Catering FAQs

Our FAQs have been prepared for general guidance. We appreciate that every event is different, and requirements may vary. Please ask your Catering Manager should you have any questions at anytime. We know events, and are here to help ensure yours is a great success.

Do you provide staffing?

Party Food Melbourne’s staff are friendly professionals, trained in the latest food handling and bar tending (RSA) skills and come fully accredited.

Our philosophy is simple ~ hospitality staff are there to take the work out of hosting your event, so you will often find a caterer tidying up as he or she moves around the room, finding extra things to do behind the scenes to ensure a smoothly run service.

Do you deliver?

We deliver to businesses, homes & community centres around Melbourne & the Mornington Peninsula. Food is brought to you in food safe eskies. All food deliveries and D.I.Y. orders come with dipping sauces and napkins packed, ready to go. If you’d like that super-professional touch, talk to our friendly staff about providing serving platters, glassware & catering extras.

What do I need to provide?

Caterers bring a Heat and Serve Kit with them along with delivery of your food. Depending on your menu package, you may need to supply additional equipment, please check with your catering manager. If we are preparing food at your site, a food safe, well lit space will be required.

Bar tenders bring a waiter’s friend (bottle opener) and bar kit – wipes, bar mats, black bar trays, etc.

How do I know who is coming to my venue?

Your Event Manager will advise you prior to the party date of which caterer/s, bar tender/s or other staff will be attending. Caterers and beverage/bar tenders wear either a uniform with Party Food Melbourne apron or badge.

I have booked a catered function with staff. When will they arrive and how will the food be served?

Our staff will turn up at your event 30 minutes before the food is due to be served. They will then set up and begin serving food at the agreed time. Your food will be spread out over the course of the function, cooked fresh just before it is served so that it’s hot and delicious. Our professional staff will circulate around your guests with platters, sauces and napkins, explaining what each platter is and ensuring every guest gets to try each item.

Do you offer a clean-up service?

We do – but it’s included in our staff hire at no extra charge. Once the food has been served, our staff will clean up your kitchen and leave it spotless, taking any rubbish with them.

Do you have dietary options (like vegetarian) available?

Absolutely! We cater for vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, halal, kosher and more. Check out the complete range here. You can also see which items on our set menus are vegetarian by looking for the (v) after the description.

Do I have to pay for everything in one go?

No, a deposit will secure your booking. Final payment is required 14 days before your function date, once your guest numbers are finalised.

What about cutlery, crockery and other extras? Do you supply these?

Yes, we can . Talk to our team, as what you need may or may not already be included.

How late can I make changes?

So we can ensure your menu will be ready for your party, we ask for a final menu one week prior. We can usually tweak your order a little after that in the case of last minute guest number changes.

Can I swap items on the set menus?

Sure. We only charge you for what you order, so adjust the menu price accordingly. Your Event Manager is here to help, so can prepare a custom quote to suit your party, budget and guests’ palate.

As part of our comprehensive service for you, we use a proprietary software to ensure your guests will have enough food, but not too over the top. We hate food waste too! It can be hard to ‘guess’, especially as some of our menu items are quite substantial whilst others quite petite.

I want something different. Can I have a custom menu for my event?

Of course. Check our Menu Listings here for inspiration, or call our team for a quote.

Do you offer last minute catering?

We are specialists in last minute catering and can normally arrange most foods we offer for your function with just a few days notice. We always recommend booking staffing well ahead to avoid disappointment, then we can work through your menu and other aspects of your party plans.

Do your prices include GST?


What cooking facilities do I need at my venue?

It depends on your menu. For hot menus, an oven, sink and benches are usually required. We understand that this may not always be possible. If this is the case, you do need to discuss options with your consultant.

Will I have enough food?

Our servings are generous, finger food catering menus offer a ‘meal replacement’ for the number of guests indicated. Some factors that may influence your menu quantities:

  • a high male to female ratio
  • time of day – meal times vs in-between meals
  • duration of your party, sometimes influenced by venue, eg, a 2 hour function at a hall vs a ‘late-nighter’ at home without a ‘finish’ time
  • older (adult) guests tend to eat more than younger guests
  • alcohol-free functions can require a little less food than where alcohol is served
  • if your guests are very active or sporty, allow a bit extra. We cater many sports club functions where hearty appetites abound.

My function is between meals, so I don’t want as much food. What do you recommend?

We can help with a lesser quantity of your favourite menu, or often, reduce the items on your menu. Our High Tea menus are also very popular, with a delightful mix of sweet and savoury foods. Talk to our team about a menu that works to your times.

Can I cook the food myself, or do I need a caterer?

Let your consultant know if you need advice on self-preparation of your menu. We have great self-catering tips for getting your kitchen organised for a big cook-up, too.

How do I know my food will be as good as you say it is?

Simple – we guarantee it! If you are not 100% happy with your finger food, let us know and we’ll refund your money. It’s all part of our Perfect Catering Guarantee.

What extras do I need to bring?

Menus include sauces & napkins. When you book catering services, the caterer/s bring a Heat and Serve Kit with standard servingware & food preparation equipment. We can organise those catering extras like plates, fancy toothpicks,

I am planning ahead. Will your prices change?

Pricings quoted here on the website are as accurate as possible, and valid based on today’s food and staffing costs. Many clients plan well ahead. If your function is more than 3 months away, your Event Manager can provide an exact quote for the date of your party or event.

Is there a surcharge on some days?

Check with your consultant. Most fees for Saturday events do not attract a surcharge. Delivery fees are quoted per job, so ask your Event Manager. If your function falls on a Sunday, Public Holiday or other special calendar days like Cup eve or New Year’s Eve, surcharges may apply.

I am hiring a hall. What do I need to check?

We understand that every venue is different, however, there are a few essentials are key to a successfully planned event. If your preferred venue is a little different, knowing beforehand and planning ahead can make all the difference on the day.

Here is the shortlist:

  • know how the oven works, check there are shelves in the oven, and that the oven heats to 180/200 deg.
  • a standard domestic powerpoint in the kitchen is usually needed for the fryer and/or steamer
  • a sink is usually needed during as well as after service
  • access to the car park or loading bay – the caterer will have many boxes. We can organise a trolley for larger loads where stairs are not an issue.
  • Normally, the food preparation area is close to the guest service area. We do understand that this is not always possible. If this is the case, let your consultant know.
  • If there are any special parking, access or loading constraints the caterer/s will need to know about, or changes that may affect departure, please let your consultant know ahead of time.

Note, caterer/s will clean your kitchen back to its former glory before they leave.

My venue does not provide access to a kitchen. Can I still book your catering?

Check with your Event Manager. We can create a delicious catering menu that does not require heating, or organise any catering equipment & extras needed to prepare a hot menu safely.

What about specialty food requirements & allergies?

As large party specialists, we are asked regularly to cater for gluten free, vegan, religious & other considerations & special dietary requirements. Your consultant can offer a range of alternatives, you can also peruse our catering menu items listing here.

Where food allergies and the potential for cross-contamination may of concern, your Event Manager will discuss food handling practices with you. There are some practical limits to separation of foods. Your guests are also welcome to discuss any concerns with us.

In general

Caterers are there to make your occasion a great success. Please ask if there is anything else you would like them to do for you.

Do you accept credit cards or bank transfers?

For your convenience, we accept all major credit cards, cash and internet banking payments.

For your security, your bank or credit card account details are not stored by Party Food Melbourne. Your security and privacy is important to us. Stringent security procedures have been implemented to ensure that your personal information is protected.

What about my rubbish?

Check with your venue as to the rubbish and recycling access area. You will need to let the catering/bar staff know where it is so that they can keep your kitchen and guest area clean. If you have hired a hall or outdoor space, you may be responsible for rubbish removal.

Handy tip: when unpacking your bottles for a large party, don’t pack the boxes flat as they are ideal for the bar tender/s to repack the empty bottles in. In re-packed boxes, they are also easier to handle or store.