Serving the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro and beyond, we are a team of experienced professionals offering custom catering services across the Shenandoah Valley. It is our mission to provide clients with food and services tailored to their needs. We give each of our clients prompt, personal attention, and pride ourselves on our ability to accommodate. Through careful planning, personalized services, and attention to detail, we offer truly customized catering.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What type of services do you provide?
We offer catering services for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Cocktail Parties. We can do everything from a drop off, to full service parties with chefs, servers and rentals. We also can cook onsite with Mama’s Caboose food truck.
Are you inspected and insured?
Yes, our businesses have met health department standards and has liability insurance.The kitchen is inspected every 6 months by the health department to make sure food is properly handled and stored. We have a certified food manager at all times.
What is your minimum?
For small drop off style catering there is no minimum headcount only a delivery fee. For full service catering there is a $500 minimum for most events.
Can I create my own menu or make changes to your menu?
We love to help you create a special menu just for your party! All of the menus are completely customizable. We can try to recreate a special family dish, just keep in mind cooking for 10 and cooking for 200 is a bit different.
Do you offer consultations and tastings?
Of course! We can provide a consultation and tasting for up to 4 people free of charge and we will help you plan your perfect day.
What payment methods do you accept?
We happily accept payment via cash, check or credit card. A $200 nonrefundable deposit is required to secure your event date.
What is the price difference for a buffet, family-style service and a plated meal?
All of our menus are created specially for your event and prices vary depending on the type and number of dishes served. This influences the cost of a meal more than the type of service. However, due to the amount of labor involved, buffet service is generally less expensive than family style which is generally less expensive than plated service. We also take into account the venue, and the amenities available to the caterer.
How many staff will I need for my event?
Every event is different and will have different staffing needs determined by size, style, formality and location. We take all of these factors into account when determining how many chefs, servers and bartenders to provide for your event. Having china is much more labor intensive than using disposable tableware and therefore will require a dish washing service fee.
Can your staff set-up and break down my event?
Absolutely! We can arrive early to decorate, assemble tables, polish glasses set out chairs, etc.. We are happy to stay after a party to clean up and put everything away. We charge a standard hourly rate for this service.
Can you accommodate special diets?
Absolutely! We pride ourselves on catering to the needs of our clients. We offer gluten free, vegetarian and vegan versions of many of our menu items and are happy to to provide special items for a few guests or your entire party.
Do you offer a discount for children?
Yes, we offer 50% discount for children aged 5-10 and kids under 5 are free.
Do you provide beer, wine or liquor?
We do not have a license to provide you with alcohol, but offer a bartending service. We can help you obtain the proper ABC documents.
How far in advance should I reserve my date?
Wedding receptions typically book 6-12 months in advance. Corporate events usually have a shorter lead time. We can provide corporate lunches with 48 hours notice. We suggest reserving your date as soon as it is confirmed. Summer Weekends and all dates in December fill very quickly.
Do you provide wedding cake?
The Dayton Catering Co. provides a variety of cakes, pies and other baked goods. We can recommend a local baker that specializes in traditional tiered wedding cakes.
When do I need to give you my final guest count?
The estimate we provide in your contract is based on a minimum guest count. If you reduce your guest count below this number, we may have to adjust the per-person price for your event but also may decrease servers. You may add to your guest count up to 10 days prior to your event. Remember, however, it is the guest count which dictates the amount of food we prepare. The guest count must be accurate whether you choose a buffet dinner or a plated dinner.
Will you feed my wedding vendors?
Of course if there is food leftover after all your guests have been fed we are happy to prepare a plate (free of charge) for those providing services at your event, in this instance, your vendors will have to wait until all guests have been served. We recommend that you include them in your guest count if they are on a schedule, or purchase a boxed lunch for them. These will be prepared and set aside for pick up at any time during your event.
Besides cost of food what other fees should I expect?
When we provide your personalized proposal, we list all of our estimated charges in order to provide you with a complete proposal. In addition to the package per person price, we include the following in each proposal: rental upgrades or additions (that we can obtain on your behalf), Labor charges for service staff, venue fee, and sales tax.
How do you charge for labor?
We charge for our staff by the hour, based on a five hour minimum per staff person. 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.
What are the hourly rates for your staff?
Event Manager: $35 per hour
Bartender: $50 per hour
Event Staff: $25 per hour
Food Truck:: $75 per hour
What will the staff wear?
For full service events, the wait staff will wear all black and maintain a professional appearance. For more casual events, attire will be dictated by the host of the party.
Do you offer event planning and coordinating?
Yes! We can help you with your event in any capacity. If you require a day of coordinator or want us to plan an entire event, we have the knowledge and experience. Over the years our staff members have built lasting professional relationships with the area’s best venues, florists, photographers, and more.
What does a venue fee cover?
The venue fee offsets additional labor and administration costs such as site visits, working with challenging catering spaces, and excessive travel. The venue fee is not a gratuity and is subject to state and local tax laws.
How much are taxes?
Virginia sales tax is 6.3% and Town of Dayton meals tax is 5%.
How can I save money on my event?
The Dayton Catering Co. offers everything from box lunches to formal sit down dinners. There is almost always a way to have a lovely event within your budget. However, we have a couple of unbreakable rules:
1. We will NOT under staff an event
2. We will NOT under portion the food.
3. We will NOT provide less than our standard quality of food.
Other than that, there are numerous ways to make sure an event is in line with your budget. Remember, the more upfront labor involved the more expensive the dish. Lots of small appetizers, a large menu and several beverages can make for an expensive meal. Using china is an added expense as well. There is plenty of attractive disposable tableware available. Consider how vendor friendly your venue is. Barns, pavilions and parks are beautiful but may not offer the required amenities caterers need. Consider the time of day of your event and how long it has been since your guests have eaten. Look at the taxes in the locality you are purchasing goods and services. For example, the town of Dayton’s meals tax is 2% lower than that of the City of Harrisonburg.
Our flexible team will work with you to craft a menu suited for your event and your budget. We are available for full-service catering events, and we also offer pick-up and drop-off catering options. We have extensive catering experience in a variety of event settings including weddings- big and small- as well as business luncheons, corporate events, personal parties and other special occasions. Whatever catering service you may require, our caterers are equipped and ready to help you craft the perfect experience.