We know that planning your next event can become a complex process and sometimes you just don’t know where to begin or what to expect. We’re here to help – below are some answers to our most frequently asked questions – and we’re always available if you have more.

“We had a beautiful day. Everything went so smoothly, including the catering. Our friends gave many compliments on the unique hors d’oeuvres as well as the very professional staff.” – Mary Kay

“Dear Cheryl – Thank you again for making my birthday celebration so beautiful. The night was flawless!” – Kacey

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I begin planning an event with Art of Eating Catering?

The process begins by getting to know you and your event or wedding. Be prepared to answer questions when we first speak – including an approximate number of guests, the style and format of the event, the type of food you’re looking for and an ideal budget you’re hoping to stay within.

Feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin? Give us a call. We’ll help guide you through the process.

Following our first conversation, we send you some sample menus to begin understanding your tastes & style. Soon after you’ll receive an initial proposal – outlining many important details such as rentals, event staff, alcohol & beverage service as well as the first draft of your customized menu. From there – we work with you to fine tune every detail until it’s exactly how you envision it.

What sizes & types of events do you cater?

Art of Eating caters and designs a wide range of events from small dinner parties on the beach for 8 guests to fundraising galas at extravagant Hamptons Estates for 10,000. We are experts in coordinating complex, multi-day events; such as a North Fork Wedding Weekend complete with a welcome reception and farewell brunch or a week-long corporate retreat in Manhattan filled with activities. We will treat your intimate ladies luncheon with the same care as your wedding for 200.

But keep in mind – for simple parties, Catering To Go may be the perfect option.

What is the cost per person?

There are a variety of factors that go into determining a per person cost for an event. This depends on the complexity of the menu, size of the group, the amount of rentals needed, the location and more. We are happy to work with you to design an event that fits your budget as well as your vision.

Where do you cater?

At North Fork Vineyards, on a breezy Hamptons beach, the New York City Public Library or a week at Augusta National in Georgia– you name it – we’ve done it all along the Eastern seaboard.

We have outstanding relationships with some of the best venues on the North and South Forks. You can begin by checking out our venues page, but keep in mind this is only a small sampling of where we love to work. From our years of experience planning all types of events, we have an endless number of exclusive venues in our catalog, including many private Hamptons estates – we’re excited to help you find the perfect setting!

What is the Administrative Fee?

Art of Eating Catering adds an additional charge on food and beverage totals for all events. As you’re comparing various catering companies you’ll notice terms like Production Fee, Administrative Fee or Service Charge used interchangeably, but it basically covers the same items. These fees range from 15-25% depending on the company, ours is on the low end of the spectrum at 18% on food and beverage only. This is not gratuity given to our service staff. It covers all miscellaneous expenses which are incurred in the planning and execution of your event. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Menu design and revision
  • Liquor and Liability insurance to help protect our clients and their guests
  • Coordination of timelines, pre-party and party troubleshooting, field verification of placements and times
  • Vehicle expenses including fuel charges, insurance and additional truck rentals when necessary
  • Employee benefits and Workers Compensation Insurance
  • Supervision of all supplementary outside vendors
  • Additional and necessary personnel who are involved in production, but may not necessarily be on-site at the event such as:
    • Office staff who helps to manage your event from the back end
    • Rental specialists who will meet with the rental companies, compile and revise rental lists, and place all outside rental orders
    • Ancillary staff who handles pulling, packing, loading, unloading, cleaning and restocking all equipment required from Art of Eating Catering
    • Chefs and kitchen staff needed for the preparation of food prior to the event
  • All additional expenses included in the event but not specifically line-itemed in the proposal

Do you offer planning services?

Art of Eating is more than just a caterer; we have a team of experts ready to help you handle every aspect of your event from simply day of coordination to full-service event or wedding planning. We will work together on event design, décor, entertainment, flowers, lighting, floor plans and so much more. Contact us today to speak with one of our planners and let Art of Eating be your one contact throughout this exciting planning process.

Have a planner already? Great! We’ve established relationships with some of Long Island and New York City’s top planners and are happy to work in tandem with them to make your vision come to life through our food and service.



What types of foods do you serve?

Our menus are ever-changing with one goal in mind – providing you and your guests with a menu, customized to your liking, using only seasonal, organic, local ingredients from the East End of Long Island.

From our beginnings, we have been dedicated to sourcing from local farmers, foragers, artisan food purveyors and fisherman.

Where can I see your menus?

A list of sample menus is provided here but this is just a glimpse of what we have to offer. Each menu is designed to our clients’ tastes and the overall vision of their event. Our To-Go and Seasonal or Holiday Menus are every changing and available on the website.

Do you offer tastings?

Yes, we offer tastings year round at our Hamptons catering headquarters. There is a per person fee for a private tasting that is fully deducted from the total cost of your event should you choose to book with us.

Art of Eating To-Go

We offer a takeout menu that changes with the seasons, with special holiday versions. You can sign up for our email list to ensure that you receive our latest menu the day it gets designed. We require a minimum of 3 business days notice for regular take out but feel free to reach out to us if you need something sooner as we may be able to accommodate your request. For our extremely popular Thanksgiving-to-go please place your order as early as possible to ensure we can fulfill it.

Take out is ideal for smaller events where you as the host want to have time to relax and enjoy yourself. Each item will have specific instructions on how to heat and serve. We can also deliver hot food to the location of your choice, set up and platter the items for you leaving you with little left to do besides enjoy.

We also offer Boxed Lunches which include beautifully wrapped individual meals, snacks and even beverages – perfect for corporate meetings or large family outings.

Can you accommodate allergies, dietary restrictions & Kosher meals?

Absolutely. We are happy to design an entire menu around such requests or prepare individual meals for the people who may have restrictions. Art of Eating always offers vegetarian alternatives at weddings or large-scale events and will add vegan or gluten free choices at your request. We can cater entire events Kosher style or if you only have a few Kosher requirements- offer individual glatt-Kosher meals.



Do you provide staff? How many people do I need?

For smaller parties; take out or delivery with no staff on -site may be ideal. For fully catered dinner parties, weddings and events; having knowledgeable and professional staff is crucial. The amount of event staff needed is generally based on the number of guests, the menu, the service caliber you request, the seating arrangements and your location (along with any logistical challenges it may present). The proper event staff to guest ratio is a must and we pride ourselves on not only executing perfect food but proper service your guests will be amazed by.

Everyone will feel fully attended to- never looking around for a server, never waiting for a drink.

Is gratuity included?

Gratuity is not charged on your proposal or your final bill. Tipping is always at your discretion but is customary and gratefully accepted by our staff. The full amount should be given to the Captain who distributes it between the floor and kitchen.

What does the staff wear?

We have several uniform options:

  • All Black: Black Long Sleeve Zip Front Waiter Jacket, Black Dress Pants, Black Shoes
  • Formal: White Long Sleeve Collared Dress Shirt, Black Dress Pants, White Bistro Apron, Black Shoes accented with your choice of tie color.
  • Semi-Formal: White Long Sleeve Collared Dress Shirt, Khaki Pants, White Bistro Apron, Brown Shoes – accented with your choice of tie color.
  • Semi-Casual: White Long Sleeve Button Front Shirt (Top two buttons open, sleeves rolled up ¼ of the way), Khaki Pants, White Bistro Apron, Brown Shoes – No Tie.
  • Casual: White or Black Short Sleeve Collared Polo Shirt, Khaki Pants, White or Black Bistro Apron, Brown or Black Shoes
  • BBQ: White or Black Short Sleeve Collared Polo Shirt, Khaki Shorts, White Sneakers

If you would prefer the staff wear a uniform not listed here, please reach out. If it is a common item that most will have – such as jeans with a plain black t-shirt – then we will try our best to accommodate your request.

What is a Captain?

Think of your Captain as your “Day of Manager”, the person who will ensure your event runs smoothly and your guests are happy so that you don’t have to think about a thing. They are your eyes on the floor – the captain will oversee your timeline, alert photographers of upcoming photo opportunities, manage the staff, be the liaison with the kitchen and ensure all the details you have thought about are perfectly executed.

Besides serving the food, what else does the event staff do?

First is service; our staff ensures that all your guests’ are happy, plates and glassware are cleared in a timely manner, alcohol is served responsibly and that the space remains neat throughout the event. Our staff also takes care of the load in and out of your location; meaning that they check in rentals, set tables and chairs in place, handle the placement of flowers and décor to your specifications, properly set the tables and so much more. Finally, at the end of the event, they break down, store all your personal items and ready rentals for the scheduled pickup – leaving the entire space just as they found it, if not even cleaner.

We are also happy to dedicate people to direct parking, greet guests, check coats, attend to the restrooms and provide event security and valet.



Event Locations

We have hundreds of Hamptons, North Fork, Long Island and New York City event and wedding locations to choose from – and what is featured on the website is just a small sampling of venues we love to work at.

No need to go blindly into event location choices alone – just call us. We are extremely well-versed in the logistics of each location and the associated costs.  We can easily help you navigate the sometimes confusing world of off-premise catering and help you visualize the bottom line quickly and clearly.

What about tenting?

For any outdoor event, we always recommend having a rain plan and generally that comes in the form of a tent. Event tenting needs are determined based on a variety of factors besides just number of guests. You may need a larger tent to accommodate the number of food stations you are having or the stage for your band. Also, additional tents may be required – for example, if you’re having an on-site wedding ceremony or if there is the need for an auxiliary kitchen.

We have local tenting companies that we’ve worked with for a long time who we trust completely to meet your needs. Art of Eating Catering & Event Planning will deal directly with them on ordering, design, set up, day of coordination and break down.

How do rentals work?

We will arrange for all basic rental needs on your behalf and include the pricing in your contract. We work closely with the best rental companies in the Hamptons and New York City to ensure every item you need is ordered, checked in on-site and properly stored at the end of the event for safe return. Common rental items include chairs, tables, linens, plates, cutlery, glassware and items for the auxiliary kitchen.  But, we also love thinking outside of the box and will help you with lounge furniture, custom linens, unique bars and props.

You won’t have to worry about if every plate and glass has arrived – our team checks all the rentals and clears up any missing items or issues with damaged products with the rental company before your event begins.

Please keep in mind costs for rentals vary based on number of guests, menu style, type of rentals and what is included at the location of your event. Rental costs generally do not cover lighting, event tenting, restrooms, sound and waste services.

Do you provide the beverages & ice?

Art of Eating Catering has our own Liquor License and will happily provide all the beer, wine, and liquor for your next event. If you choose to purchase wines & spirits yourself we can help guide you in the appropriate quantities you’ll need. We also provide all non-alcoholic beverages, mixers, and garnishes.

Ice is included in our bar set up costs. Please consult us before making any ice arrangements on your own as needs will vary based on weather, amount of bars, wine service, specialty drinks etc.

 New York State Liquor Authority

If your event is being held in a public, commercial space or one to which a ticket is being sold – a license from the New York State Liquor Authority is required. But don’t worry – we handle this entire process by applying on your behalf, providing all the wines & spirits at a prearranged price and bringing them to your event from the distributor as required by NYS law.

Do I need permits?

If you are unsure which permits are required please reach out to us. We have years of experience navigating this sometimes confusing process – permits vary depending on the Town or Village, number of people, sound ordinances etc.

Having a party on the beach:

Nothing defines summer quite like cocktails in the sand, a beachfront North Fork wedding ceremony or a quintessential Hamptons clambake. But, there are a few things to consider:

  • Costs: Logistically beach parties are more difficult. More staff and rentals are needed and everything just takes a little more time when you’re working in the sand. Charges will be higher from both Art of Eating and any outside vendors you use.
  • Location & Timing: Many beaches will not allow vehicles to 4WD on until after 6 pm in the peak season (or at all), meaning that event set up cannot begin until that time. The closer your exact location is to an access road the easier the drop off of all equipment and rentals will be.
  • Permits: Mass Gathering Permits are generally needed for beach events– each town and village has different requirements so please check their websites for the most up to date information.
  • Plan B: Consider having only a portion of your event on the sand – such as the ceremony, cocktail hour or late night bonfire and have a location nearby where your guests can easily be moved to in the event of rain.