Got a question? 

Frequently Asked
Questions


Here's the low down!

Whether this is your first event or event planning is your “reason for being” and you are an old pro at this… we know that you may have questions. We are here to help - following are a couple of questions and answers that might help, but you can also call us at 714-375-5566. 

 

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What’s next?

OK… so you now know your event date, you have the service style and menu planned, and your contract is signed… now what? You know the drill, you can call us and ask… but just a couple more notes that might help.
 
I have a question for you

When do I need to get a final guest count to you?

I have to change the date… or cancel. What do I do?

What happens to the leftovers?

My event was awesome, how do I tell the world?

This is us

What types of events does Love at First Bite cater?

We do it all!!! Weddings, corporate, fundraisers, sporting events… and that all-important ‘just because you can’ event – we have done them all! Our talented staff can help you build the vision and bring your event to life.

 

How long have you been in business?

Love at First Bite Catering was founded in 1982. In this family-owned business, if you are not already family, it feels like you are. We have some staff who have been with us for over 20 years. That’s something very special in this industry and something we are very proud of!

 

Any awards?

Well thank you for asking… we are proud to say that we were voted the “Best Small Business in Huntington Beach” in 2019, nominated as the “Best Food & Beverage Business in Huntington Beach” in 2021 and more recently we were voted as a Top 5 Wedding Caterer on the Orange County Hotlist. 

 

Are you hiring?

At Love at First Bite, our people are a very important part of our success.  We are committed to running the company as a family business and creating jobs within our community. We are always looking for energetic and experienced people to join our team! Check our careers page and complete the job application form… it’s that easy and this could be the start of something great.

 

Are you insured?

Love at First Bite Catering is fully licensed and insured. If your venue requires proof, just let us know and we will send it over right away.

 
 
 
 
 

Getting started

 

What service style is the best one for me?

We offer a wide array of service styles including fully staffed Live-Action cooking stations & elegantly plated sit-down dinners, staffed or self-serve buffets, and drop-off or will-call in disposable pans and platters. Our event coordinators are happy to customize your event - just let them know your vision.

 

Some basics to help set the scene:

 

Staffed events:

Yes, it’s just like it sounds. Your event staff will beautifully display all food + beverages, attend to your guest's every need, maintain their refreshments, ensure portion control, and clean up at the end of the event.  Choose from a wide array of service styles including live-action cooking stations, tray-passed mingling, staffed buffets, or elegantly plated sit-down service. 

 

Delivered buffet:

Your menu will be beautifully displayed & set up for guests to self-serve. Includes buffet tables, linens, chafing dishes, tiered platters, serving ware & coordinating buffet decor.  A delivery team member will return to pick up our equipment 2hrs later or the next morning. You are responsible for restocking and replenishing & all bussing.

 

Drop-off:

Just need the food?  Your order will be delivered within a 30-minute window. Our delivery team member will drop-off and can even help you set up if needed. You are responsible for keeping everything at the appropriate temperature, so just let us know if you need to purchase any disposable wire chafers.

 

Will-call:

If you have the time, you can come and pick up your order, yourself. Your order will be prepared and served in disposable pans + platters. Our team will help load your car when you come to pick it up from our commercial kitchen in Huntington Beach.  You are responsible for keeping everything at the appropriate temperature.

 

How far in advance should I reserve my date?

It is always hard to predict what dates will fill up the fastest. With the quantity of staff we employ, we are able to cater multiple functions every day. We do suggest that you reserve your date as soon as possible. Reservations are taken on a “first come first served” basis so if you know for sure you want the date but are unsure of what you want, we recommend submitting your $500 deposit to secure the date while you decide all of the details. We request final confirmation of all event details 2 weeks from your event, so you have plenty of time to plan.

 

How do the staff dress for events?

For a simple delivery or drop-off, our trained and professional staff will be wearing a simple t-shirt and pants. If you are hosting a staffed event, we can tailor the uniform. For example, for a sporting event, khaki shorts and a white polo might work for you. If it’s a formal wedding, a black button-down shirt and long black tie and black dress pants. And if it’s Halloween, our staff love to dress in costume - and they look great!. It's your event, and it’s your choice. 

 

Can I make up my own menu or make changes to the menu you gave me?

Absolutely! The menus in your proposal are just a place to start. We love to help you create a menu specifically for your event that includes the foods you and your guests will love.

 

Can you accommodate guests with dietary restrictions?

We are happy to work with you to accommodate any special dietary needs. We offer many vegan and gluten-free menu options. With some minor changes to recipes, we can make several of our listed menu items gluten free and vegan available also. Just let us know if we need to accommodate any food allergies, and we will create the perfect menu for your event. 

 

Can I provide a family recipe to be used at my event?

Of course! We know that family traditions are important. Our Chef will be happy to review the recipe and assist with adding this special menu item for your event. 

 

Do you offer children's meals?

Yes we do, and if the children are eating the same meal as the adults, the children’s price is based on smaller portions. We are also happy to provide a special kid-friendly alternative menu for the little ones!

 

I also need alcohol. Can you bring that also?

We carry liquor liability insurance, so if you would like to provide your own favorite alcoholic beverages we’re happy to provide a “Support Bar Package” which includes everything else you might need including, sodas, mixers, juices, garnishes, ice & cups. 

Or if you want the hands-off approach we can provide a “Hosted Bar Package” with a range of tiers to choose from standard selections to the tippity top shelf.

 

How about chairs, tables, decor… can you do that also?

Need something special to make your event perfect? We offer a wide variety of event rentals to suit any occasion, from tables + chairs, linens, china, silverware + glassware to themed decorations. We can also design custom decor packages, seasonal centerpieces + floral arrangements. Plus we have lots of “friendors” we can recommend if you need anything else.

 

I have a last-minute order, can you help me?

While we strive to have all events confirmed 2 weeks in advance, we will do our absolute best to accommodate last-minute orders, especially for Memorials and Celebrations of Life. Please call us ASAP and give us as many details as possible and we will check the schedule to see if there’s anything we can do to help.

 

Do you offer tastings?

We’re celebrating 40 years in business this year, so if you're local, we can probably bet we’ve fed you on at least one occasion. If you haven’t had the chance to fall in Love At First Bite, we offer tastings so you can see the quality of our food firsthand. First, your coordinator will work with you to finalize your proposal and budget, and when your proposal meets your expectations, we will arrange a date and time for you to come to our commercial kitchen for your tasting. Tastings are available on select dates based on the schedule of our culinary team, so please make sure to give your coordinator a few options of dates and times.

 

How do I get a quote for my event?

Call us, email us, text message, or slide into our DM’s, whatever works for you works for us. Our Catering Coordinators are available to talk to you Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. We also have an event contact form on our website. Once we receive your information, one of our event planning team will call or email you to gather the rest of the necessary details before sending you a customized proposal.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Money matters

We will build a catering solution to work within your budget… but here are a couple of things that you may also want to know. 

What is included?

We provide biodegradable plates, utensils, and paper napkins for all orders - no matter what service style you choose. Upgraded acrylic plates with reflective cutlery is also available for $1.75 per guest. And of course, china, glassware and flatware are available also - please inquire for pricing - we have many options available and the staff requirements vary based on your needs.. 

 

What if I have a strict budget?

When you know your budget our Coordinators can work backwards to work within your budget goals. We like to a la carte the pricing so you can see exactly what you’re getting for your per person price and prioritize. We can make lots of recommendations to help get the best bang for your buck.

Why do service styles have different staffing costs?

Staffed events - The hourly staff rates are based on the event’s timing, service style and your location. These events require more labor to serve your guests and also include a 20% operational fee.

 

Delivered buffet - For a delivered buffet, we offer delivery, buffet set up, and pickup. Our standard delivered buffet display rate starts at $150 with 2 hours between delivery and pick up and any additional time is charged at $35/hr. If you’re flexible with the pickup time and we can schedule a next day pickup within a 4-hr window we don’t charge any extra. We also offer upgrades for more intricate designs. Once again, this style is labor intensive and includes a 20% operational fee.

 

Drop-off - pricing is determined based on your location. If you are located within 10 miles of our commercial kitchen in Huntington Beach, the fee is $55. If you are within 15 miles, it’s $65 and within 20 miles it’s $75.  If you are further afield, just call us and we will calculate the fee for your specific location.

 

Will-call - no additional fees.

 

Cake cutting fees?

No cake-cutting fees. Cutting the cake is just one of the things that our staff are there to do! And they will do it with a smile.

 

Any corkage fees?

Corkage fees are waived with full-catering orders. If you’re hiring our bartenders without catering we charge a per person rate of $3 pp for beer & wine or $5 pp for a full bar to cover liquor liability insurance. 

 

How do I tip the event staff?

Gratuities are not included in your invoice. They are, however, very much appreciated and graciously accepted by our staff for a job well done. Some clients choose to pay the staff on the day of the event. And sometimes, clients prefer the convenience of adding a tip to their final payment for us to distribute to our fabulous team.  Please note, however, it is against our company policy to have tip jars on bars for any events unless you direct us that this is your preference.

 

Any discounts?

Yes, we do. Minimum orders may apply

-Non-Profits – we support our local non-profits and the work they do!

-Schools - we offer reduced pricing for student events, banquets, & fundraisers.

-Cash discounts - we offer 5% discount for any cash payments.

When do I pay you?

We require a $500 non-refundable deposit to reserve your spot. Popular dates will be booked on a "first come first served" basis. You can make installments leading up to your event! Final headcount and final balance are due 14 days prior to your event. Due to fluctuating market conditions, seasonal availability, and supply chain issues, we reserve the right to offer comparable substitutions or replacement suggestions before your event. We accept all common payment methods and all credit card payments will incur an additional 3.5% surcharge.

 

Another caterer charges less than you. Why should I choose Love at First Bite Catering?

Love at First Bite Catering has built a solid reputation over 40 plus years by offering delicious cuisine and excellent service to all of our clients at affordable prices.. We are fully licensed and insured. Our food is prepared in a commercial kitchen. Our employees are all covered by workers compensation insurance. And all of our team are committed to creating a fun and memorable event for you and your guests. Doing business the right way, and with the right people, has a certain level of overhead. And we would not have it any other way. You deserve the best, and that is what we will do for you.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What’s next?

 

OK… so you now know your event date, you have the service style and menu planned, and your contract is signed… now what? You know the drill, you can call us and ask… but just a couple more notes that might help.

 

I have a question for you

Feel free to call or email, we are here to help. Also take a look at your proposal and contract, there is a lot of great information in there too.

 

When do I need to get a final guest count to you?

Final guest count is due fourteen days prior to your event. After that date, we can usually accommodate increases but not decreases. We can’t make any promises but we promise to do our best to find a solution whenever possible.

 

I have to change the date… or cancel. What do I do?

We understand that sometimes things change and we will try to work with you to find a solution. Or if that is not possible, our cancellation policy is included in your contract. If you have any questions, just ask! We are here to help.

 

What happens to the leftovers?

The leftovers are yours to enjoy! It is of course your responsibility to provide proper storage and proper temperatures for these foods. We can bring disposable containers to pack these foods for you. All of our staff are trained and will make the final decision on what is safe to be given to you at the end of the event. Any food items not deemed suitable or not in safe temperature ranges will be disposed of.

 

My event was awesome, how do I tell the world?

All of us at Love at First Bite Catering love to get your feedback on your event experience. If you want to share the love, please feel free to tell your friends, and tell the world online: