• Tips for Picking up a Catering Order

    We wanted to provide some tips we’ve learned for setting up your order once you get the food to your venue:

    • Position the items in line from least popular to most popular. Usually, that means putting cold sides first, then warm sides, then ending with your meats.
    • Put your sauce out at the far end of the table.
    • If you are providing plates, consider the size of the plates. The larger the plate, the more food people will take. If portion control is important, go with a slightly smaller plate.
    • For pick-up orders, we do provide serving utensils.
    • If you have coleslaw, be sure to stir it well before serving.
    • If you are using chafing dishes and sternos, you can count on getting 4 hours of heat.
    • For packaging leftovers, we have found that gallon Ziploc bags work well.

  • Should I have Staff at my Catered Event?

    Our catered events are broken into three main segments: On-Site, Delivery, and Pickup. We will go through each and talk about the pros and cons.


    On-Site means you will have staff at the event for the duration of the meal.

    When you have Saddleback’s staff is on-site we are responsible for:

    • Setting the food
    • Serving the food – unless you would like the guest to serve themselves, this leads to faster lines
    • Answering all questions about the food
    • Replenishing pans of food
    • Cleaning our serving station
    • Packaging the leftovers

    So what are the downsides to having staff on-site? Saddleback, like most catering companies, charges for each hour of labor the event will need. So if the event requires 3 people to be on-site for 4 hours, we will have to charge 12 hours of labor.

    Typically, for any wedding we highly recommend having on-site staff. It’s not an absolute must, but it does alleviate all effort for the guests. We also recommend staff for any events that will need frequent replenishing of the pans of food — Each pan has about 15lbs of food, so if you are ordering many types of food with more than 15lbs of food it may be a good idea.

    Another option aside from having staff on-site for the duration of your event is to have the food delivered. When Saddleback delivers a catering event, we will set everything up for you. We light the sternos, place the food in the chafing dishes, and organize all of the food.


    As the name suggests, we will deliver the food, but we will also set your event up for success.

    When we deliver food to an event, we will:

    • Arrive at your desired location and unload all of the foo
    • Organize the placement in the most optimal order
    • Light the sternos and set up the chafing dishes
    • Provide disposable serving utensils

    Deliveries are our most popular type of catering. They take almost all of the work out of food at an event. We highly recommend these!


    Great for smaller events (80 people or less)

    Just let us know what time you would like to pick the food up, we will have it ready. The food will come packaged and ready to be served. We pack the food in large aluminum containers that fit perfectly in chafing dishes. We also have a post explaining best practices for pick up orders, you can find that here:

    *** Some things to keep in mind, our dates fill up quickly. If you need your event catered on-site we will need more time to plan the event. We can provide food for pick-up caterings on very short notice. If you’re in a pickle and need food quickly, we will direct you towards pick-up. ***

  • How to Keep Food Hot at a Catered Event

    When ordering food for an event the last thing you want is for the food to be cold when your guests eat it. Saddleback takes measures to ensure this never happens. Namely:

    • As soon as your food is ready to go out the door it enters a hot-box. These are incredibly insulated portable containers. They will keep the food at nearly the same temperature that they were cooked at for up to 4 hours.
    • Once the food is ready to be served, we highly recommend having chafing dishes and sternos. Chafing dishes and sternos can be purchased directly through Saddleback or from many retailers (GFS, Amazon, Walmart, etc). The sternos typically keep the food warm for 4 hours.
    • This means between the hotbox we bring the food in and the chafing dishes we can keep the food hot up to 8 hours after it has been cooked!

    *If your vendor does not allow the use of open flame on premise. Sterno offers a no flame product. Essentially, it’s a water activated packet that we put in the water pan under the food.*

  • How Much Food do I Need to Order for my Party?

    Contact us to begin planning your event:

    When hosting a party deciding how much food to order can be stressful. Operating two restaurants and catering thousands of weddings, graduation parties, and business events makes us fairly confident when it comes to estimating how much food a gathering will need. 

    We follow fairly simple rules of thumb: 

    For proteins: 1/3lb of meat per person 

    For sides: 1/2lb per person

    If you would like to have multiple sides, aim to have have 1/2lb/person total, not of each side (for example, 100 person event would need 30lbs of Mac & Cheese and 20lbs of Baked Beans. NOT 50lbs of Mac & Cheese AND 50 lbs of Baked Beans). 

    Keep in mind how popular an item is, we always know to have more Mac & Cheese than any other side because it's so popular. We typically like to have about 60-70% of the total amounts of sides to be the most popular item. 

    When estimating how much food to order having a good idea of how many children will be attending is always smart. If they are a younger child (ie. 13 or younger), we estimate they will eat half as much. 

    Saucewe plan on 1oz of sauce per person


    What it looks like when put all together! 

    Example order: 120 people attending, 20 of whom are children. 


    Pulled pork - 17lbs

    Brisket - 18lbs 


    Mac & Cheese - 25lbs

    Baked Beans - 18lbs

    Potato Salad -10lbs

    Sauce - 10 twelve oz. bottles 



    Plate Size - If you're terrified of running out of food, consider the size of the plate. The smaller the plate the less food people take, this helps ensure everyone will get at least one serving. 

    Order of the Items - Often times the most popular items will be taken in bulk, this means there's a chance not everyone gets to try the best items. To alleviate this, we have found that placing the most popular items last makes sure people load up on the other items first, meaning there isn't enough room on their plate to take copious amounts of the popular food. 


    Contact us to begin planning your event: