Blog

Planning Your Stay: Visiting the Bay Area for an Event

When it comes to San Francisco events, including those catered by Handheld Catering, you have nothing to worry about. Because their annual calendar is always full, this city accommodates visitors from all over the world, which is why San Francisco event planning is far from being a rocket science. In fact, it is very travel-friendly. Usually, when a person thinks of visiting San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge comes to mind. While this bridge is truly one of greatest wonders of the world, San Francisco has much more to offer for every personality type, from adventurous to cultural to high tech to everyday tourist. San Francisco is a small city only seven miles long. Boasting of a population of under one million, this town is the second-most densely-populated city in the nation, earning it the nickname of “city on a hill.” With nearly 25 million visitors arriving each year to attend a myriad of events, like those catered by Handheld Catering, there are many resources available to make your stay more than enjoyable.   If you are planning to come to the San Francisco area for an event, the first step you will want to take is to check the weather....

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Stay Hydrated! Keep Your Team Happy & Healthy

At Handheld Catering, we a very aware that water is one thing we cannot live without. In fact, did you know we can survive without food longer than we can survive without water? Knowing the recommended daily allowance of water is eight cups per day--with more water necessary during the hot summer months and during exercise, we encourage hydration at all of our San Jose catering events. We keep fluids readily available and replenished often.    Severe dehydration can create many health problems. However, most people don’t realize that even mild dehydration can be dangerous. Losing just two percent of your body’s overall hydration can result in headaches, confusion, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. Outdoor events held in the San Jose area are subject to summer’s heat. Drinking lots of water helps regulate our body temperature. The last thing anyone wants to experience or witness is lightheadedness or worse. We are aware of this and go to great lengths to make sure all our customers receive the water they request. Because nearly 20 percent of our daily water intake comes from fruits, vegetables, meats and other foods—resulting in less drinking water being needed, we know it is important to plan our meals...

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Summer Food Options

Summer is here in the bay area, which means the time has arrived for all those wonderful summer foods to take center stage at all your catering events. Fortunately, in the bay area, we’ve got terrific foods to choose from, and we here, at Handheld Catering, keep this in mind when it comes to our food selections for these unique and physically demanding summer months. At Handheld Catering, many of our best choices, for your upcoming bay area events, keep summer specifically in mind. We realize that during these hotter months, it is important to focus on hydration and meals rich in nutrients. Our unique farm-to-fork approach continues to lead the industry because of our fresh flavors, nutrients and signature flavor. Because of our commitment to use only local area foods in our catering menus, our meals do not lose their value and flavor, like they would through long-distance shipping. The look and appeal of fresh food makes all the difference as well. Our years of experience in creating just the right type of summer offerings includes an abundance of green leafy green vegetables, thirst-quenching fruits and the all-important fibrous vegetables. Created with these facts in mind, our popular vegetarian...

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Vetting Your Caterer: What to Know

Nowadays it pays to vet anyone in the Bay Area, and throughout the country, who is responsible for any major event in your life, including the caterer of your important upcoming event. This can make the difference between a positively remarkable event and one that could end up being one of life’s worst nightmares. In addition to the many other questions you will want to ask your prospective caterer, you will also want to ask him or her questions to verify his or her legitimacy and compliance. Following are some questions you might want to ask to guarantee the person responsible for providing the food at your event, in or around the Bay Area, is responsible and reputable; Can the caterer provide the names and phone numbers of three references – this question is so standard that a good caterer would be surprised if this question was not asked. Where can you read reviews of their services – typically reviews can be found on their website. If not, they might possibly have third-party validations from past customers who were pleased with their catering services. Do they have a business license – a professional caterer must have a business license, and make sure their...

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Things to Know for a Summer Wedding in San Francisco

Whether you are a San Francisco Wedding Planner or simply planning a wedding in the San Francisco area, there are a few things you should know when you or your planner creates your Summer wedding, namely: Keep your eye on the sky – because weather is always unpredictable—in the San Francisco area as well, keep an eye on the forecast. Websites, like weather.com, can give you a broad idea of what the weather might be like through their long-range forecasts.   Have a plan B – if holding an outdoor event, make sure to have a backup plan in mind, just in case the weather decides not to cooperate.   Give a heads up – Summer is a busy time for most individuals, couples and families, so enough time should be given so your guests can plan accordingly. Sending a Save-the-Date card can also give your guests even more time to plan. Keep your cool – no one wants to ever see a guest hauled off on a stretcher because of heat stroke, which is why every effort must be given to this aspect of your wedding planning. You, or your wedding planner should make sure proper ventilation inside the venue...

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Dealing with Picky Guests

As caterers in the San Jose area, we know that picky guests can be part of any event. Possibly, the guest does not like the food that’s being served. Possibly this guest is one of the most important people at the event, such as the groom’s father. Possibly, he is on a salt-free diet or simply does not like most foods and the foods he does like, he only likes them cooked a certain way. Or, he is too hot or too cold, his chair is uncomfortable, the guests are too loud or he had to park too far away. Whether in the San Jose area or somewhere else, the question then becomes, how should this picky guest be handled? Here are some suggestions: Avoid embarrassment – Never bring undue attention to the picky guest to avoid looking rude or disrespectful. Possibly ask the person if he or she would to like to join you in a more private setting so you can better understand his or her needs and how to best help.   Listen - The first rule of communication and interaction with a picky guest is to listen enough to understand. Being listened to and understood can sometimes...

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Ask the Experts! Questions for Your Caterer

You have an event coming up and have decided to have it catered. Using a catering company in the San Jose area is no different from any other part of the country when it comes to what questions should you ask a caterer to make sure all of your bases are covered. Here are the top twenty most important questions to ask when meeting with a caterer: What is the company’s history? How long have they been in business, including employee work history? Any awards or special recognitions? How many events do they cater per year? What is their food type: fresh? frozen? canned? local? Can they accommodate special diets, like allergy-free or vegan?   Will they have any other events that day? Do they hold food tastings and is there a charge for this? Is there a set-up fee and drink rate for a separate bar? How long will alcohol be served? Is there a separate fee for their set-up and clean-up? Do they have any specials or package deals? What can be expected as far as presentation of food? What type of décor do they provide? Is there a reduced price for children’s meals? Is there...

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How to Plan an Event in Under a Month

Typically, event planning takes months to strategize and implement. Sometimes however, a situation arises where an event must take place in 30 days or less. What then? The hair on the back of your neck just went up, didn't it? No worries! With the right planning, many successful events can be carried out within this short amount of time. Here is our list of helpful tips to race you through what will be a well-organized event.      Create a committee, or committees, to expedite all that needs to be accomplished – phone, email, meet and update progress continually. Delegate where needed. Set the date – possibly even send out a “Save the Date” card immediately to attract the attention of your guests. Create an engaging theme or focus – what do you hope your guests “take away” will be?  Why motivation is needed to inspire people to attend? Decide what your target audience is and work hard to spend your time attracting those people. Generate a budget to make sure all your costs are covered. Create a timeline for all deadlines and meetings, so that your coordinated effort is continually pushed forward. Hold and attend all meetings. Establish an appropriate location Create...

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10 Must Have Ingredients for Your Kitchen

When it comes to Bay Area event planning, we find that ten basic ingredients are used over and over again. Therefore, we consider these ten ingredients to be a must in every kitchen. Since water has been determined to be the most used ingredient worldwide, we consider this to be a given. So, below, we offer our ten most essential ingredients every kitchen must have: Eggs – eggs are not only a meal, of sorts, that can come in many varieties: hardboiled, soft-boiled, scrambled and/or poached, eggs are also a staple found in most baked foods because of their binding quality and ability to provide moisture. Flour – what would the world of food be like without flour? Flour has been around since the most ancient of times and is used in such universal and timeless dishes as breads, crackers, cakes cookies, coatings and gravies. Very few baked items do not include flour. Oil – while oil provides moisture and is a binding ingredient, oil also provides texture, flavor and reduces elasticity in nearly every baked item. Oil also provides variety to the cooking process, specifically frying, deep-frying, stir-fried, and also frees other foods from sticking to the pan. ...

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Spring Catering in the Bay

Ideas That Resonate Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, you can wear your sandals again without unwelcome judgment from passerby — spring is here! What better way to ring in the new season than by throwing a springtime celebration? Answer: there is no better way. It was a rhetorical question. Read on for some ideas to keep your next party as fresh as the new leaves.   Keep it green. This one seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it’s swept under the rug in the pursuit of an extravagant, up-to-trend party, even in the environmentally-conscious Bay Area. But there’s no need to sacrifice flavor, fun or creativity for the sake of environmental friendliness — find you a catering company that can do both! Handheld Catering is the perfect choice for sustainable, delicious and beautifully-prepared Palo Alto catering. Their farm-to-table approach to dining ensures your food this spring is as kind to the earth as the earth is to you.   Take advantage of re-opening farmers’ markets. Warmer weather means farmers’ markets are opening back up all across the country. Let your countrymen have their fun, and try your best not to brag about California’s unbeatable produce. Bay Area residents certainly know...

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