Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Oct 14, 2009 12:16 PM

party help in Toronto

I will be giving a party for about thirty people towards the end of November in Toronto. I would like to hire one or two servers for the evening. The food will be catered but I would like help with kitchen prep, actual serving, and cleanup. Any recommendations?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Craigslist is very helpful for something like this.

    3 Replies
    1. re: KTinNYC

      Craigslist to bring a stranger into your home??? Yikes. I can't think of ANY circumstance that I'd do this. I like to know that staff are bonded, professional, and will be on time with a reputable agency. There may be the above on Craigslist, but wow, wouldn't even dream of taking a chance.

      1. re: Restaurant Dish

        Um, you know you can interview them before bringing them into your home, right?

        There are lots of professional servers that advertise on craigslist to make extra money.

        1. re: KTinNYC

          I realize, but still.

          Anyone can talk a good game over the phone. The time it would take to interview them, check out their references are legit, etc. etc.
          Might be a couple dollars cheaper but it's not worth it, at least for me.

    2. You can use The Butler Did It 416-599-3511

      Have used them before, very reliable and professional.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Restaurant Dish

        I have to say I wouldn't be comfortable with Craigslist, either. I'll check out "Butler" but I would be happy to hear recommendations of self-employed professional servers--it would save a lot to eliminate the middle-man. Or would it?

        1. re: nonot

          It depends how much time you have on your hands to find a self-employed server that you are happy with. Factor in the time it will take to find someone, interview them, check on references, explain what you want them to do. One phone call takes care of everything with a company like The Butler Did It. And I have no stake in them, it's just when you find a company that does good work, you recommend.

          I think there are too many crackpots on Craigslist these days--Cherylptw being the exception--to allow them into my home. And truly, you might save $20-50 but is it worth all that extra time and work and maybe even something worse?

      2. I can definately understand the hesitation of hiring someone you don't know and it pays to do your homework as far as references, but in defense of Craigslist, I'm a personal chef & two years ago I posted on Craigslist in the Outer Banks forum site for available chef services.

        I was contacted by a couple from New York who was renting a vacation home on Hatteras Island; they were looking for someone to cook dinners for them and their housemates (another couple) for a week. They had twin one year old boys and thought it would be easier for them to enjoy restaurant quality meals, served in the comfort of their home than to juggle going out with the boys. Although I worked as a restaurant manager, my hobby is entering recipe contests and I have been competed in cook-offs. In addition, my recipes are posted on numerous websites & printed in national food related magazines. I emailed them links so they could check out my "references" for themselves.

        They were satisfied with my qualfications and I drew up a contract spelling out what my services covered and accepted a deposit; I believe in doing things by the book. I created menus in which they chose their nightly appetizer, entree and dessert options. They loved the fact that they could put their children to bed at a certain hour and got the chance to unwind with drinks and delicious food every night without leaving the house. I prepared the food, cleaned up & left their kitchen as I found it and they rave over it!

        Needless to say, I've cooked for them for two years and they are already planning on next year. On top of it, they have been spreading the word on my services and now I'm contacted when they need advice & a good recipe. I'm not saying this works for everyone, but some of us out there are really who we say we are. Good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cherylptw

          Cheryl you're obviously NOT one of the crackpots on Craigslist and it's nice to see that everything turned out well for you. But, I've heard too many stories from others about the unreliability of many on there, using fake addresses, names, etc. to be wary enough.

          Having said that, I do find Craigslist is good for the hospitality industry when looking to find a bartender, server, chef, hostess etc. and many restaurants get their staff from there--BUT when a problem arises, restaurants have two big things going for them versus a private home party: one, they always have additional staff that can pitch in when someone doesn't show up and two, they always have people who will take the time to train them and show them the right way if they don't know how to do something. When you're in a private home and someone doesn't show up, leaves early, doesn't know what they're doing, etc. you're pretty much out of luck when you have guests staring back at you.

        2. The original comment has been removed