Post # 1
Bees, I’m at a loss. My venue is part of the county parks department, so they do not allow caterers. There is a large kitchen though, that we can do as we please with. FH and I have ordered catering trays of all our food from a local high end grocery store. Everything is fully cooked, it simply needs to be heated in the kitchen and put out on the buffet set up we’ve purchased.
My dads friend is a former caterer. He was going to take care of the food prep for us. I am very comfortable with that decision, as he will know how to time everything so it’s all hot and we don’t run out of anything. Well, with exactly 4 weeks to go, he cancels.
FH and I, nor our families live in the city we are getting married in. We can’t ask someone to travel 2+ hours (if we even found someone) to the venue to help us. I’ve searched for banquet servers and catering companies online who you can hire servers only, but I’ve found none. On top of that, our budget is basically spent, so I can’t afford to hire anyone.
I guess my guests will eat cold macaroni and cheese…
Post # 3
@krex: I have heard of people hiring college kids? Can you pay someone that works for the venue? Could you have someone do it while you have your grand entrance or something? Could a parent or groomsmen run in to handle it? My mom is going to miss some dancing to set up the desert bar
Post # 4
@krex: Try a temp agency. We hire servers from a temp agency for our events at work.
Post # 5
@krex: try moving this to food to get better responses
Post # 6
@Payless: the frustrating thing is that FH’s mom runs a commercial kitchen, so she knows exactly how to handle it. But because we have a large number of guests, there will be a constant rotation of heating food and replacing the old/empty trays, so we don’t want her to miss 1+ hour of the party
Post # 7
@krex: I have heard of ppl hiring college kids as well. My grandmother & grandfather got most of our setup & food ready for our at-home reception and with the help of my little brother & Dad no-one missed too much. However this may not work for everyone, my grandparents used to cater and were insistent on helping in that way.
ETA: just saw your post about needing to rotate items out- maybe your mom could put a cousin or aunt in charge of it & those two could rotate out so no-one misses more than 20 minutes?
Post # 8
@krex: Can you assign people to handle things at different times? FI mom could take first shift and explain it to everyone else that helps? Keeps food rotating and nobody misses too much
Post # 9
If you have ANY wiggle room in the budget, I would second trying to hire some college kids or other regular people who just need a little extra pocket money. You can try an advertisement on taskrabbit or a listing on taskrabbit.
Post # 10
@krex: I’ll echo everyone else, try some college kids! Consider posting a Craigslist ad and offering as much as you can to a few kids. You never know, you also may get some responses from caterers who are just starting up or need business.
Take some deep breaths! You’ll get it figured out!
Post # 11
Is there a local community college with a hospitality/food service program near your venue? There is one near us and I do know people hire their students for just such occasions.
Also, our local high school has a culinary program. Check with the one near your venue. The instructor might be up for hire or he might be able to suggest his best students to you. It would be wonderful to have people who truly understand food safety/sanitation doing this for you.
Post # 12
@krex: is there any way to set up those heating things that go underneath the trays that keep the trays semi warm while they are out and then just refilling trays?