La Bonne Cuisine

La Bonne Cuisine Catering and Events is a full service wedding and corporate event catering company serving the San Francisco Bay area. 

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Everything you need to know about wedding catering!

Brought to you by La Bonne Cuisine Catering and Events, Oakland, CA

Wedding design by La Bonne Cuisine Catering and Events 

Wedding design by La Bonne Cuisine Catering and Events 

You are engaged-who hoo!  And now, to the wedding planning!  Planning a wedding can be really fun and exciting, but sometimes it can also be overwhelming and stressful.  There is one vendor that can actually make your wedding planning a better experience: the caterer.  For the uninitiated, a caterer is the vendor that provides the food.  But did you know that your caterer can do so much more? 

It is key that when you are researching catering companies you understand the scope of services they provide and what is included in their proposal and what is not included. 

Here are some things a caterer can do for you that you may not be aware of: 

-A caterer can help you find the perfect event venue.  Caterers that have been around for a while have extensive knowledge of venues in your area, and can suggest places to meet your budget, style and vision.  They can even accompany you on site visits to make sure you get all the important information. 

-Many caterers can also serve as your wedding planner, including day of wedding coordination. Since they are already doing your catering, they will get to know you really well, and many times they will offer this service at a lower price, since most of their revenue comes from catering. 

-The best caterers, like La Bonne Cuisine,  have developed relationships with other wedding vendors and can use those relationships to get you better pricing on items like flowers, photography and rentals.  

-A lot of caterers also offer design services, so they will be able to take care of the overall design of your wedding, taking care of things like flowers, linens and decor.  One of La Bonne Cuisine's owners is also our Head Designer, so your decor is equally as important as your food.  

-The best caterers can create a custom menu for you.  Most caterers will provide you with a standard wedding menu, but if you had something different in mind, don't be shy and tell them!  A good caterer will be able to create the menu with your input, so you get exactly what you want.  

So now that you know what a caterer can do for you, here's a few things you need to know before you start your search: 

1. Establish a catering budget, and be realistic.  It is important for the caterer to know from the beginning what your budget is to establish whether you are a good fit with their company.  Cost varies a lot depending on where your wedding is, so it may be a good idea to ask a few friends how much they spent so you can get a good idea of what the market is where you live.  Don't go by wedding planning websites, since many times don't have localized information.  Also, don't go by restaurant prices, since it's a completely different thing!  Remember that many times a caterer pretty much has to set up a restaurant just for the day just for you.

La Bonne Cuisine food 

La Bonne Cuisine food 

2.  Tastings. The idea of having multiple tastings to decide on a caterer sounds fun-however, it doesn't work like that.  Many caterers now charge for tastings, although some of them with refund the cost if you book them.  Some of them won't even do a tasting until you book them, and the tasting is more to get your feedback on the dishes for your wedding. 

3.  Preferred Vendor Lists.  A lot of wedding venues have Preferred Vendor Lists, and for a reason-the caterers on the list have been vetted and the venue feels good about their food and service.  However, if feel strongly about a caterer that is not on the list, many times the venue will be flexible, but it is best to negotiate this before you book the venue, since they may have an incentive to say yes to get the business.

Now you have some tools to get out there and enjoy the fun journey that is wedding planning.  Have fun!   

About La Bonne Cuisine Catering and Events:

 

La Bonne Cuisine is a full-service catering company that has served the San Francisco Bay area for over 20 years.  It was called the "Cirque Du Soleil of the catering world" by The Examiner.  It is a green operated, minority owned company.   

 

Can't Miss Fall Events to get fresh ideas

What best way to get some inspiration for your event or wedding than to attend other events!  And being in the Bay area, there's no shortage of ideas.  Even if you don't see a connection right away, have your camera ready, because inspiration may pop out of where you least expect it.  Whether you are looking for ideas for catering or your decor, these events promise to be a source of inspiration.  

EATDRINKSF , August 25-28

We are super excited to see the Bay area's best chefs all under one roof offering a tasting of their best dishes.  Not only can you taste their latest creations, but you can get ideas of what types of dishes can work for your event, as well as see what the latest trends in catering and dining are.  

Sunset Magazine Bay Area Idea House , August-September  

Tucked into the Oakland Hills, this house has been decorated to the nines by the Bay area's best interior designers.  Not only can you get ideas for your home, but you may also get some decoration inspiration for your next event. 

Le Diner a San Francisco, September 9th 

The venue is a secret; the tickets are a hot commodity, and it sounds like a magical event.  This event, which started in France, has become an international hit.  Especially, everyone wears white and brings and sets up their own table, as well as their own food. And being in San Francisco, you know that everyone's creativity will be in full display, whether it's the food, table design and flowers.  

West Coast Craft, November 12-13

Taking place in the Fort Mason Center, this event gathers in one place a large collection of craftspeople, makers and artists who display their latest creations.  

San Francisco Fall Antiques Show, October 27-30

Not only for antiques fan, this is another great event to see inspired design from the best.  They will have special events, exhibits and talks.  And obviously, tons of ideas to borrow for your next event!  

Are you ready to start a free food program for your employees?

You have read on the media about companies that provide food for it’s employees, and you are wondering whether that is something you should be doing.  After all, you want to stay competitive when attracting top talent, and let’s face it, unlimited food in the office is an attractive perk!  

According to a study by Peapod, companies that provide free food have happier employees compared with those who don't get to chow down on their employer's dime.  The effect is even larger with millennial employees, who overwhelmingly say that perks such as this one weigh heavily on their decision to take a job offer.  

So what is a progressive HR manager to do to keep employees happy while keeping mindful of the bottom line? 

Here are some steps you can take to see if a program like this would be a good fit for your company and employees: 

  1. Assess your current assets and facilities.  This will most likely dictate the extent of what you will be able to offer.  

-What kind of space do you have available?  Just enough for a vending-machine set-up or big enough for a catering kitchen?  

-Is management weary or excited about taking this step?  If you don’t have their full support, it doesn’t mean you have to scratch the idea all together; it just means you have to take baby steps towards your goal.  

-Budget, of course!

2. Test, test, test 

One great way to test the idea and tweak your plan is to hire a local caterer to provide a similar service to what you ultimately want to offer for a limited time.  Maybe you already have a relationship with a company that caters your events.  Event caterers are better for this versus your local sandwich place because they offer much more flexibility and expertise.  

Talk to them about your plan, and have them service your company for a specified amount of time.  During that time, you can switch out the type of service every couple of weeks, meal times, location and even serve different departments. This will allow you to see what works and what doesn’t.  It is extremely important to survey your employees at this stage.  

3. Analyze 

After the specified period of time you should have enough data collected to learn what worked, what didn’t, and whether the program had the positive results you wanted. 

4. Execute 

Depending on the scope of the project, this could be as simple as researching vending machine vendors to planning an entire cafeteria build-out.  Whatever you decide on, make sure that you keep asking employee feedback at every step. 

No matter what you decide, your caterer can provide a wealth of knowledge that they should be really happy to share with you.  A reputable caterer such as La Bonne Cuisine Catering and Events will have ample experience with sourcing, staffing, costing, kitchen and dining room design.  

Happy eating!  

About La Bonne Cuisine Catering and Events:  

La Bonne Cuisine is a catering company based in Oakland, CA that has served the Bay Area for over 20 years.  It is green-operated and minority-owned business known for it’s creativity.  It was called by The Examiner the “Cirque Du Soleil of the catering world”.  It is available for corporate and social events, as well as corporate on-premises catering.

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