BOOKING EVENTS/ORDERS: In order to create a customized estimate, we will need to know, at minimum, the date and timing of your event, the catering package desired (BUFFETS at SMOKIN’ WITH CHRIS; PICK-UP; DELIVERY; DELIVERY & SET-UP; DELIVERY, SET-UP & SERVE; our PITMASTER special), and the highest estimated headcount. Our catering team will work with you—to whatever extent you desire—to design a menu best suited for you and your guests. Once you’re happy with your estimate as is, you will need to provide us with written approval or a signed copy. At that point, we will send you over your invoice, and you will be able to make a deposit and reserve the date.

DEPOSIT/PAYMENTS: All orders under $1,000 require a $200 minimum deposit to book the date and ensure coverage of staff, equipment, and food costs (for orders $200 or under, full payment is required to confirm your order on our calendar). For orders over $1,000, a deposit of 25% of the total bill is required. For events booking more than a year out, $200 is required to initially book the event and the remainder of the 25% is due a year out. All deposits are nonrefundable. The remaining balance is due 10 days prior to the event. Payment in full must be received before Smokin’ with Chris can service your event.

• ONLINE PAYMENT: When you open your invoice, there is a button at the bottom of it that will link you to a secured site where you can pay online by credit card or bank transfer. This site will automatically fill in the full amount due, but you can edit that amount. The button on your invoice will continue to work for subsequent payments. Once you click through to the site, it will show your remaining total.

• ON-SITE PAYMENT: If you plan to make payments at the restaurant, you will need to bring a copy of your invoice for reference for the restaurant staff who will take care of accepting your payment (we generally suggest bringing your invoice to the bartender). The catering manager is usually not onsite.

• CASH PAYMENT: A 5% discount is available if you pay your entire invoice in cash. To receive this discount, please let the catering manager know ahead of time so that they can adjust your invoice.

• GRATUITY: If you’d like to tip your delivery or catering staff by credit card, you can add gratuity to your online payment manually (the secured site will give you that option) or the catering manager can add it as a line item to your invoice ahead of time. Cash and checks are gratefully accepted the day of your event.

MAKING CHANGES TO HEADCOUNT: Estimates and invoices will be made according to the highest possible headcount. Changes to account for lowered headcount can be made up to 14 days prior to the event. Once we receive the final headcount, we will adjust quantities to reflect it and send out an updated invoice, if needed. Any changes to headcount will need to be made by the person who approved the estimate. If we do not hear from you by 14 days out, we will assume that headcount remains the same, and your invoice will be finalized as is. In the rare scenario that attendance ends up being more than 10% of your finalized number, we will make every effort to accommodate your group; however, we cannot make guarantees.

MAKING CHANGES TO MENU: After approving your estimate, you may make changes to your menu (in terms of items or quantity) up to 14 days prior to the event. Ideally, only changes to account for lowered headcount should be made after you have approved the estimate; however, we understand that unexpected changes can arise during the planning of an event. Any changes to the menu will need to be made by the person who approved the estimate. Smokin’ with Chris reserves the right to make menu and/or price changes up to 14 days out from the event in the case of significant changes in market price or availability of a product. In the case of increased cost or changed availability, you will be notified as soon as possible.

CANCELLATIONS: Any cancellation received more than 14 days out from the event can have their nonrefundable deposit converted into a catering credit or a restaurant gift card (to be picked up in person). Any cancellation received after full payment was due and more than 5 days before the event can have up to 50% of the total converted into a catering credit or a restaurant gift card (to be picked up in person). Cancellations received less than 5 days before the event will not be refunded in any way.

•SEVERE WEATHER POLICY: Severe weather is defined as CT State Closing, Interstate Road Closings, or Acts of God (tornado, earthquake). Any cancellation received within 36 hours of an event due to severe weather will result in a charge of 30% of the bill unless the event is rescheduled in a timely manner. Any cancellation received with more than 48 hours’ notice due to severe weather will be canceled with no charge, and the deposit will be converted into a catering credit or a restaurant gift card.

KEEPING FOOD HOT: If you have a time delay between when your order is being picked up or delivered and when it is being served (or when everyone is going to be able to eat), there are a few different options available for keeping your food at temperature (in addition to keeping food warm in ovens at a low temperature at your event’s location): 

• CHAFING DISH SETS: Chafing dish sets hold 1 tray or 2 half trays and use sterno to keep food hot for up to two hours. Ice can be added to the trays for cold items. Chafing dishes can be added to any order (see menu for pricing). For DELIVERY, SET-UP & SERVE and PITMASTER catering packages, our staff will take care of setting them up.

• DISPOSABLE HOT BOXES: Disposable hot boxes hold 1 tray or 2 half trays and keep food hot for up to two hours. They can be added to any order (see menu for pricing). These are a particularly good way to keep food at temperature for longer car rides or short delays in venues without ovens.

• HOT BOX RENTALS: These rentals fit five trays a piece and are rated to keep food at temperature for up to four hours. The rental fee is $25/box. A credit card on file is required. All boxes must be returned by the day noted on your invoice (generally within three business days). If they are not returned, you will be charged up to $150 (as a replacement fee).

PLACE SETTINGS & TO-GO BOXES: Place settings and to-go boxes can be added to your order (see the menu for pricing). If you add place settings (plate, silverware & napkin) to your order (for entrees or appetizers), we default to our basic disposable entrée plates and silverware. We do offer faux china plates and faux silver utensils as well (see the menu for pricing). The PITMASTER package includes the basic place setting for entrees at no additional cost. For events that we are staffing, we will need to know what your plan is for place settings (ideally before finalizing your estimate but at latest by 14 days out). You are welcome to purchase them through us, to provide your own disposable plates, to use non-disposable plates provided by you or your venue, or to use china you’ve rented from a company. If you rent china, we will need you to provide us with a copy of the contract, and we will likely need to add add’l time and/or add’l staff to the catering package to accommodate any required clean-up and/or stacking. 

NOTES FOR ON-SITE EVENTS: Buffets will be set-up and ready for the start of your reservation (unless you request otherwise). Our wait staff will take drink orders as your guests arrive. If you are bringing dessert or have other timing issues we should be aware of, please let our catering staff know when you place your order so that we can put together a customized timeline for your event.

NOTES FOR PICK-UP ORDERS: All pick-up orders include a 15-minute window. We advise that you bring a towel to put underneath the trays. The trays are very hot, and this will help you when you have to take them out of your car. It also protects from unexpected spills. For easy access, we suggest parking on the street next to the bar entrance or near the bar entrance in the parking lot. Please let the bartender or other wait staff know when you arrive.

NOTES FOR OFF-SITE CATERING PACKAGES: Catering packages come with some time, staffing, and distance included. If your order exceeds those, the catering manager will modify your catering package as needed. These modifications will appear on your invoice as fees.

• TRAVEL FEE: All off-site catering packages include service within a 30-mile radius. If your event is outside that radius, a travel fee will be added that is customized for your event. 

• ADD’L TIME & ADD’L CATERING CREW: All service catering packages (DELIVERY, SET-UP & SERVE and PITMASTER) include 2 hours of service and 2 staff members. The catering manager will add add’l time and add’l staff to your catering package as needed based on your menu, your event’s timing (including if there is a cocktail hour), and your event’s headcount. These additional charges will appear on your estimate/invoice as “Add’l Catering Crew” and “Add’l Time,” and the catering manager will review them with you as needed. If your event goes over the time included on your invoice, we will send you an updated invoice after your event.

• TEMPORARY FOOD SERVICE PERMIT/LICENSE: This is a pass-through cost if required by the local health department or venue. Whether or not there is a cost and what it is will be determined within a month or so of your event. If you have already paid your bill in full and there ends up being an additional cost, the catering manager will send you an updated invoice.

• SERVICE CHARGE:  All staffed catering packages (DELIVERY, SET-UP & SERVE and PITMASTER) include our service charge (18% of total invoiced price). Gratuity can be added on top of this but is not expected.

• BUFFET TABLES & TABLE COVERINGS: For events that we are staying onsite to staff, we are happy to use tables provided by you or your venue for the buffet (and appetizers, if applicable), or we are happy to provide our own. For any event we are setting up or staffing, we are also happy to cover the buffet tables with brown kraft paper if desired. We will need to know your plan for buffet tables and table coverings by 14 days out.

• BEVERAGES/DESSERT: We are a food-only caterer and do not offer water refilling, other dinner-beverage services, or an after-dinner coffee-and-tea service. We also do not provide dessert, cake cutting, or dessert serving. We will be on-site from set-up to the end of entrée serving (and do not stay through the end of the event or provide clean-up of the venue outside of the buffet area). For beverage, dessert, or additional clean-up services, we suggest checking in with your other vendors, including your venue and your bartender.

• SMOKER REQUIREMENTS (PITMASTER PACKAGE): Our smoker trailer requires access to a 110-watt outlet and an extension cord that will reach from the outlet to our trailer. We can provide our own extension cord if we are given the length needed ahead of time (please let us know by 14 days out, when final changes are made). If power is not available, we can use our generator (but it is worth knowing that it isn’t silent). Our trailer is about 25′ plus the length of the truck that pulls it.

Last Updated: November 3, 2022

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