Q.
Besides the food, what else does Feast Your Eyes take care of?

A. We take care of everything that has to do with the food and beverage, including the menu, bar mixers and set-ups, all the equipment you'll need, plus the entire event staff. 

 Equipment typically means the tables and chairs, all the linen, china, silverware, glassware, buffet and other serving pieces, as well as cooking hardware. We offer innumerable linen, china, silverware and glassware options to clients who want high design, as well as expert guidance on creating a stunning look for your event. State law prohibits off-premise caterers from selling alcohol, but we'll help you decide how much you need and what types, especially wines. Our staff deliver, cook and serve the food, handle the clean-up associated with our work, and are the bartenders, too.

We can handle other aspects of entertaining, too. A specialty of ours is tenting. We have designed various elaborate installations, but many tents aren't terribly elaborate, and we can expand your available party space intelligently while insuring that, like mail carriers, your tent will deliver in snow, rain, heat, or gloom of night. (Of course your tent won't be gloomy, but you get the idea.)

We love working with florists and are happy to refer you to a few based on real world experience. Our pricing includes table top décor for buffets, but when you need full scale theme or décor work you're best served by a professional decorator. We appreciate being consulted in your planning for that, too, since we see many parties and have a sense of what works well (and what works less well). Plus we have a faaahhb-u-lous eye for design.

For valet parking, bathroom trailers, specialty lighting and power distribution you can rely on us for straight advice and coordination services, as well.

Most importantly we know when you should turn to other sources for particular items. We're not event planners or bridal consultants, don't pretend to be, and aren't looking to grab more business by taking over your party. If something you want for your party supports the food and beverage or service aspects the odds are we have experience in handling it. We believe our primary job is to insure a wildly successful event, so while we focus on cooking faboo food, marvelously presented and served, we regularly take on responsibility for other event details, too.

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Q. How much will my party cost?

A. Any event, regardless of why it's being held, has so many components that it's not easy to give a simple answer. Besides the varieties of menus (hamburger or filet?) there are the dishes, linen, glasses, number of courses, complexity of the menu (which may determine how many chefs we need), and the length of the party. Where the event's being held can affect the cost, too, since some locations are easier to work in than others.

Having said this, we know the usual costs for the different types of parties we cater. We're happy to help you better understand catering as long as you continue reading knowing these are approximate costs. With attention to detail parties may cost less (but not by a whole lot), while they can certainly cost more if you have a big wish list.

These estimated costs include:

  • the menu
  • bar setups, sodas & mixers, bar tools, bar fruit, ice, ice chests(s), cocktail naps, and a crunchy, salty, savory bar mix
  • equipment (as explained above)
  • staff costs

Cocktail parties range in price from $40 to $65 per person. This would be for a 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hour reception that is not intended to replace dinner.

Dinners, whether seated or buffet but including hors d'oeuvre, can cost from $80 to $130 per person for 4 hours of service. Spending less doesn't mean you leave the party hungry or that we scrimp on ingredients. We won't compromise the essential elements of your party: enough great food so everyone's belly is happy, stylish presentation, and sufficient staffing. With Feast Your Eyes the lower price range still includes handmade food by the same chefs who make all our food (no 2nd tier chefs here!), and the same quality staff, but may include simpler equipment choices, a less elaborate menu that needs fewer staff, or maybe a venue that doesn't require a lot of basic equipment (like your home, when you don't need tables, chairs and linen for each guest).

Conversely, the upper range may reflect a party site that needs more equipment. Of course it may also include a more extensive menu, specialty linens, glasware or silverware, or heavier staffing levels. And Yes, it's certainly possible to spend even more and to see the difference.

Luncheons whose menu is lunch only, without a pre-meal hors d'oeuvre time, run from $62 to $80 per person.

Smaller events (say, under 40 guests) are difficult to keep within these estimates.

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Q. "Jeepers, for these prices I can go to a restaurant! Why should off-premise catering be more expensive than a restaurant?"

A. Well, essentially we create a restaurant for you, for one meal, one time.

Regardless of how clever we may be it's not possible to do this for less than a restaurant that's open 6 or 7 days a week. Besides having real chefs working for us, just like a restaurant, as well as wait staff, we also have a part of our business that's all too similar to a moving company; we have to plot routes to get you your party, figure in travel time and the effect of rush hour traffic, and maintain a fleet of vehicles. None of these costs are part of the restaurant scene. Restaurants and caterers both feed guests, but other than that our businesses are quite different.

On the other hand we don't hustle you out because we want to seat someone else at your table! An off-premise event has your signature written all over it in a way that a restaurant dinner never can.

Interestingly, a client for whom we recently catered a short, stand-up buffet lunch after a bat mitzvah, and who had a big dinner for 200 at a restaurant afterwards, told us, "I'd never do it again this way, though they're going to do a nice job. I'm holding their hand through all the planning, but you're a caterer and you're holding my hand, guiding me, and that's so much easier."

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Q. We have experienced palates. Can you accommodate us?

A. After being in business for 24 years we have hundreds of recipes, featuring all kinds of cuisine. You're likely to find foods to drool over in our repertoire. We can incorporate specific dishes upon request, although it we may have to spend time developing your recipe to insure that Aunt Mabel's family favorite can be scaled to serve the 237 guests at your wedding. Additionally we have successfully catered vegan meals, Indian/Jewish weddings, Korean weddings, and business luncheons for visiting Japanese businessmen. Special orders don't upset us....

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Q. Our event is scheduled to go until 11:00 PM. What happens if we want to go a little longer?

A. No problem. Our pricing to you includes service until a pre-determined time. and the supervisors know to check with you 20 minutes or so before the scheduled finish time to see if you're okay with closing down the party at your original time. If you choose to extend the party we'll say, "Great!," and bill you in 1/2 hour increments. Regardless, linens will not be snapped off the tables at 11:01 PM. While we can occasionally send home a staff person or three, more often than not we need our full crew to stay to the end since the breakdown is just as large at 11:30 as it would have been at 11 PM.

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Q. I'd like to have the leftover food, okay?

A. Our insurance agent and lawyer both tell us it's dangerous for us to leave food behind, since we concede control over how and when it's served once we're gone. On the other hand we don't want you sitting around, basking in the afterglow of a rockin' good time, hungry but with nothing to eat. So we make an effort to leave you with some leftovers we're comfortable with packing up for you from a safety aspect

Clients who order food à la carte from our Take Out Menu get every last morsel of food they ordered packed away carefully in their refrigerator. (But only if the guests haven't wolfed it all down once they've tasted it.)

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Q. How are your staff dressed?

A. We have two standard uniforms for floor staff. For home parties and other, less formal events our staff wear a royal blue shirt with a tie, black trousers and black shoes. Our other uniform is a white tux shirt with wing collar, black bowtie, black vest, black trousers and shoes, and a long white apron.

We can arrange for staff in full tuxedo wear or other outfits.

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Q. Can I pay with a credit card?

A. Yes, you can. We accept VISA and Mastercard.

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Q. When do you need my final guest count?

A. We get a guaranteed count one week before your event. In the ensuing week that number may increase, but not decrease.

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Q. When is my bill due?

A. Private clients' invoices should be paid in full by the day of their event.

Corporate clients unable to accommodate this payment schedule have 30 days net. Deposits are required from all clients in order for us to place your event on our calendar. In the case of events with a longer lead time, and/or larger invoices, a schedule of 2nd and 3rd deposits may be established.

If there are additional charges that come up during your party we're happy to bill you after the event.

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Q. If I don't eat all my vegetables will you still serve me dessert?

A. Yes. We're not your mother and will not report to her. Promise.

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© Feast Your Eyes, Inc.
914-20 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123  215.923.9449