Frequently Asked Questions
Selecting a Caterer
When selecting a Caterer for your event, you may wish to inquire if they will provide the following:
- Health Department Permit to Operate
- Business License and Sales Tax number
- ABC Licence to Sell Alcoholic Beverages
- Liability Insurance for Food & Alcohol
- List of References
- Detailed and thorough proposals
- Compliance to your requests and budget
- Promptness in returning e-mails, calls and sending Information
- Reputation (Will they still be in business on the day of your event?)
How far in advance do I need to place my catering order?
For a corporate or social event, please allow at least a 24-hour notice. We do allow last minute event orders if we are not fully booked and limited to what our kitchen can prepare at a short notice. Holiday dates are filled very quickly and best reserved 1-2 months in advance to guarantee your date choice. Wedding receptions are best reserve 2-8 months in advance. We suggest reserving your date as soon as it is confirmed and we allow 48 hours to confirm the final guest count.
Do you have a children’s menu and special pricing?
Yes. We offer special menu options and pricing for children. Our event coordinators can help with any special requests.
Are you licensed and insured?
Our product and services are fully insured with an A+ insurance rating. All our delivery vehicles carry commercial automobile insurance. Our staff is covered by California state workers compensation. We can provide and name additional certificate of insurance for liability to companies or individuals at no additional charge.
Do you offer tastings?
Yes. We provide a complimentary tasting of our food. Complimentary food tastings are limited to four (4) menu selections. If additional entries are requested, there will be a small charge which will be applied toward your balance for service if you contract with us for your event. Tastings are generally held Monday through Friday between 12-4 pm and occasionally on Saturdays with an appointment. Please call to schedule an appointment with one of our event planners.
Can I make up my own menu or make changes in your menus?
Absolutely! Our chef would be delighted to help create your special menu for your event or to even recreate a special family recipe that you provide.
Can you provide for vegetarian and special dietary needs?
We have a wide variety of vegetarian, vegan and organic menu options. We understand the importance of making sure everyone in the group can enjoy a wonderful meal, regardless of dietary restrictions.
Beside Delivery, do you set up and clean up after the event?
We are a full-service catering company and will do just about anything! From complete setup of your buffet tables with decor and linens, serving your guests, clearing and bussing the guest tables to cleaning the service/kitchen area, leaving it as we have found it.
Do you provide disposable service wares and linens for your corporate/social functions?
Our corporate/social menu pricing includes the best quality paper plates and heavy-duty plastic silver coated eating utensils which look just like the real thing! We also provide linen for the buffet table and all portable heating equipment with serving utensils. We carry a full line of China, silverware, and glassware which are available at an additional charge.
Is there a charge for cutting the cake?
Absolutely not! We include complimentary wedding cake cutting services when your event requires our professional servers.
Do you have a corkage fee if we supply the beverages?
No. We will open and serve beverages you supply us at no charge if your event is held at a private home or venue. However, there may be an alcohol insurance liability fee of $250 if it is held in a public venue like clubhouse, community hall, ballroom, etc. This fee will be waived when our bar service is added to the catering.
Can you sell beer, wine or liquor and provide bartenders?
Yes, we are licensed and carry both licenses to sell and serve beer, wine, and liquor off premise.
How do you charge for labor?
We charge for our staff by the hour, portal to portal based on a minimum of four hours per staff person. Depending on the event, our staff may need anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours to set up. We do our best to estimate the amount of time that our staff will be needed for your event. However, since many variables exist, the final cost is based on the actual time worked. For large full-service events, we require an Event Manager to oversee staff and ensure the coordination of a successful event. Our event coordinator will recommend the number of service staff required to do a successful event.
Besides the cost of food, what other charges can I expect for a catered event?
When we provide your customized menu, we list all of our estimated charges in order to provide you with a complete bid. Our proposal is broken down into the following
For alcohol service, you need 1 Bartender and 1 Bar Back for every 100 guests. For events, less than 100 people the charge for bartenders is $25.00/hour. The hours covered by this charge are the actual hours of the event and 1 hour prior to the event and 1 hour after the end of the event. For example, if your event lasts 4 hours then you will be charged 6 hours for the staff. For off-premise events, driving time to and from the event is also added.
For a buffet for every 100 guests, you need 2 Service Staff and if you are having a served dinner you need 2 servers for every 60 guests. The cost for the Service Staff is $25.00 per hour per staff person with a minimum of 4 hours. The hours covered by this charge are the actual hours of the event and 1 hour prior to the event and 1 hour after the end of the event. For example, if your event lasts 4 hours then you will be charged 6 hours for the staff. For off-premise events, driving time to and from the event is also added.
How much are the rentals?
We estimate approximately $4-$8 per guest for rentals. This number will vary based on the type of linen, from sizes to materials that you choose, and the number of plates & glass wares that you may need based on the type of service you choose.
Do you offer tent rentals?
A full range of styles and sizes are available from our preferred rental vendors. Usually, we have the rental company tent person come to your location to measure for tent needs. We would be happy to recommend a few quality companies should you wish to contact them directly.
What is the Service Charge?
The service charge is not a gratuity but is an additional charge that is used to cover certain additional operating costs that are associated with each event. The front of the house service staff that works the event does not receive any part of the service charge. The service charge covers the following cost: administrative costs such as appointments, scheduling, ordering, paperwork, banking, and any possible credit card fees (if applicable). We also have other indirect costs such as office & setup staff that work behind the scenes on every event but aren’t included in your labor fees. Liability insurance required to cover any damages or injuries caused by our staff or our equipment to any guests or property. This relieves the client of liability or responsibility when an accident is our fault. Vehicle insurance and costs not covered by a delivery/fuel charge. The service charge helps offset the costs of going the extra mile, such as handling the rental equipment and assisting with the non-catering related elements of a party, wedding or event.
What type of event is the most budget conscious?
Don’t worry; we get this question all the time. Surprisingly, buffet meals are the most economical meals to serve. One would think that an hors d’ oeuvres party is less expensive, but because of the numbers of smaller items that are handmade, this option is typically a little more expensive with a lot less food since they are bite size. A seated dinner would be the next step up due to the extra service and culinary staff needed to execute your event.
Will Hannibal’s Catering handle renting the rentals for me?
Yes. We take care of all the arrangements, including a delivery schedule and pick up schedule. The rental costs will be included in your final invoice or they can be billed directly to you from the rental company
For the first time ordering with us, please take a moment to read our delivering policy
ORDERING POLICY: Due to the time needed to prepare your order, we require a minimum of 48 hours notice. New order placed or change order with in the 24 hours of delivery may incur a rush fee of $35. Please place your online orders as early as possible to avoid the rush fee. To ensure timely processing of your last minute order, it has to be received no later than 3:00 PM the day before your event. (Some hot menu items may require longer notice so your menu may be subject to substitutions if less than two days’ notice is given). Our delivery hours start as early as 5:00 AM, though deliveries prior to 6:30 AM and after 5:00 PM Monday to Friday may be subject to an overtime delivery surcharge. Office hours are 8:00 AM–5:00 PM Monday through Friday.
**Orders placed late Friday or over the weekend will not be received in our office until Monday morning. Your order may NOT be confirmed, please call to confirm your order.
DELIVERY CHARGES AND DELIVERY TIME WINDOW
Catering Operation/Admin Fee: An 18% operation/admin fee applies to all orders. The operation/admin fee is not a gratuity but is an additional charge that is used to cover certain additional costs that are associated with each event. The front of the house service staff that works the event does not receive any part of the operation fees. The operation/delivery fee covers the following cost: direct cost such as administrative order taking, employee scheduling, product ordering, tasting , delivery scheduling and tracking, event logistic, multiple trips to deliver and returning to pick up our equipments, high fuel cost, vehicle repair,, and credit card fees (if applicable). We also have other indirect costs such as office & setup staff that work behind the scenes on every event, but aren’t included in your food price or labor fees. Liability insurance required to cover any damages or injuries caused by our staff or our equipment to any guests or property. This relieves the client of liability or responsibility when an accident is our fault. Vehicle insurance and costs not covered by a delivery/fuel charge. The operation/admin fee helps offset the costs of going the extra mile, such as handling the rental equipment and assisting with the non-catering related elements of a corporate event/party, wedding or event.
**An additional “Delivery Fee” will apply for deliveries outside of our 15 miles delivery zone. This fee is calculated based on travel time and distance, event location and whether a return trip is required to pick up our equipment.
Please contact us at 916.638-4363 for additional information. Catering Operation fee is waived if the orders are picked up by clients.
DELIVERY TIME WINDOW: We recommend clients add an hour prior to their event start time when placing their orders so our drivers will not be tardy. Most deliveries are allotted a 30 tp 45-minute window that ranges from 45 minutes prior to 15 minutes, past your scheduled arrival time. Circumstances due to traffic, bad weather, delay in entering secured office buildings, and waiting for escorts or last-minute changes to original order are beyond our control. But we will notify clients as soon as possible if any circumstances occur that will cause your delivery to be later than anticipated. During peak lunch and dinner periods, deliveries may be made up to one hour prior to your designated time. Our food is prepared fresh daily in our licensed commercial kitchen and stored at safe temperatures at all times.
**Late afternoon and evening deliveries will be picked up on the next business day unless special arrangements between the client and the catering department have been made.
ORDER CHANGES AND CANCELLATIONS: For wedding and large corporate or social events, a nonrefundable deposit is required to hold the date for your events. A credit card will be required to be held on file. Final guest count confirmation for your event is required, 3 days prior to the event. The additional guest count received after the third days may not be fulfilled. If the guest count drops 10% or more, the per person cost is subject to a price increase. 72-hour advance notice of cancellation is required to cancel a confirmed order. If there are costs incurred as a result of your cancellation, you will be billed only or those costs and not the entire cost of the event. The residual amount can be applied for future catering and is limited to one year from the cancellation date. Please call us at (916) 638-4363 to cancel an order.
**Do not e-mail or fax last minute cancellations — you must speak directly to one of our Catering Coordinators. Any email message to our staff members or on our voice mail is not a valid cancellation.
Your changes are not confirmed until we have contacted you either by e-mail or a phone call from our event coordinators to confirm your changes. Every Hannibal’s Catering event is prepared to order. We have no way to re-use your food when they are already made. We would be happy to arrange delivery of your order to a different location or, if you prefer, we can make a donation in your name to a food bank and deliver the receipt to you.
Last Minute Requests: If you can be a bit flexible as to menu selection and time of delivery, we will be happy to be of service. Additional fee may apply to last minute orders placed with less than 24-hour notice.
NUT, DAIRY, GLUTEN, OTHER FOOD ALLERGY, AND SPECIAL DIET
Hannibal’s Catering cannot guarantee full omission of all ingredients we use in our kitchen.
Our catering kitchen is an open plan facility and allergens such as nuts and gluten are present, so there is always the possibility of cross contamination even when taking every possible precaution. Hannibal’s will not assume any liability for adverse reactions to foods consumed, or items an individual may come in contact with, at any event catered by Hannibal’s Catering. Our staff & chef are not trained on dietary allergy or intolerance and if you have a severe allergy, we cannot be expected to provide accurate information or recommendation.
PAYMENT TERMS AND GRATUITY: All Catering orders require full payment prior to the event. A 5% fee may be assessed to the balance if payment is not received by the day of the event. Hannibal’s Catering does not accept payment upon delivery but will accept direct billing with an established corporate account, check or corporate credit card prior to the event. Personal check requires a 3 days waiting period to clear the bank. For corporate clients and purchase orders to be billed, terms are Net 30 Days. Accounts over thirty (30) days shall accrue interest at one and one-half percent (1.5%) per month. Past due account over 90 days will refrain from ordering. Payment with a credit card for wedding and large social event will incur a 3% transaction fee. No fee will be imposed on deposit paid with a credit card. Any other terms can be prearranged with us by calling our Accounting Department at (916) 638-4363. Gratuities are not required and are not automatically added to your invoice, but they are graciously accepted by our staff.
SALES TAX: The State of California requires sales tax to be applied to service charges, hot and carbonated drinks, hot food items, or events served by Hannibal’s staff. Sales tax applies to all Labor related to the event, rentals, and operation/admin fee– Please refer to the board of equalization regulation 1603 for additional detail information. Tax-exempt organizations must provide documentation with the first order.
PRICES: Prices on our menus and website may be subject to change due to market price fluctuation, additional charges by your venue to caterer and product availability. Substitutions and additions on any menu will reflect price changes on the final invoice. We recommend clients request a new price quote if there are any additions or substitutions.
STAFF CHARGES: Professional staff rate is $25.00 per hour with a minimum of 4 hours. Staff hours are estimated and are billed portal‑to‑portal. Billing starts at arrival time and ends after departing the event site- on events held in the delivery zone. The same rate may apply for staff travel time to out of area event. If your event should run longer than anticipated, your invoice will be adjusted. The balance of the adjusted invoice is due within 7 days of billing if the client has a direct bill account. Accounts over thirty (30) days shall accrue interest at one and one-half percent (1.5%) per month
DAMAGES AND LIABILITY: Client’s responsibility is to ensure that the table for setup and any flammable items including our decor material are protected from the heat source of our chafers. If our staff is not hired to be present at the client’s event, the client will be responsible for unattended chafing dishes and all other Hannibal’s equipment. Hannibal’s Catering does not assume or accept any responsibility due to negligence by the client or any attendees of the client’s event that causes any damage as a result. Missing or damaged equipment, decor, place settings, centerpieces, linens, serving utensils, salad bowls, and all other Hannibal’s property will be billed to the client at replacement cost. Candle wax on linen rental is consider damaged since they cannot be cleaned and will be bill at replacement cost. Please avoid wax on linen at all times. It is the responsibility of the client to ensure that all of Hannibal’s catering property is present when the driver arrives to pick it up. Any items not picked up may incur additional charges if the driver has to make an additional trip to the client’s location to retrieve the items. Equipment and other items are not picked up on the same day require the same responsibility by the client to ensure that equipment and other items are not lost or damaged.
FOOD LEFTOVER POLICY: It is our policy that any leftover food will be discarded after the event. We will leave or pack leftovers that are safe to consume, such as leftover cookies, brownies or canned beverages if the client requests beforehand. We do not recommend serving leftovers after the event as we cannot anticipate how long leftover food has been held at unsafe temperatures, nor are we qualified to evaluate the condition of the leftover food. Under no circumstances can leftover food be given to guests. The client will assume full responsibility for any liability as a result of consuming leftover food after the event.
HANNIBAL’S BAR SERVICE POLICY:
Hannibal’s Catering & Event is committed to the responsible service of alcoholic beverages to the responsible guest. We are also committed to actions that will help reduce traffic accidents involving alcohol. Our employees are required to follow the procedures listed below.
1. No employee will serve an alcoholic beverage to any person under 21 years of age.
2. In order to be served an alcoholic beverage, any guest who is apparently under 35 years of age is required to present documentation that shows him or her to be 21 years or older. Acceptable identification documentation is a driver’s license, state ID, US military ID, passport, and passport card.
3. Underage drinkers or persons passing alcoholic beverages to underage guests will be grounds for immediate dismissal.
4. Hannibal’s Catering personnel will not, under any circumstances, knowingly serve alcohol to any person under 21 years of age, regardless of parental approval.
5. Hannibal’s Catering employees will refuse service of alcoholic beverages to any customer showing visible sign of intoxication.
6. No “shots,” doubles or drinks with more than two liquors will be served. All drinks are measured according to house policy.
7. All alcoholic beverages must be served from behind a table or bar by Hannibal’s Catering employee.
8. Guests may not pour their own alcohol, and open bottles of alcoholic beverages may not be placed on tables. Guests are not permitted to bring their own alcoholic beverages.
9. No employee will serve several drinks to a guest during a short interval.
10. All employees recognize that violations of the liquor code or any illegal drug activity will be grounds for immediate dismissal.