Frequently Asked Questions
Are you able to work to our set budgets?
Yes – Please make sure you let us know if you have a budget in mind. Your PB Coordinator will then look at the best possible way to make savings, such as using cheaper ingredients or simplifying the menu without losing any of the quality of the food. They can look at the service and see where staff can be reduced or equipment costs lowered, such as having a buffet instead of a sit down, family service instead of plated, a cold starter instead of hot. Our quotes are very transparent and broken down thoroughly so you can clearly see what you are paying for.
Are there any hidden costs or extras?
No, everything is broken down clearly in the quotation, however, the staffing is estimated, and charged by the hour, so if the event over runs then additional costs will be incurred, however if they finish early, you will be refunded. We also need to charge for taxis for any staff who stay after 11pm, and this again is estimated in the proposal. There will also be charges for any equipment breakages or losses on the day, but we do what we can to keep it all to a minimum.
What if the day over runs?
We work as closely as possible to the schedule you have given, but if things over run on the day, we will be extremely flexible. It should not impact on the food or service in any way. Our staff are pre-informed that the timings are estimated and may run over.
Do you provide tastings?
Yes, it is very important that our clients have had the opportunity to try our food, meet our team, and discuss equipment and presentation options. For events over £3000 we are happy to provide tastings, and we charge a nominal refundable fee of £50 per person.
Can we get references?
We are always happy to provide references to new clients on request.
What are your payment terms?
We always require 100% payment prior to your event, plus 10% holding deposit for breakages.
Are you able to cater for last minute requests?
Sometimes clients call us up and say they have a last minute lunch or dinner request. We are usually able to accommodate last minute requests but the menu would need to be chef’s choice.
Equipment delivery collection slots – We need to be out of the venue at a specific time.
We are able to get all deliveries and collections done at very specific times, however if you need to be out of a venue and need out of hours same day collection, extra charges could be incurred.
Would you be able to attend a site visit? Are you able to carry out a risk assessment report? Check access restrictions etc?
Of course. We highly recommend a site visit to see the facilities, and we provide a risk assessment at the same time. It is also very important for us to see whether there are any restrictions on the day such as flights of stairs, where the equipment will need to be carried, which will take extra time and extra hands.
We do not have a kitchen. Are you able to provide this?
Of course. We have a range of options which we can bring with us on the day, from portable ovens, barbecues, hot cupboards and much more. We will need to know your Power supply and work from there. We may need to adjust the menu to suit the facilities. Some offices do not allow fryers for example. It is always best to let us know exactly what is available to us and we can work out exactly what is needed. If the event is outside, we can source generators, or provide gas ovens. For smaller budget events, it is possible to bring the food in hot boxes, and transfer the items into hot holding chafing fuel dishes.
Can we bring our own drinks? Do you charge corkage? Can you sort an alcohol licence? Can you serve our drinks?
We have a wide range of wines and beverages on or wine list, and can also source specific wines you may particularly like. We can provide wine samples at our food tastings. All our wines are sold on a sale or return basis. If you want to provide your own wines, we do not charge corkage. We do however charge a small fee of £25 to dispose of the empty bottles. If you decide you want to sell alcohol at your event, we are able to help you organise a drinks licence for the night
We have found a venue but you’re not on the list – is this a problem?
No. We have a good relationship with venues, and often we can talk to the venues, and show them our references and insurances, and they are happy to work with us.
We have a band and a DJ. Do we have to feed them?
It is often expected to feed the band, DJ, venue staff or photographers. We can discuss providing a lower cost option for these people.
Can you help us find a venue, entertainment, theming and styling, recommend suppliers?
Absolutely, we have a range of venues and marquee companies that we love working with, as well as amazing florists, lighting companies, DJs, entertainers and much more. Just ask, and our creative team will put their brains together to come up with something completely unique for you.
Do we have to have your menus or can we design a menu around our theme?
PenniBlack are a bespoke company and love the fact that every event is different. There is nothing we love more than designing fun, themed, bespoke menus around our clients. We also have a pool of amazing freelance authentic chefs from all walks of life, who we are able to call on to add that needed touch of authenticity when required.
How do you make clients and guests aware of allergens present in the food?
When we send the client the event sheet, we list the allergens on the menu. This information is also on the delivery note, and carried through to the event manager and chefs on the day who informs all the waiting team. If any guest asks what is in the food on the day, the waiting staff have that information easily to hand.
Are you able to provide food for our guests with specific dietary requirements?
It is usual to have a number of dietary requirements. We are able to make substitutes to pretty much any meal to suit all these requests.
We won’t know the final numbers of attendees until the last minute. How much notice do we need to give and how will you cope with last minute changes in numbers?
We usually ask for 24 hours for final notice of numbers, and request that you keep us informed as you go. Once the food has been ordered in, the numbers cannot be reduced, but we are usually able to accommodate last minute increases.
What is your hygiene rating?
We have 5 stars for our Hygiene rating. All our team have hygiene certificates suitable to their job.
How do you train your staff?
We have our own pool of trained staff. We have 3 or 4 regular event managers, teamed with regular barmen and waitresses. We do interview our staff and hold training sessions at our base. Then their first few shifts will be supervised by the event management team. The event managers and our clients provide us with thorough feedback of the staff for every event. We do sometimes use a couple of carefully chosen agencies that we have tried and tested and trust. We do however always have our own staff at these events to ensure consistency and continuity.
How do you check your suppliers?
All of our suppliers provide references, trading standards forms and hygiene certificates. Meetings and site visits are carried out before using a new supplier.
Is your food sustainable/ ethical?
Where possible our food is sourced locally. We use seasonal, sustainable and ethical food. Our poultry and eggs are free range.
What is your waste/ recycling policy?
We only order in food that has been pre-paid by the client so the waste is minimal. We always recycle. Where possible we choose environmentally friendly packaging.