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Catering

Catering Tips For Office Lunches

Good office lunch catering can be the saving grace of an otherwise mundane or stressful work day. It can boost workers’ spirits and fuel them for the rest of the day. However, a lot can go wrong if these catered lunches are planned and executed poorly. Heed these tips and advice when planning your next office lunch catering.

  • Headcount

Getting a final headcount is crucial – nothing is more problematic or embarrassing as running out of food. Be sure to double check your headcount to ensure there will be enough food for everyone participating.

  • Narrow It Down

Instead of taking individual orders from everyone, pick a restaurant and take a look at the menu. Narrow it down to a few options from which workers may choose and give a deadline for order submissions.

  • Location, Location, Location

If your employees will be eating in the conference room during a meeting, there are some things to consider.

You will need to set up a food table opposite from the presentation. If people would like to go back for seconds, they can without crossing in front of the screen. Also avoid messy or noisy foods for minimal interruptions and issues.

  • Time

If there’s a time crunch, setup can make or break the catering all together. When this is the case, individually packed paper bag lunches can help. These prevent long lines, help control portions, and give employees the freedom of a “to go” option if they need to get back into the meeting.

  • The Extras

Workers will appreciate the little things like extra napkins, hand sanitizers, wet wipes, and mints. These thoughtful touches can help everything run smoothly and neatly.

  • Go Seasonal

If there’s a holiday around the corner, you may want to consider adding a few hints to the food and décor.

  • Offer Some Agency

Give people a little power over what they eat and save the organizer from taking individual orders. For example, instead of taking individual sandwich orders, provide the components for a salad and sandwich bar and let everyone build their own lunch.

  • Food Sensitivities

First and foremost, be mindful of serious food allergies amongst the staff. And you must also keep in mind any food sensitivities and personal preferences. Gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options are essential these days.

  • Fun, Healthy Options

Although they may be overlooked, an effort to provide wholesome food should be made. Make it fun with things like Edible arrangements, Sun Chips, or Luna Bars.

  • Sweet Tooth

As long as you have healthy options, it’s fine to add an additional treat.  For those who don’t mind indulging a bit, a cupcake or pastry can go a long way.

Did you know we cater? From sandwich catering packs to boxed lunches to meat & cheese trays, we’ve got you covered! Call 909-596-5225 to learn more and let us cater your next party or special event.  And don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Popular Trends In Catering

From weddings to business conferences to special events, catering services are getting creative and going above and beyond. Let’s take a look at some of the currently popular catering food trends.

Experiential Catering
Consumer demand for knowing more about food and where it comes from continues to grow. We see more awareness, education and consciousness when it comes to what people are consuming, and thus, transparency is key.

With that said, experiential catering allows guests to be part of the cooking process with an interactive catering station. For example, a pasta station provides guests the experience of watching the chef’s entire process of making the pasta from scratch, cooking, and serving it. Another example is a pizza station that allows guests to choose their own toppings and watch the pizza come to fruition in a hot woodfire oven. Lastly, a slider station is another way to incorporate guests in the experience. They can use their imagination and create their own sliders, choosing their protein, toppings and sauces.

Healthy Options
The health-conscious lifestyle has gained momentum over the last few years, with many looking for healthy versions of classics and interesting, new superfoods. Luckily, these healthy foods are great for both presentation and taste. Things like poke bowls, smoothie bowls, edible flowers, fermented foods, plant-based soups and superfood slaws deliver great flavors, textures, and colors. With their excellent ingredients, they promise slow-release energy and quality brain fuel.

Instagrammable Items
Presentation is key. Incorporating Instagram-worthy elements to your catering will definitely wow your guests and potentially get them talking on social media. And positive word of mouth can go a very long way. Instagram loves unique and pretty things like charcoal-infused ice cream or hanging macaroons.

Root-To-Stem Eating
Much like nose-to-tail butchery, root-to-stem cooking aims to cut down on food waste. It makes use of the entire vegetable, resulting in things like pickled watermelon rinds, carrot top pesto, fennel frond vinaigrette, and sautéed beet greens. By rethinking the parts you normally toss, you cut down on food waste and save money in the long run.

Chaga Mushrooms
Although it’s been around for years, chaga mushrooms have only recently been discovered as an amazing superfood. This is thanks to its incredible immune system benefits and for retaining balance. Aside from these health benefits, they deliver delicious flavor. They are being used in dishes such as mushroom canapés, wild mushrooms with balsamic and thyme, grilled cheese and minty mushrooms, and even chaga mushroom tarts.

Grazing Tables
A table filled with rustic bread, local cheeses and a variety of meats and dips allows guests to graze and mingle over the food. Keep in mind that a divers and colorful arrangement will have a greater impact. Also, don’t skimp on the good stuff – while presentation is important, good quality food always prevails. And of course, you want to consider texture as well. Combine soft and hard cheeses, smooth and coarse crackers, crunchy and melt-in-your-mouth snacks, along with passionfruit, figs and edible flowers for the ultimate spread.

Food Walls
This concept plays with the presentation of classic and comfort foods (think donut or pretzel walls). When your favorites are presented in an unfamiliar way, it is exciting and interactive, which draws guests in.

Veggie-based Cocktails
Veggies are no longer just garnishes for your drinks. More craft cocktails will be vegetable-infused with veggies such as beets, carrots, butternut squash, radish, tomatillos, and more. Some great examples of these veggie-infused craft cocktails that you may see include Gin & Asparagus and Tequila & Avocado.

Tacos
Everybody loves tacos. And honestly, what’s not to love? They’re easy, versatile, and delicious. You can fill them with whatever you like – veggies, rice, chili beans, salads, garnishes – the possibilities are endless. And because of this, they will remain a catering food staple.

Korean Food
Whether traditional or a fusion style, Korean food is a popular cuisine. Things like kimchi, soft tofu stew, soy sauce crab, japchae, and Korean fried or sweet crispy chicken are loved by many. An easy dish that’s great for catering is bibimbap, which is like a rice bowl typically served with mixed veggies, beef, egg, sesame oil, and chili paste.

Brunch
The lazy weekend meal is no longer just that. The brunch trend is growing, especially for wedding catering – think a brunch bar with Bloody Marys and mimosas. You also want to be adventurous with the selection by adding unconventional flavors to classic dishes. For example, you can try coconut pancakes with banana and crème fraiche, Bloody Mary baked beans, dukkah-rolled eggs with freekeh and beetroot, or chocolate muesli with warm milk.

What other catering trends have you seen and loved? Share your favorites with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

To learn more about the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli’s catering services, call 909-596-5225, visit BrickMarketDeli.com, or stop by to speak with our staff. We are located on the northeast corner of Garey Avenue and East Arrow Highway in Pomona.

Catering For Corporate Events

So you have been tasked with choosing the catering service for your next corporate event. Not sure where to begin? Let us help you get started on the right track.

  • Budget

First and foremost, you should determine your corporate event budget overall. This should include the venue, catering, decorations, and any other details. From there you can see how much is allocated for each and you can speak with companies you can afford, rather than speaking with those you cannot.

  • Headcount

Getting a headcount of how many guests you will be expecting can help determine your budget and which catering company would be better suited for your event. Some caterers focus more on smaller, more intimate events, while others specialize in larger scale events. While you don’t necessarily need an exact count, you should have a general idea of the number of guests.

  • Food

You can stick with the typical assortment of hors d’oeuvres plus beef, chicken or vegetarian entrees, or you can wow your guests by exploring a wide variety of food options.

You want a caterer that will work with your vision and ideas to create a menu that suits your event. They should also be able to accommodate different diets and allergies should these come up.

  • Bar

Some events have bars while others may not. Consider the type of event you are hosting and whether a bar would be appropriate.

Holiday parties or galas would likely have a bar, whereas corporate conferences could do without. You can discuss these options with your caterer to help you decide.

  • Ongoing Relationship

Considering an ongoing relationship with a catering company you like can help to save you time and possibly money in the long run. Many corporate catering services are willing to sign ongoing contracts to guarantee services for a set number of future events.

You want your corporate event to be memorable in a good way, and the right catering service can help cement that. If you’re looking for breakfast or lunch catering for your office or special event, feel free to contact us 909-596-5225 to discuss our catering options.

You may also explore our menu online at www.BrickMarketDeli.com and connect with us on our socials – Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Finding The Right Caterer

A lot of planning and hard work goes into executing and hosting a memorable event. Whether it is a party or special occasion, choosing the right catering services can make or break your event. When searching for quality catering services, keep these things in mind.

  • Knowledge

If you are looking for a specific cuisine or cooking style, you want to choose a caterer who possesses the appropriate knowledge. They should be able to help you build a creative menu to specification.

  • Skills

Along with knowledge, the right caterer should also possess exceptional cooking skills. A good caterer will have confidence in their food and will usually offer free tastings to prove food quality.

  • Budget

A good caterer will also work with your budget while still providing quality food and service. Before any contracts are involved, you should get a clear cost breakdown of the services.

  • Food Safety

First and foremost, food safety should be top priority, and any caterer or chef worth his grit knows this. Be sure you choose a catering service that values food safety and ensure that your food is prepared in a sanitary, health-inspected kitchen. In addition, make sure your caterers can transfer your food safely.

  • Skilled Staff

Should your catering service come with staff, you want to make sure that all staffs are adequately trained, and that there is adequate staff available. They should be able to efficiently deliver food and interact appropriately with guests.

  • Flexibility

Your caterer should also be able to adapt recipes for dietary concerns such as allergies and sensitivities. Be sure you can modify the menu options based on special dietary requirements of your guests (ex. shellfish allergy, vegan/vegetarian options).

  • Accessibility

Be sure the catering service provides contact information, whether an email address or phone number, that they respond to promptly. They should be able to answer your questions regarding the event, and easily accessible should anything come up before, during, or after the event.

  • Experience

With experience comes better knowledge on the appropriate amount of food and drinks for the expected number of guests. Experienced caterers will also have a better scope of what works and what doesn’t in various settings. They can help you create and execute a flawless event.

  • Contracts

Before the event, the catering company should provide you with a contract that confirms and covers all the details discussed and agreed upon. Be sure to review this closely to ensure the pricing and details are correct before signing.

  • References

Gain confidence in your catering choice by contacting past references. Before you even ask, the caterer may even provide references from past clients. You can also do your own research, or get recommendations from family and friends.

Share your own tips for choosing catering services on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Let the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli cater your next meeting, party, or special event. To learn more about our catering options, please call 909-596-5225.

Catering Service Styles

When you think of catering, a buffet table set up with numerous chafing dishes may come to mind. But there is much more to catering than that. There are various catering services to choose from depending on the mood of your event, whether formal or relaxed. Review these catering service styles to determine which will work best for your next event.

Butler Passing
One of the classier styles, butler passing involves the wait staff walking around the event carrying a tray of hors d’ oeuvres or beverages for guests. It can add a touch of elegance to your event, and is often a great way to get guests ready for the main event. For example, you can use butler passing as guests wait for the wedding party to arrive for the reception dinner.

Stations
These allow your guests to get up and move around, which promotes mingling. Guests can explore the different stations and get excited for what’s next. A great theme for this type of catering service would be “around the world” where each station is set up with foods influenced by various regions.

Action Stations
These stations offer foods made to order. Think a carving station or build-your-own omelet station. Your guests get to watch the chef prepare a fresh, custom-made dish just for them. To avoid wait times, many items are partially prepped.

Self-Serve Buffets
Food dishes are commonly set up on a linear table and guests proceed down a line to pick what they want. This is a more casual approach, offering guests a wide variety of foods. The downside is the potential for running out of food before everyone has a chance to go through the line.

Portion-Controlled Buffets
To combat the aforementioned potential issue, portion-controlled buffets have attendants on hand to serve guests as they go down the buffet line. Once everyone has been served, you can open the buffet up to guests who may want more.

Plated
Plated service means each guest is served a meal individually, and is commonly encountered at weddings and formal events. The tables are often pre-set with china plates, stainless flatware, glassware and linen napkins. This catering style is labor intensive as it usually requires a waiter for every three tables, plus additional staff to pre-set tables, plate food, and to clean up. Also, ensuring that all guests are served before the food gets cold can be challenging, especially for larger groups.

Family Style
This is more relaxed in contrast to plated dinners. Guests are seated at banquet tables and food is served on large platters placed in the middle of the table by waitstaff. Guests then help themselves to the items and portions they would like. Family style dining tends to foster interaction.

Before choosing a catering service style, you want to evaluate a few things.

  • What type of mood would you like to set for the event (formal, relaxed, interactive)?
  • How long will your event last?
  • Will you provide a full meal or hors d’ oeuvres only?
  • Define your budget. Remember that some services are more labor intensive than others (ex. plated meals, action stations), and thus, more costly.

The Brick Your Neighborhood Deli offers catering, ideal for casual business or staff meetings or office lunches. To learn more about our catering, visit us in store or call 909-596-5225. For the latest news and updates, connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.

Catering Mistakes To Avoid

If you are planning a party of special event, remember that not all catering services are equal. It is important to do your research and choose a catering company can meet your expectations and need. One simple misstep can potentially ruin your event. Avoid these common catering mistakes for your next party or special event.

Mistake: Choosing based on price.
While it is important to set a budget and stick to it, going for the cheapest rate is not always the best route. You have to wonder why and how they can offer such low prices because, more often than not, it’s too good to be true. Some caterers are new to the business and fairly inexperienced, thus may not be able to provide the services you expect. Other companies may do the bare minimum, disregarding service and quality. Bottom line, you get what you pay for so choose wisely.

Mistake: Not tasting the food.
For most people, tastings are the best part of choosing a caterer. Still, some people may overlook this step and choose based on other factors. Don’t be one of those people – tastings are a MUST. You do not want to serve bad tasting food, period. Even if the presentation is stunning, if the food is bad, that is what your guests will remember.

Mistake: Lack of communication.
Much like any contract, you should go over it with a fine-tooth comb before signing. Review everything with your caterer to ensure the menu, services, and other details will be exactly as discussed. Understand the pricing breakdown to ensure there are no hidden fees or surprises. Be sure that all of your needs have been met and that they pledge to keep their word and deliver on the day of the event.

Mistake: Not standing your ground.
Stand firm on what you want and need. Keep a log of food ideas and service requirements before meeting with different companies. Know your budget limits and keep track of any verbal estimates received. If there is something they cannot accommodate, move on.

Mistake: Not doing your research.
Make use of all resources available (search online, read reviews, check for recommendations) to ensure you are on the right track and asking the right questions. Aside from looking for catering companies on your own, ask your friends and family for recommendations – word of mouth can be a helpful resource.

Mistake: Not having enough food.
Despite sending out invitations and RSVP cards, you may still have unexpected guests show up. Always plan for the unexpected. Because most catering services only bring food for the exact number of expected guests, you can either round up your guest count or get a written assurance that they will have extra food and will be prepared for any surprises.

Do you have any catering horror stories or other helpful tips? Share them with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

And remember, we can cater your party or special event! Call 909-596-5225 to learn more or stop in to discuss our sandwich catering options. We’re located at 105 E. Arrow Hwy (on the northeast corner of E. Arrow Hwy & Garey Ave) in Pomona, CA.

Catering: How Much Food Do You Need

Hard work goes into planning a special event, and worrying about something going wrong can cause lots of stress. There are plenty of elements to consider, including catering services and the amount of food you need. To avoid the embarrassment of running out of food, we are sharing some smart event catering tips to help you out.

First of all, here are some of the most important factors to consider:

  • Number of guests
  • Length of event
  • Type of event
  • Type of food

These are especially important because, for example, the food required for an evening cocktail party will be noticeably less than that needed for an all-day event. And remember, the longer guests stay, the more food they will consume.

To be safe, you always want to round up when estimating. Some guests may eat more, others may eat less, and in the end, it should all balance out. Anticipate which food and drink selections will be more popular and order more of those.

In addition, if you are having numerous food options, it would befit you to serve them in smaller portions so that guests may try a little bit of everything.

Here are more helpful catering guidelines for your next special event or gathering:

Appetizers

  • If you are only serving appetizers in the evening (no dinner to follow), plan on at least 10-15 pieces per person. If it will be served buffet style, round up – people tend to eat more in this situation than if a tray is passed.
  • If you are serving pre-dinner appetizers, 3-5 pieces per person should suffice. And since dinner will follow shortly after, choose lighter options.
  • Plan on 1-3 pieces per person for a mid-day function with a meal to follow.

Beverages

  • Plan on about 3 beverages per person. And on average, coffee drinkers consume one cup every 1.3 hours.

Breakfast

  • People will generally drink 2 beverages (juice, coffee, tea, etc.).
  • Shoot for a main entrée (about 5 oz. per person), along with two sides, including bread.
  • Fruit makes an excellent breakfast dessert. You should plan on about 3-5 pieces of cut fruit, or one cup or less of fruit salad, per person.
  • If you are only serving pastries, plan on 2 pieces per person.

Lunch

  • For hors d’oeuvres, provide about 2-4 per person.
  • Serve a main entrée (about 5 oz.) with 2-3 sides, including starch and a dessert.
  • Offer a selection of drinks (ex. soda, beer, lemon water, etc.).
  • For sandwiches, allow for 1 to 2 per person.

Dinner

  • Depending on the number of courses, provide about 3-5 hors d’oeuvres per person.
  • Serve a main entrée (5-7 oz.) with 2-3 sides (veggies, beans, pasta, etc.).
  • Offer small portions of bread, salad, or soup.
  • Always have water, along with other beverages.

Desserts

  • Anticipate 1-3 servings per person.
  • Offer one slice of cake, tart, or pastry, or 4 oz. of a creamy dessert (ex. mousse).
  • Serve smaller portions if you have a wider variety.
  • It should be noted that coffee consumption peaks after dessert is served. Set up a post-dessert coffee bar or refresh the coffee pot while dessert is being served.

Do you have any other catering tips to share? Connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest.

If you’re looking for an easy and cost-effective catering option, choose the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli. We provide our signature sandwiches, fresh side salads, and tasty desserts. Visit us online or call 909-596-5225 to learn more about our catering options.

Common Catering Food Trends

Whether you are planning your own event or attending someone else’s bash, one of the most important and memorable details is the food you serve. The restaurant catering can make or break an event. Depending on the type of party or event, you will want to choose a catering menu that works well with the event space, your vision, and your guests. With that said, here are some of the popular restaurant catering trends today.

Buffet
Who doesn’t love a buffet? Buffet dining is the easiest way to feed a large group of people, thus, is ideal for larger events (ex. weddings).  And the best part is that they can be customized to suit different events and budgets.

Food Stations
Similar to a buffet, food stations are also appropriate for larger groups. Rather than providing food on one long table, the menu is divided among stations throughout the dining room or event space. Foods at these stations are usually comprised of appetizers and finger foods. Because the set up requires guests to move around, food stations are great for cocktail receptions and the like, where people normally mingle about the room.

Chocolate Fountains
If you have ever encountered a chocolate fountain at a party, then you know it is often the pièce de résistance. These can be purchased or rented, and pricing can vary depending on the quality. You can make up for the cost by choosing less expensive dipping items (ex. pretzels, fresh fruit, marshmallows).

Family Style Dining
This is also known as English Service and is comprised of bowls and platters of food to share at each table, rather than serving individual plates. Sharing food enables tablemates to interact, providing a level of intimacy that may be missing at larger events.

Food & Drink Pairings
These dinners often serve multiple courses, each accompanied by a wine, beer, or cocktail. It is important to note that these often take longer than buffets or plated dinners, so if you’re looking for a slow, leisurely dinner, this one’s for you.

Artisan Food & Drink
Foods produced in small batches are referred to as artisan food, however, there is no regulation on the term. Because of this, you see “artisan” used by large restaurants and chains, and it has become a good marketing term. For example, “handcrafted sourdough baguette paired with an assortment of artisanal cheeses” sounds much better than “plain old cheese and cracker platter.”

Local Foods
While local foods suggest healthier options and better taste, the can pose some challenges. Because fresh fruit and vegetables are not available all year round, a set menu is not feasible. On the other hand, chefs are able to get creative and provide a rotating menu of specials.

Street Foods
These menus offer foods inspired by the ethnic fusion of street food. Some examples include Mexican churros, Spanish tapas, Chinese dim sum, and more.

Gluten Free Foods
Whether it is due to medical conditions associated with gluten or a health-conscious choice, gluten free foods are growing in popularity. Aside from the health benefits, going gluten free allows chefs to experiment with alternative cooking ingredients such as amaranth, cassava flour, and teff flour.

Mini Desserts
More and more people are opting for mini wedding cakes or dessert tables filled with mini confections such as cupcakes and cake pops, rather than full, multi-tiered cakes. This allows the host to provide a variety of sweet treats to cater different tastes.

If you want to keep it simple, we’ve got the catering plan for you. Enjoy our delicious sandwiches, salads, and desserts are your next event. Visit www.BrickMarketDeli.com or call 909-596-5225 for more information.

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A Smart Checklist For Catering Service

So you have an event coming up and you need catering services. You want to find a catering company that can accommodate your needs while delivering excellent food and service, but you’re not sure where to start. Knowing what you want for your event and doing your research helps a great deal. Take some time to talk to different businesses  to see what they have to offer and if they understand your vision and needs. As you shop around, and before making your final decision, be sure that the company you choose meets the following catering service criteria.

Taste
This not only applies to the food, which should be tasty, but also refers to presentation. Your food should be appealing to all the senses and a great catering service will deliver this. If available, request to see a portfolio. Consider your vision, and be sure they understand it and have the proper tools and equipment to make your ideas come to fruition.

Value
Catering services should be affordable, and most caterers are rather accommodating. Make your budget known, especially if it is limited, as your caterer should be able provide the best options. And although prices are always an important factor, remember that the lowest price is not always the best value. Weigh your options and consider what is and is not included in the bottom line.

Service
Your satisfaction should be their priority. From the minute you first meet with them until the event has concluded, they should be attentive and go above and beyond to help you create the event you envisioned. The company should be well-organized and employees should be responsive to your needs every step of the way.

Dependability
As mentioned, do your research. Speak with friends and family to find out if there are any catering companies they recommend. Great catering companies will be forthcoming with references for customers. That way, you can speak with past clients who can attest to their reliability and quality. When speaking with the catering company, you want to inquire about deposit requirements, the type of menu suggested for budget, and if they readily assist with specific requirements.

Accommodations
Every event is different, and great caterers know that. Some things that may come up include special menu requirements (ex. vegetarian, vegan, Halal, Kosher), specialty equipment and décor, and more. If you have a smaller or larger event, do they understand the staffing ratio needs for bartenders, wait staff, and chefs? As with any event, there is much to consider and as a catering company, they should be able to accommodate and deliver what is promised flawlessly.

Experience
From small gatherings to weddings or other special events, you want to choose a professional event catering company with plenty of experience under their belt. This alone shows potential customers that they know what they are doing and have executed amazing events in the past. You will be glad you chose a caterer with extensive experience and success when your guests leave your event impressed.

Did you know we provide catering services? We offer affordable prices on our yummy sandwiches, salads and desserts for your catering needs. Visit us online at BrickMarketDeli.com or call 909-596-5225 to learn more about our catering options.

You can also connect with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!