Caterers for Steam Whistle...Experiences?
I just booked Steam Whistle for a wedding in July 2010. I'm looking into hiring of the caterers off the preferred list. I'm wondering if anyone out there has experiences (good and/or bad) with these caterers:
Rose Reisman Catering
Daniel et Daniel
Daniel et Daniel catered our wedding in the Distillery (they are on the preferred list there) and many work events and they are REALLY great - we were so pleased with our wedding. They also made us a croquenbouche (sp?) as a wedding cake and it was so yummy and had lovely gum paste flowers on it that looked real.
Out of all the caterers the smallest operation is Beyond Catering, and in my opinion offers outstanding food. Suzi can come off as a bit harsh but is a lovely lady...she has my business.
Daniel et Daniel is notoroious for not ever getting back to you with a quote once a menu is discussed.
Jennifer at Eatertainment is very attentive, and will work with your budget.
Rose Reismans menus were blah and once the quote was sent, they never followed up.
I had a party there last summer. We used Eatertainment. I thought they were great. They really helped us through a lot. My only suggestion is that if you are getting the alcohol through Steam Whistle, or even if you are bringing it, they were awful. They stopped our guests from drinking after one or two drinks, closed the bar for an hour for no reason (later found out it was because they hadn't bought enough alcohol and so they knew they'd run out), had no idea how to make any "mixed" drinks, and gave people extremely weak drinks -- even though it was an open bar and we had no budget.
It would have been the caterer who instructed the bar to close, they don't make that decision and if you don't bring in your own booze your caterer would be doing it, the Steam Whistle only supplies the beer.
They are also not trained bar tenders, they have their smart serve designation but within the brewery they pour beer, so if you want them to make mixed drinks, you have to provide instructions. This is one of the many many things you will either need to do yourself of pay someone else to do at places like this.
They are responsible for making sure people drink responsibly and unforunately sometimes people take this to the extreme, I have not had this problem.
MissTeacher, great post! Sorry to see it didn't get too many replies originally. Any updates you can share? Steam Whistle is also on our list of potential venues and I'd love to get the skinny on these "preferred caterers".
Wow. Much action on this post today! I got quotes from Rose Reisman, Beyond Catering and Eatertainment. Daniel et Daniel was too pricey for us. The Rose Reisman rep was actually pretty helpful, but we weren't terribly impressed with the menu. Beyond Catering offered a great menu. But we eventually decided on Eatertainment because Jennifer was very organized, helpful, and able to work within our budget and still offer a decent menu. We were also the most comfortable with her. We will stock our own bar, and I appreciate that canadianbeaver has shared some of the potential issues with us. We intend on keeping the bar simple anyway, so hopefully there won't be too many problems!
I'm hoping for the best! So far, both Steam Whistle and Eatertainment have done well for us.
Daniel et Daniel is amazing - if you have any vegetarian guests they will certainly feel taken care of by these guys. I went to a work event catered by them and I was so blown away by the vegetarian food that I sent them a thank you note - the apps were innovative and spot on. They had take out chinese boxes with veggie chow mein, freshly grilled sandwiches on cranberry bread with brie and pear in them, pissaladiere, pear and chevre spring rolls with mango chutney (swoon!) and on and on....!!!
Hi, I am also having my wedding at steam whistle in Aug 2010. Any advice or suggestion you can make would be great! Did you pay for the front bar for a cocktail reception? Wondering if I can get them to throw it in. As for caters, we ended up going with Daniel et Daniel, the where very quick to get back to us and when we told them they where the highest quote the matched the second lowest quote. But will see when we choose the menu. Would like to here some advice from you and share some tips.
Daniel et Daniel
248 Carlton St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA
Hi! I was the reception coordinator for a Design reception at Steam whistle last year and because we were a low-budget organization we actually used Shopsy's as our caterer... obviously I don't recommend them for a wedding as they are pretty informal, however I have some tips on running an effective bar there. Make sure you make good friends with Dana, the event manager, and then find out who the bar manager will be on the night of the event. Make sure to talk directly to that person and outline your expectations. We were so pleased with how smoothly everything ran!
I just went through this for my wedding in October 2010 (not at Steamwhistle - great venue btw).
On that list, no contest - Daniel et Daniel. I dealt with Robin, I had no problem getting a quote and she was very good about negotiating. In the end I hired L-Eat Catering for my wedding, in part because they know my venue the best (the owner of L-Eat used to own the venue I am using). They also gave me a better price than Daniel et Daniel, but it was a close call. I have had food from both caterers and both are outstanding.
I have been to events catered by Daniel et Daniel a number of times, the food is as I said, outstanding, but you will pay top dollar for it. On the other hand you can demand and expect things to be perfect.
So glad I found this post:)
I am considering Steamwhistle for my wedding in early 2011. At first glance , I thought Steamwhistle would be slightly less expensive than other TO venues because of the 'BYOB' option (without a corkage fee) and I love the venue. As I have been getting quotes from caterers, I am quickly realizing that the rental fees for all the extras adds up, and am questioning if Steamwhistle will end up costing MORE than all-inclusive packages when it is all totaled.
Can anyone with experience at SW let me know if I can be doing any better budgetwise:
- I have a guest count of 230 (renting both the gallery and the hall for $4200)
- The best quote I have recieved for food/staff/rentals is $26, 000 from Jen at Eatertainment (the menu looked great).
- Keep in mind this does not yet include booze, tax, or Steamwhistle bar staff.
Does this sound reasonable? If anyone has hosted a wedding at Steam whistle, could you give me a realistic final price per person and caterer used? All this tallying up is making me go loopy.
I hate to be a downer, but my last event at Steam Whistle was a nightmare! (I'm a planner, so I'm in and out of venues all the time).
A few points to consider:
1. The venue comes with NOTHING which means you have to rent EVERYTHING. We're talking tables, chairs, glassware (they don't even provide glasses for their draught beer), flatware, china, linens, napkins PLUS ovens, and all kitchen equipment. Rental costs at this venue are generally 75%+ more expensive than other Toronto venues which have kitchen equipment. Think about it - how much would you expect ovens to cook meals for 100 guests cost?
2. Steam Whistle has an exclusive arrangement with a rental and linen suppliers so you: A - are somewhat limited in terms of choice (although these suppliers are great), and B - can't shop around.
3. Steam Whistle has recently had a PA installed by Pandor, which makes them the exclusive AV supplier for the venue. If you want a DJ, slide show, band, lighting, etc...you will be forced to deal with this vendor and their extremely high prices. FYI - for basic wedding DJ needs, expect to tack on a minimum additional $700 for this "plug-in" fee (and good luck getting that quote).
4. They often under staff the bar, and you do not have the option of bringing in your own staff (even if they are smart serve certified / work with your caterer). At my last event there, a guest requested a Rye & Ginger, and the bartender replied, "I don't know how to make mixed drinks". I'm not even joking. This is completely unacceptable.
5. It is often difficult to nail down your coordinator. One of my clients complained about never once receiving a reply to an email or a voice mail from Dana once they had signed the contract and paid the fee. Her assistant muddled through the process. If you can get Dana, she is pleasant and easy going.
6. The coordinators from the venue are never on site once the events are underway. If they were, I believe they would have a better understanding of functionality of the space, what they need out of event staff, etc...
7. The venue's primary function is as a brewery/retail store, and production doesn't stop for your event. This means you are rather limited as to what time you can have your guests arrive as your planner & catering team will probably need a few hours to set-up. FYI - the brewery closes at 6pm every day except Sunday, when it closes at 5pm.
8. Steam Whistle charges a landmark fee on event services to you, through your caterer. This is pretty standard, but you can find venues in the city which do not charge this fee, so I believe it is worth mentioning for comparison purposes.
I should say some nice things about the venue too, because it does have merit. It's beautiful, photographs well and has a fantastic patio and view. A few of the bartenders who work there are gold. You and your guests will love them.
Good luck in your planning!