FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

about Catering Service in Vancouver

A well-catered party seems to run flawlessly. Drinks flow, food is served and cleared away, and there never seems to be any stress or mess! Catering a smooth-running event requires a great deal of planning and organization. In order to pull off a fabulous catered event we need to ask a lot of questions so we can determine the perfect menu and amount of menu items, as well as the type of event and service you envision. On the flip side, we understand that you have questions too. To help you navigate through the event catering process, we have included some common questions and the answers below.

Questions about:

What to Expect ...

We request your final guest count be submitted 72 hours prior to your catered event. From there we will do our best to accommodate increases but will no longer be able to honour a decrease in the guest count.

Check out our “Questions to Ask Your Vancouver Caterer” blog post

Louis Gervais Fine Foods & Catering hires only experienced catering service staff. They are efficient, friendly and professional. We trust them implicitly to attend to all catering details including setting up and decorating the venue, circulating canapés, preparing and serving the food, tending the bar, and cleaning and tiding up once the catered event is over.

For more information on the recommended number of catering service staff for a given event and charge out rate, visit our event staffing page.

For most delivery orders we appreciate 48 hour notice. For larger, more complex events requiring catering service staff and rentals we request one week notice with 1 month being our preference.  Please do not hesitate to call sooner though, we are happy to prepare proposals for events as far off as one year or more. The sooner you contact us, the easier it will be for us to guarantee food, rental, and staff availability.

The first step is the initial consultation with one of our event catering specialists. This is your chance to express your vision and discuss the various catering service and menu options. Some key information to have before you call includes: the date and approximate timeline for your catered event, number of guests expected and where the event will take place. We will also want to know what your favourite foods are, if you or your guests have any dietary restrictions and the type of event and catering service you envision. Lastly, we will need to know where you are comfortable budget wise. The more information you provide the better able we will be to create the perfect proposal for catering your event.

With your vision in mind, Chef Louis will create a custom catering menu. The proposal will also include a detailed quote for all the components we discussed during the consultation including the catering service options. After sending you the proposal we will contact you again to review the details and answer any questions. While we endeavor to get it right the first time out, we welcome any feedback and expect to make revisions to meet your expectations for food, service and budget.

Wedding Catering

When you are thrilled with your experience and convinced that Louis Gervais Fine Foods is the perfect Vancouver wedding caterer for your event, we will reserve your wedding date in our calendar. At this point, we will ask for a catering deposit of 25% of the total quoted in your catering proposal. We will continue to be in touch via emails and phone calls as your planning progresses so we can answer any questions and provide guidance along the way. One month before your wedding, we will schedule a meeting to go over all the catering service details for the big day and ask for a second deposit of 50% of the total quoted.

Download our Wedding Catering Checklist.

When you feel we have perfected the menu for your wedding catering, the next step is to schedule a tasting in our Bistro and studio kitchen. The purpose of the tasting is to show you how the menu items will be presented and garnished and give you an opportunity to provide feedback and request any changes. The tasting can be for 2 – 6 people. If you have already confirmed your wedding catering with us there is no charge for the tasting. For couples still trying to decide we charge $50.00 per person for the tasting. Up to $200.00 (four tasting charges) is then deducted from your deposit when you confirm your wedding catering with us.

Our Catering Sales and Events Specialists are happy to help. We have a list of preferred Vancouver catering service vendors including Vancouver venues, florists, musicians and DJs, photographers, and wedding cake specialists that we are pleased to recommend and will happily coordinate all vendors and timelines. Our rate for catering event planning is $50.00/hour. Need even more help? We would be happy to recommend a number of fantastic Vancouver Wedding Coordinators who can make planning your wedding effortless and luxurious.

Selecting a Vancouver Venue

Yes!  our Catering Sales & Events Specialists have scoured the city to find all the very best event venues in Vancouver available and would be pleased to assist you with recommendations and insight.

Rental Coordination

Catered parties and events require a lot of essential materials to be successful and most clients prefer to rent these items and avoid the inconvenience and mess of using their own. For all staffed catered events we are pleased to take care of ordering and organizing any rentals you need including: table wares, glasses, bar equipment and supplies, tables and chairs, table linens, tenting, even a full kitchen if required.

Following a consultation we will provide you with a quote and arrange for delivery to your Vancouver venue or home. The rental list may go through several revisions as plans and guest counts are confirmed. At the catered event, our staff will do an inventory to ensure all the items have been delivered, and set-up the venue prior to your guest’s arrival. When the event is over, they will pack everything back up and prepare it for pick-up the next day.

Our fee is 10% of the total rental cost.

In order to guarantee our high catering standard for service and event execution, if you choose to coordinate your own rentals for a staffed catered event, we charge a consultation fee to look over and consult on your rental order.

Our Bistro

Located in North Vancouver, the Louis Gervais Fine Foods & Catering Bistro is licensed and offers red and white wine and a selection of bottled beer.

Sign up for our Weekly Specials Email and we will send our feature menu straight to your inbox every Monday morning by 9:30am. The weekly specials are also posted on our Facebook fan page.

We are happy to receive phone in orders before 11:30am. Call 604 904 7720. We do not accept telephone orders during our peak lunch time of 11:30am-1:30pm as we are busy helping other customers. Nor do we accept lunch orders by email.

Items from our Catering menus or Corporate Lunch Delivery Menu must be ordered through one of our Sales and Events Specialists. However, we will happily sit down with you in our Bistro to discuss any and all of your catering needs over a latte. Best to call ahead and make an appointment to ensure one of our catering specialists are available when you drop by.

Louis Gervais Fine Foods & Catering is pleased to accept VISA, Mastercard, debit, cash and Louis Gervais Fine Foods gift cards.

The Louis Gervais Fine Foods & Catering Bistro hours are:

Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED
Statutory Holidays: CLOSED
*we are closed Christmas Eve thru New Year’s Day for Christmas holidays.

Our catering office hours are 9am to 5pm Monday – Friday.

Our Bistro is located at 107-850 Harbourside Drive in North Vancouver (just south of the North Shore Auto Mall).

Office Lunch Catering

Call our catering service team at 604-904-7720 or send us an email to bistro@louisgervais.com and we will contact you shortly to complete your corporate delivery order.

Yes, we offer both. Our Corporate Lunch Delivery Menu offers many choices of breakfast and lunch catering for vegetarians from grilled vegetable baguette sandwiches to gourmet salads and hot vegetarian entrees. Our menu also includes healthy options such as gluten free range egg frittata, yogurt and muesli, gourmet salads, plus any of our artisan sandwiches can be prepared without mayo and served in heart smart wraps or gluten-free bread instead of baguette.

Our minimum order for any given menu item is 8 servings and delivery requires a minimum order of $100. We would be happy to prepare your lunch order and have it ready for you to pick up at our Bistro.

Our minimum order for catering delivery is $100. We offer free delivery on Vancouver’s North Shore between the bridges. For delivery outside the bridges and beyond Vancouver’s North Shore, or if you require a complex or involved set-up, please ask for a quote when placing your order.

We deliver to all areas in Greater Vancouver. Minimum orders and delivery charges will vary depending on your location. Please as for a quote when placing your corporate delivery order.

If possible we appreciate 48 hour notice for any hot entree catering orders and ask that all other catering delivery orders be received before noon the day prior. We will do our best to accommodate same day office delivery orders but menu items may be subject to availability.

Absolutely. We offer a full Corporate Lunch Delivery Menu designed to inspire your team and impress prospective clients. Our Vancouver catering delivery menus include: breakfast options, market fresh baguette sandwiches and salads, delicious hot entrees and canapés that will delight all at your next team meeting or casual reception.

Corporate Event Catering

As a full service Vancouver corporate caterer, we have catered hundreds of corporate events throughout the Greater
Vancouver area including:

Our corporate cooking classes are ideal for celebrating company milestones and for corporate team building exercises. These hugely successful classes provide an interactive, memorable corporate event designed to unify your team and encourage creative thinking, communication and leadership skills in a dynamic and fun environment. At Louis Gervais Fine Foods & Catering we have developed a range of corporate culinary classes designed as team building exercises for corporate groups.

Chef Louis has decades of experience creating elaborate menus and executing large-scale catered events. Previous catering clients in Vancouver have included: Seaspan International, Samsung, Raymond James Investments, Warner Brothers, Banana Republic, Collingwood Private School, Canadian Pacific Rail and many more. Our past client’s feedback and kind words can be found on our Testimonials page.

Cooking Classes

This depends on your menu, beverage consumption, and length of time you wish to join us for.
The cost for a 3 – 4 hour class for 10 to 16 guests is $1950.00 on Monday thru Thursday evenings, and $2500 Friday thru Sunday evenings. This includes one glass of wine or beer per guest.

Read more about our fun and interactive cooking classes.

Absolutely! You can even request special wines and beer to be served. We can offer your group a cash bar option, or invoice you based on consumption.

Yes. Make sure you bring your appetite. You get to enjoy everything you prepare in your cooking class!

Unfortunately we do not offer public classes where participants can register individually. Our classes can accommodate groups as small as six or as large as 16. If you have more guests, we recommend a demonstration class where volunteers from the group come up to assist the Chef prepare different dishes.

Our cooking classes are very hands on! You will be right in the kitchen preparing each dish. Be prepared to get your hands (and your apron) dirty!

As much entertainment as instruction, our private Vancouver cooking classes are for all cooking enthusiasts, from curious diners who rarely set foot in the kitchen to aspiring chefs seeking new recipes and techniques.

We offer two types of private cooking classes:

Corporate Team Building Classes
We offer two popular Cooking Class formats to help bring your team together in a dynamic and fun environment including: Iron Chef challenges and a more traditional three-course dinner class.

Culinary Parties
Perfect for celebrating birthdays and milestones or a unique alternative to the traditional dinner party or restaurant meal. We offer hands on, interactive classes as well as demonstration classes for larger groups.

Visit our Cooking Class page or contact one of our event planners at 604-904-7720 to find out more or to book your cooking
class today.

Catering Service Staff

Louis Gervais Fine Foods & Catering team has provided its services to groups up to 500 and is happy to work on events of all shapes and sizes. From corporate cocktail receptions to sit down formal dinners, galas and intimate dinner parties our team is excited to help you create a memorable catered event.

For more information on the recommended number of catering service staff for a given catered event and charge out rate visit our
event staffing page or contact on of our catering specialists.

Certainly, if you prefer to handle your own event details and service, most of our catering menu items can dropped off or picked-up at our studio kitchen in North Vancouver. Contact one of our catering event planners to find out which items are best suited for take-away.

Most definitely, we will gladly deliver to your home, office or Vancouver venue. Applicable delivery charges will apply according to distance traveled and keep in mind not all of our catering menu items are available for delivery. One of our event planners can help you compose an ideal menu with items that maintain freshness and require very little or no on-site assembly.

All gratuities for catering service are included in your quote and invoice from Louis Gervais Fine Foods and Catering. We charge 18% on food and beverage consumption which is then distributed to the catering service staff based on the hours they have worked.

Louis Gervais Fine Foods & Catering hires only experienced catering staff. They are efficient, friendly and professional. We trust them implicitly to attend to all catering details including setting up and decorating the venue, greeting your guests, circulating canapés, preparing and serving the food, tending the bar, and cleaning and tiding up the venue and rentals once the event is over.

The amount of catering service staff required depends on the complexity of event and the type of menu selected. Our event catering planners have a great deal of experience in the area and will be able to recommend the right amount of service staff for your catered event.

We send a minimum of one chef and one lead server to all catered events. For more elaborate catered events, or those with 100 or more guests, a Catering Supervisor will oversee the set-up and coordinate menu and bar service ensuring that the event stays on schedule and is executed perfectly. To determine the approximate total number of catering staff your will require for your event see the staffing standards chart on our Catering Staff page.

Absolutely, as a full service Vancouver catering company we have a large staff of professional, fully-trained servers, bartenders, chefs and cooks available for all manner of functions.

Catering Rentals & Equipment

You are welcome to coordinate your own event rentals. We do charge a $100.00 consultation fee to look over and consult on your rental order. This is to ensure that our staff will have everything they need to meet our high Vancouver catering service standard and guarantee your event is a huge success.

Absolutely, for all staffed catered events we prefer to take care of ordering and organizing any rentals you need including: table wares, glasses, bar equipment and supplies, tables and chairs, table linens, tenting, and even a full kitchen if required.

Catered parties and events require a lot of essential materials to be successful and with 15 years of experience catering events we know what we will require to execute a seamless catered event. Following a consultation, we will provide you with a quote and arrange for delivery to your Vancouver venue or home. The rental list may go through several revisions as plans and guest counts are confirmed. At the catered event, our staff will do an inventory to ensure all the items have been delivered, and setup the venue prior to your guest’s arrival. When the event is over, they will pack everything back up and prepare it for pick-up the next day. Our fee is 10% of the cost of the rentals.

Catering Menus

For cocktail reception menus, we recommend one canapé for every 1/4 hour of service for canapés being served before dinner.
For canapés being served in place of a meal, we recommend a minimum of 12 pieces per guest, going up to 18.
For more information about appropriate portion sizes check out our ‘How much food do I need for my event?’ blog post.

Absolutely we do. Depending on how hands-on or hands-off you wish to be at your event, our catering event planners can recommend menu items that are ideal for a take-away or delivery order.

Chef Louis blends European classics with flavours from around the world and the finest and freshest local ingredients. All fish and seafood used in our catering menus is Ocean Wise approved, the coffee we serve in our bistro is organic and fair trade certified, and we use local organic produce and products whenever possible.

At Louis Gervais Fine Foods & Catering, we take allergies and dietary restrictions very seriously and are happy to prepare custom catering menus to meet your needs. *Please note while every effort will be made, our kitchen is not nut free and items may have come into contact with nuts.

Catered Event Policies

We will not take responsibility, assume liability, nor issue any monetary refund or discount for any forces outside our control including but not limited to unforeseen weather, utility failure, equipment failure or any issues arising from other Vancouver vendors failing to deliver of their promises.

Your event quote is based on the number of guests specified. Should your guest list decrease significantly, the menu price, number of staff, or rental quantities may need to be adjusted. We require a final guest count five business days prior to the event. After that time, we will do our best to accommodate increases; however, we are not able to accommodate decreases in numbers.

We accept Cash, Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Cheques, and Interac E-Transfer payments or online payment. Cheques should be written to Louis Gervais Fine Foods and Catering. Final payment is due within 30 days of the event date. A 2% interest rate will be applied to any outstanding charges not paid within 30 days.

For corporate clients who order regularly, we can arrange to invoice on a weekly basis. Louis Gervais Fine Foods & Catering will expect payment within 15 days of receipt of the invoice.

 

In order to secure the date for your Vancouver event, we require a non-refundable deposit of 25% of the total quoted. Two weeks prior to the event we will require a second deposit of 50% of the total quoted – refundable up until seven days before the event. The remaining balance will be invoiced after the event. Should another client show interest in the same date prior to payment of the second deposit we reserve the right to move the due date of the second deposit forward.

 

There is a 18% gratuity charge applied to the food and beverage portion of your bill. If you choose to purchase your own liquor there is no corkage fee but the 18% gratuity will be applied to an estimate of the cost of beverages served. This gratuity is applicable only to catered functions and is divided up between all staff responsible for the success of your function.

 

We would be happy to look after arrangements for flowers, dècor and/or music. Our fee is a 30% service charge.

 

We can provide a cash bar for any catered event where liquor is being served. If we are providing the beverages, the cost per beverage will be increased to include tax and gratuity. We will provide the cash float, drink tickets, debit and credit card terminals and cashier(s). If the client wishes to provide their own alcohol, and manage their own cash bar, they must provide the float, drink tickets, etc.

 

We have a BC Catering Endorsement mobile Liquor License and can provide full bar service at your Vancouver venue, which includes purchasing, storing, chilling, and serving your alcoholic beverages. All liquor will be served by Serving it Right certified staff. If you choose to purchase your own liquor we can provide guidance on amounts to purchase and recommend suitable wines pairings. For events held in our Bistro we are required to supply and serve all alcoholic beverages as per the venue’s liquor license.

 

We can take care of ordering and organizing any catering rentals you require including: table wares, glasses, bar equipment and supplies, tables and chairs, linens, cooking equipment, etc. We use outside providers for this and our fee for coordination is 10% of the total cost when working with our partnered rental companies in North Vancouver and Vancouver.

In order to guarantee high quality service and event execution, we insist upon coordinating the food and beverage related rentals. However, if you choose to coordinate the remainder of the rentals (such as tables, chairs, linens, etc), we reserve the right to charge a consultation fee to review and revise your order as necessary. The fee is $100.00 and is charged if the total consultation time is in excess of one hour.

Site inspections are complimentary for clients with a minimum $5000 booking. If a client requires a site visit for an event in which the booking is less than $5000, a $50 per hour charge will be applied to their final invoice.

 

Budget & Catering Costs

This one is tricky. There are so many variables that go into determining the cost of a catered event that there are no hard and fast rules around pricing. The best place to start is to ask yourself what you are comfortable spending and then create your wish list of products and services. From there we can create a proposal that honours your budget while incorporating as many of your wish list items as possible.

With that said, we know that you want some numbers so here they are:

  • Buffet menus (based on 50 guests or more) start at approximately $32.00/person for a simple menu. Additional costs (approximately $50.00/guest) would be incurred if you need staff to set up and serve at the event and rentals.
  • Canapés in lieu of dinner menus (based on 50 guests or more) start at approximately $35.00 per guest. Additional costs (approximately $35.00/guest) would be incurred if you need staff and rentals.
  • Plated menu (based on 50 guests or more) start at approximately $37.00/person for a simple 3 course menu. Additional costs (approximately $60.00/guest) would be incurred if you need staff and rentals.

Keep in mind that the larger your catered party the lower the price per person.

Booking Policies

Clients wanting a quick, easy and delicious alternative to cooking themselves can take advantage of our take-away catering menus. Pick it up at our studio kitchen or have it delivered. Perfect for a casual reception at the office, a dinner party with friends, a few canapès and party platters to go with cocktails, or a warm and serve buffet dinner. Depending on how hands-on or hands-off you wish to be at your event, our event planners can recommend menu items that are ideal for a take-away or delivery orders.

For our corporate clients we offer a full range of delivery menus from French baguette sandwiches, soups and salads to cocktail and dinner options – ideal for meetings, conferences and special events.

The cost of delivery and pick-up of equipment and dishes after the event will depend on your location. Please ask for a quotation when placing your order. There is no delivery charge to catered functions with staff.

 

Louis Gervais Fine Foods & Catering hires only experienced staff. They are efficient, personable and professional. We trust them implicitly to attend to all catered event details including setting up and decorating, circulating canapès, preparing and serving the food, tending the bar, and cleaning and tiding up once the event is over.

All staffed events require a minimum of one onsite Catering Chef and one Lead Server. Staff are paid for a minimum of four hours plus an 18% gratuity of the food and beverage total. When client’s supply their own beverages and liquor the gratuity is based on the estimated beverages served. The amount of catering staff required for an event depends on guest count, the type of menu and service requested, and the time required for setup and teardown before and after the event. The Supervisor, Lead Servers and Chefs are also paid for travel to and from the venue. Depending on the location of your venue additional travel charges for all staff may apply.

The cost of service personnel varies depending on the skills required as follows:
Supervisors – $35.00 per hour per staff member
Lead Server or Lead Bartender– $30.00 per hour per staff member
Servers & Food service staff – $25.00 per hour per staff member
Bartenders – $28.00 per hour per staff member
Executive Chef – $50.00 per hour
On site chefs
 – $35.00 per hour per staff member
On site cooks – $30.00 per hour per staff member

Booking our Bistro for your Event

Our sunny patio can accommodate approximately 30 guests seated and 50 guests for a standing reception. It can also be tented to provide additional covered event space should it rain the day of your catered event.

Read more about this unique North Vancouver event space.

By night our modern bistro becomes a unique and flexible event venue on Vancouver’s North Shore. Ideal for private parties and corporate events, this stunning Vancouver event venue can seat up to 50 comfortably for dinner or 80 for a cocktail reception. Our garden patio accommodates a further 30 seats (weather permitting) and can be tented to provide additional covered event space.

We are happy to accommodate smaller groups of 12 people or less during regular bistro hours (8am – 4pm). If you have a larger group we may be able to  close the bistro to accommodate your event.  Contact one our Catering Sales and Events Specialists to reserve your table or book the bistro.

We are also pleased to provide our space for catered private events or corporate events outside of regular store hours. Contact one of our catering event planners at 604-904-7720 to discuss the details today.

Bar Service

Of course we will! Our catering event planners are well versed in the world of wine and would be happy to recommend any wines from our own wine list, or other varietals available in local liquor stores or specialty wine shops. For any specific questions you have that we are not able to answer, we have a number of reliable, trained resources that we can reach out to for further assistance.

If you decide to coordinate to purchase, storage and chilling of your own liquor requirements we would be happy to provide guidance on amounts to purchase and recommend suitable wines to go with your menu. You can apply for a Vancouver special occasion license online by visiting the BC Liquor Stores website.

As a fully approved and liquor licensed Vancouver catering company, we are pleased to provide full bar service and coordinate all your beverage and liquor requirements.

Once your catered event is confirmed, we will arrange for the purchase and storage of all the items required. Your beverages will be chilled and delivered to the venue on the day of the event and prepared and served by our professional bartenders.

Our fee is 30% of the total liquor cost with a minimum charge of $100.00.

For longer events, lasting more than three hours, on average you will need three drinks per guest. If you are planning to do a champagne toast, add one more drink per person to your budget. This is true for catered weddings, corporate events, or private parties.

If you are hosting a shorter cocktail reception or open house, you can generally expect people to have 1.5 drinks per person.

This is not however an exact science; our catered event planners also take into consideration the demographic of the guests and rely on the client to anticipate the social drinking habits of their friends and families. We always recommend having a little extra on hand to avoid running out of anything – unopened wine and beer can be returned by the purchaser and for beverages that we are providing, we charge based on consumption.