Who is Portsmouth Catering Company?
Portsmouth Catering Company has been in business since 2011. The owners, Michael Prete and Matthew Greco have been catering and doing private chef work for over 14 years. They own two other restaurants,
the acclaimed ‘The Kitchen’ in Portsmouth, NH and ‘Blind Pig Provisions’ on Badgers Island in Kittery, Maine
and a couple more on the way in the seacoast area.
But simply put, we are a team of professionals. No interns, no clock punchers.
We are chefs and servers who understand the industry and what it means to “cater”. PCC is chef owned and operated. Chef Michael has been in this industry for over 25 years and Chef Matt for over 15. We pride ourselves on creating unique food unlike the others and delivering the whole package unlike anyone else. We utilize local growers, we brine, pickle, butcher, grow, ferment and smoke in-house. We require no equipment from our clients. We have two mobile food trucks fully outfitted with the equipment needed to handle just about any event. We have a custom-made tow behind wood-fired grill for bbq and roasts of all kinds, mobile lobster/clam/crab bakes, and a small army of professionals to make it happen.
What are the steps to booking Portsmouth Catering Co. for our wedding?
We keep it simple.
1. You send an inquiry via our website or call.
Our Chef/Owner will reach back out to you, invite you to one of our restaurants in the seacoast area to meet. Have some lunch on us and chat about food you love, food you hate, theme of the party, time of year for local growers, budgets, etc.
2. We then send you a custom made menu based on our talks with pricing.
3. You tweak the menu if you want, and if you like everything you have heard and ate, you put down $1500.00 deposit and your booked in stone!
4. From there, you can follow up with questions until we are able to do a site visit of the venue (Unless we know it already). Talk about logistics, talk to your planner and discuss timelines.
5. If you are unsure of certain menu items we can set up a tasting to finalize the menu.
6. From the time of deposit until two weeks before your event you can pay how ever you want. The final count and final payment are due two weeks prior to the event. That’s it!
Is the caterer licensed/Insured?
We are a licensed restaurant/catering facility with the states of New Hampshire and Maine. We own and operate two restaurants in both states and a catering facility in Hampton NH. We can also travel anywhere.
We carry a $3,000,000.00 liability insurance, three times the average coverage for normal catering operations and venues. We will provide your venue with “Additionally Insured” coverage. This is liability insurance that covers the catering staff, food. This is not to be confused with general liability for you, your guests or the like.
We have never asked a client to provide a testimonial for us. All the online reviews were done solely out of the kindness of our clients hearts. We are however, going to start asking our clients in 2016 to post reviews for us from now on due to the nature of social media and web inquiries. Our reviews can be found simply by Google search. Wedding Wire, Yelp, TripAdvisor, The Knot are of a few sources for reviews.
Is the Caterer working with other events on the same day?
For the right sized event, or for an added cost, we will do one event on that day. If it is a large event over 200 guests we will not book another event that day. We do have over 60 employees, two full service food trucks and enough mobile equipment to set up shop at five events on the same day, but we always make sure we can handle what we do. The last thing we want is to be short on employees or equipment!
Does the caterer specialize in certain types of food, such as organic, locally sourced, ethnic or gluten-free?
Dietary restrictions, allergies and specific palette preferences are welcome. We do not provide pre-fabricated menus, we custom create each menu based around each client.
At our facility in Hampton, we have a greenhouse and gardens, many of our friends are local farmers and providers of quality meats. We also work with local produce vendors that shop locally. Maine Family Farms provides quality local meats and is our main provider for protiens.
We have been coined as, “Eclectic New England” but we are not just that. Essentially you could hire us to do your rehearsal, reception and post-wedding brunch and you would feel like three caterers came. From NY style street food from our food truck, to authentic (seaweed and wood fire) clam bakes and bbq’s from our custom wood fired grill, to elegant sit down, multi coursed dinners with no boundaries. We pride ourselves in being able to do it all.
What is the average price-range for a full service catered meal?
A bit of a loaded question as all events differ. Date of the event, food and service needs dictate the costs of the event. But our mid range food price per event is roughly $48 per person. After the food, we charge one price for labor. This is the cooks prior to your event, the cooks on site, the front of the house manager and the servers on site as well as the clean-up crew after the event. This average charge for a 150 person event would be in the area of $2000.00
After that we charge Tax and Gratuity. No cake cutting fee, no corkage fee, management fee etc. We keep it simple and do not mislead any of our clients with hidden charges.
Will the caterer make special meals for children and other wedding pros, and what does the caterer charge for each?
For our little guests under 4 there is no charge unless a special meal is being prepared. From 5 to 12 the general cost for kids meal is $8. Unless a special meal is requested. Typically Mac & Cheese Bites, Breaded Chicken Fingers and fruit or veggies is the menu choice.
Other vendors at the event eat at half the price of the regular guests.
What will the caterer and their staff wear?
We have a few different things we can wear. Our go-to uniform is a blue and white plaid button down shirt, form-fitting dark blue jeans and a black bistro apron. We do have black on black and white on black semi-formal for events that dictate that.
Do we need a wedding planner?
YES!! A popular misconception is that caterers do it all. This is not true. This is coming from a Chef, so apologies to my planner friends if I am not doing justice to your role.
A full event planner will do absolutely everything for you from hiring trusted vendors, to negotiating costs, to design and more.
‘Day of’ Planners (which vary from planner to planner) more or less will assist you with rentals, flowers, go with you to the tastings, set out place cards, place menus, arrange the special tables with guest books and props, secure them after the event and get them back to you. They will contact your other vendors for information, create your timelines, guide you through aspects of the events unrelated to food and beverage, they will assist in the decor of the event Good professional planners will already know all the pros in the industry who match your theme and have a list of them ready to hand you. They will also be there day of to conduct the orchestra and keep vendors like us in line and on time! Cousins, friends and anyone not doing this as an actual profession are not to be considered. This can cause more problems. This is not an easy job. Our front of house manager is in charge of the front of house staff and food only and will work with your planner.
Does the caterer provide Bar services?
We do provide bar services. We also farm out our bar services often to a company in Concord, NH called Deluxe Bar Tending. We have a couple other vendors for this. We allow the client to provide their own alcohol as well. With certain guidelines according to state laws. We have beverage decanters and a two tap kegorater for rent.
How do delivery, setup and breakdown work and are there additional fees?
We have a lot of equipment. We do not require the clients to rent anything for us beyond what we already have, unless you want something specific.
We have cook tents, electricity, water, cooking equipment. This is all included in the price of your event.
What we do charge for is what we call, “Set-Up” and “Break-Down”. Set-up is when we arrive, if the tables and chairs are in a big pile and they need to be unfolded and arranged. We have to get there early and there would be a small charge based on what has to be done added. Same with break down. Most rental companies will set up the tables and chairs according to your needs.
Garbage removal is additional. We will secure trash into bags, tie them and get them to a designated area as part of our service but removal from the property has to be pre-arranged.
When does the caterer arrive on site and how long is service?
In a typical setting with no special needs, we arrive an hour to an hour and a half before the guests start to arrive. In this time frame, we set up the equipment, set tables and get ready. Typical service time for the caterer is five hours starting from the start of cocktail hour. This is usually plenty of time from the cocktail party, through passed apps, into dinner, to coffee and dessert. From there we clear, clean up, take care of rentals and return the tables to table cloth, bag garbages and go. We can provide a person or two to stay past this time, but this must be pre-arranged. Keep this in mind as it is no fun to wake up in the morning to a mess, or clean up after the event! Especially if your event is being held at a private residence you will need some help beyond the five hour mark.
Does the caterer decorate the food tables?
If the event style is buffet or stations, we typically do not decorate the tables other than leafed branches around the equipment and signage. For the stationary table, we provide a few options. Antique butcher block and broken marble with antique crates for different levels is our usual go-to. If your style is more modern we have other things in our arsenal for matching decor, otherwise your planner is welcome to provide us with props to utilize.
As always here at PCC, we are available to answer your questions. Our goal is exceptional food, impeccable service and providing you with a unique product. We look forward to working for you.