Frequently Asked Questions
If you have additional questions please feel free to call (703) 618-8003 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are usually available by phone Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and in person by appointment. We are frequently on the phone or in the kitchen, so please make use of the voice mail if you don't reach us and we will call you back. We try our best to get back to our customers within the business day; if your call comes in later in the afternoon, we will return it the following day.
Can I get your food even though I'm not having a catered event?
You bet! Check out our Drop-Off Catering option. This option allows you to order some of our most popular fare right from our website.
Where Are You Located and What is Your Service Area?
We are located in Arlington, Virginia and regularly provide catering to the all of the Northern Virginia/Washington DC metro area. While we have no service area boundaries, some distances may require additional fees.
What Type of Services Does Bootheel Offer?
Please check the links below for detail on our catering options.
What Information Should I Have Before Contacting You?
Pick a date and have an idea of the type of event you want and the number of people you would like to host. It's also very important to have an estimate of what you would like to spend per person.
How Early Should I Contact You Prior to My Event?
We sometimes find ourselves booked several months in advance, so we ask that you call us as soon as possible to ensure we are available on your date. Following are some general guidelines for booking events with Bootheel.
- In the case of a Full Service Event we prefer at least one month notice but can often accommodate you with less notice.
- November through the middle of January are very busy, please contact us earlier than normal for catering during this time.
- For Drop-Off Catering we request three days notice but can sometimes work with less notice.
- Due to the nature of our Specialty Catering option we ask for a minimum of three weeks notice however if you need something sooner, please call us at 703-618-8003 to discuss your needs and timeline.
- In the case of an unanticipated event, such as a memorial, we try our best to respond quickly.
- We can sometimes accommodate last minute orders as well so please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Do We Have to Meet in Person to Make My Catering Arrangements?
We always welcome the opportunity for a personal meeting but most of the arrangements can be made on the phone or via e-mail. However for a full service event it is helpful for us to view the event location so we understand what we’re working with.
My Sister and Neighbors are Making Their Specialties for Our Party, and We Really Only Need a Few Items. Can You Help?
Yes. Our Drop-Off Catering service is perfect for this situation. However for an event where we have staff on site our preference (and that of our insurance company) is to provide all the food that is being served to your guests. There are several reasons for this but primarily it’s a concern over food safety. Please discuss this with us prior to your event.
Will the Food Be Hot?
This is an issue of food safety. We deliver all items at the appropriate temperature...hot items will be delivered hot and cold items will be delivered cold and anything that needs to be warmed will come with instructions.
Do You Have Disposables or Rental Equipment Available?
Yes. We offer a complete line of disposables including chafing dishes, platters, silverware, napkins, serving pieces, etc. These items are in addition to your food order. Please contact us for the cost of these items.
Bootheel also has a full line of items for rent. There is a fee to cover the cost of delivery and pick up of the rentals.
Are You Insured?
Yes. We are insured with a US insurer with an A.M. Best Rating of A+. We will provide a certificate of insurance to any facility. Requests must be made at least 10 days before your event. This will give the insurance company the time necessary to produce the certificate to the facility. Any vendor who requests to be added as named "insured" for a particular event will be charged a fee.
What Can I Expect for Food Costs?
Per person costs for main courses often go down as the guest count goes up, since we can be more efficient in preparing larger quantities. However there are some dishes — lobster, caviar, truffles, and some hors d'oeuvres, which require more intricate preparation, and realize fewer cost efficiencies. We will work with you to find the combination and quantity of foods that will work within your budget and that will delight your guests.
What About the Cost of Beverages?
Caterers are required to steeply mark up alcohol in order to cover extra insurance. A less expensive option is to provide your own, and let us serve it for you under our general liability insurance coverage.
What Can I Expect for Cost of Service Personnel?
Critical to the perfect party is well-trained, efficient service. If you're trying to estimate the quantity of service people you will need, consider these questions:
- What type of event are you hosting (casual affair or more formal, seated dinner or buffet?)
- Does food preparation require a chef?
- Will you need servers and/or bartenders and how many?
- How extensive is your set-up (formal dining tables or a buffet)?
- What are the logistics of the venue (will tables need to be carried up stairs)?
Based on our experience, we will recommend the minimum number of servers to ensure that your party runs smoothly. Our employees are well-trained and are paid commensurately, but we do not realize any profit on servers.
Please note that gratuity is not included in your bill; tipping is at your discretion but appreciated.
Miscellaneous Costs to Consider
When planning an event, there are a few small expenses that are often overlooked. Keep these items in mind as you establish your budget.
- Rentals are an additional expense.
- We allow thirty minutes travel time each direction. Any additional time will be charged as overtime.
- We must charge tax on all food & beverage.
Staffing (Servers, Chefs, Bartenders, etc.)
Do You Have Professional Staff Available?
Yes. Our staff is trained to set tables and buffets. They will set up, service, and maintain all food and beverage table service areas throughout the event. At the end of the event, we provide total breakdown and cleanup to the client's specifications.
Are There a Minimum Number of Hours That We Must Contract the Staff?
For a full service event we have a 4-hour minimum for all staff.
(This does not apply to delivery & set up service)
When Will Your Staff Arrive at Our Event?
Staff typically arrive 1 - 2 hours prior to the start of your event to set up and prep.
Are There Additional Staff Costs Beyond What is Shown in the Catering Agreement?
Only if your event does not end on time and you require our services for longer than expected.
Do You Charge a Cake Cutting Fee?
We do not. Our staff will be happy to cut the cake at no additional charge.
Do Your People Set Up Tables with Center Pieces?
Yes, we do set up the tables completely and there is no extra charge for that service. Our staff comes in early to help set up the entire room from start to finish so that you can enjoy the event.
Booking, Deposit & Payment
Do You Allow Corporate Accounts?
Yes. Corporate accounts are available by completing a credit application.
How Do I Book an Event with Bootheel?
Complete the “Request for Proposal” form on this website. This will give us much of the information needed to work on your event.
Do I Need to Sign a Contract?
Yes. It is important for our clients to understand our terms and conditions. Please feel free to ask any questions prior to signing our agreement.
What Forms of Payment do You Accept?
We accept payment in the form of cash, personal check, corporate check, and US issued Visa, MasterCard, American Express & Discover. A fee of $35 will be charged for all returned checks.
Date Reservation Fee
A $500 date reservation fee will be necessary to reserve our services. This will be credited to the final invoice at the conclusion of the event.
A signed contract and a deposit of 75% of the billing estimate is due, in advance, to confirm these arrangements. The balance, to be invoiced is payable on receipt.
When is the Final Guest Count Due?
The guaranteed number of guests is due seven business days prior to the date of your event. If a guarantee is not submitted, the guest count on the contract estimate stands as the guarantee. Charges will be made accordingly
All order revisions must be in writing from the person signed below. Any changes requested with less than (10) days notice may incur additional charges.
Refunds on cancellations are handled as follows
Notice over 30 days prior to event: full refund of deposit
Notice 10 to 29 days prior to event: 50% refund of deposit
Notice less than 10 days prior to event: no refund of deposit including events cancelled due to inclement weather.
Rescheduling & Relocating
If we need to reschedule or relocate your event with less than (10) days notice you may incur additional charges.