Frequently Asked Questions
Are we approved caterers at your chosen venue? If not is there a way around this?
We are approved caterers, or sole caterers at many venues. In most instances we are able to work at new venues even if we are not on the ‘approved’ list. We are able to provide the venue with all the necessary insurances, risk assessments, and recommendations from other venues to give them the reassurances they need. Sometimes a venue will want the caterer to pay a fee if they are not on the existing approved list. If we are new to a venue, we hold a thorough site visit with the event manager and head chef and carry out all necessary risk assessments prior to the event.
How can we reassure our bride and groom of our past experiences, and that their expectations will be met?
Weddings are our passion, and it is vitally important to us that our couple get their absolute dream day and no tiny detail is missed. Our couples will meet their PenniBlack wedding Coordinator from the offset, who will deal with every query they have. Many meetings will take place between the wedding Coordinator, the front of house manager and the bride and groom, including a walk through the venue a few days prior to the big day. We are able to provide our couples with testimonials, and a contact for previous weddings we have catered or venues we have worked in for added reassurance.
Can PenniBlack provide Specialist menus, or particular dishes that are not on the menu?
PenniBlack are extremely flexible and love the fact that every event is unique. We are very happy to design a bespoke menu around the bride and groom. Sometimes they have come to us with menus they have designed themselves and we recreate that for them for the day. Perhaps they want food from different countries. We work with various chefs from different nationalities, so can provide authentic French, Spanish, Caribbean, Moroccan, Asian dishes and much more.
Do PenniBlack provide tastings and ranges of different tableware?
PenniBlack provide a free initial tasting, where the couple get to come in, meet the team and the head chef who will be cooking the food on their day. We can provide a range of food to help you make up your mind. The food can be tweeked to suit your personal requirements. We lay up the table with our suggested choice of tableware, but can show you other ranges we have. We can source linen and styles to suit your style and colour schemes. Sometimes couples like to bring their parents along too. We can provide a second tasting if requested but here would be additional charges for this.
What about dietry requirements?
We always cater to any specified dietry requirements. Its important to ask your guests before hand to let you know in advance. We have wonderful vegetarian, vegan, coeliac options available. We also provide low cost kiddies meals. Furthermore we list all allergens that may be in your chosen menu, and the staff are informed of these on the day.
Set up and Clear down
If possible we arrange with the venue to do the whole set up and table lay up the day before, however this is not always possible. We are very used to setting everything up on the day itself. Usually we clear everything away that same night, removing all rubbish, and leaving the venue spotless.
When is payment made?
A deposit would need to be made as soon as possible to save the date. Then we would need full payment five days prior to the big day.
When do you need to give final numbers?
It is best if you keep us as closely informed as you can of number changes, but we would need final numbers 72 hours in advance.
Can we supply cakes?
We can recommend cake suppliers, florists, venues, marquees. If you have an idea, don’t hesitate to ask. It is often requested that we serve the cake as part of the dessert, or evening buffet.
Do we charge corkage if you bring your own beverages?
We have a wide range of wines and beverages on our wine list, and can also source specific wines you may particularly like. We can provide a tasting of these at the food tasting. All our wines are sold on a sale or return basis. If you do want to provide your own wine we do not charge corkage. We do however charge a small fee of £25 to dispose of the empty bottles. For your convenience you can arrange to have your wine delivered and stored at our premise prior to the wedding, and we bring it along on the day, and can even bring it back to our unit after the wedding for you to collect at a future date. Depending on quantities there would be a cost implication on the transport charges for this service.
It is often standard to feed the band, venue staff, or photographers. We can discuss providing a lower cost option for these people.
Can we work to budgets?
It is very important to sit down and discuss your budget with us as we do aim to work as closely with you to make this achievable. It may mean tweeking the menu, or style of service, but we do have a large range of budget options available.
Are there any hidden costs?
We breakdown all the costs thoroughly so you know exactly what you will be spending. The first quote is just a rough guide, but this could change depending on venue facilities, menu choice, schedules over running. We inform you of any cost implications as your plans change and develop throughout the planning stages.
What if the day over runs?
We work as closely as possible to the schedule you have given us, but if things over run on the day, we will be extremely flexible. It should not impact on the food in any way. The staff are informed to be flexible on their timings. There may however be cost implications as the proforma invoice is based on estimated timings. If waiting staff need to stay longer than 11.30pm then taxi costs may be charged.
How experienced are our staff?
Our waiters, waitresses and barmen are all regulars at PenniBlack and know how we work. They are all full service trained. They wear matching black trousers, black shirts and smart aprons. The front of house manager organizes the staff. The couple have plenty of opportunity to meet the Event manager, and we are happy to provide a breakdown of their experience.