose, ultimately the quality of the food preparation and professionalism of the service is what will make for a successful event. Our experience in preparing meals in off site locations will help guide you to the optimum service style for a successful and delicious event. Call us today for a consultation.

Catering for Southern California and the Central Coast: San Simeon, Santa Maria, Solvang Buelton, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Goleta, Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Ventura, Oxnard, Westlake, Thousand Oaks, Malibu.Specializing in wedding catering, corporate catering, social catering, dinner parties, receptions.


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