Frequently Asked Questions

What types of catering does Harvest Specialty offer?

The short answer is a wide variety! Typically during the Spring, Summer and Fall, most events take place outdoors and the menu is geared around BBQ catering. As the weather turns colder, events shift indoors and include more "traditional" catered fare. Harvest does not prepare Asian cuisine, however, has partnered with other caterers on events, a good example being a sushi station at a wedding.


What is the difference between "drop off" vs. "full service" catering?

Drop off catering means that a representative from Harvest will deliver food to an event location, set up the buffet, and then depart. The typical fee for such is $10 and up. Full service catering is the most popular option and essentially fills in all the gaps. Staff would arrive on-site prior to the event to set-up, then orchestrate the buffet or service schedule for the event, as well as break down and clean up after the event. This level of service typical involves Chef(s) on-site preparing food, waitstaff, bartenders, and more; depending on the size and scope of the event. There is an 18% service charge assessed on top of the food and beverage purchased that is allocated directly to the staff involved in the event.


How far out can I/should I book an event?

Harvest executes contracts 364 days in advance. A typical booking window for peak season (April - October) is 3 - 6 months in advance of the event. The busiest weekends historically are the weekend after Mother's Day in May through the last weekend in June. This stretch of prime dates sells out every year. The minimum booking window for smaller events is three days in advance for the best service. 


Is a deposit required?

Yes, a 25% deposit is required with a signed contract. Short term bookings require payment in full.


What forms of payment are accepted?

Everything :)  Payments are made through the invoice online. Harvest Specialty is a RIAS approved vendor.


What is a minimum?

There are two minimums to be aware of: minimum number of people and contracted minimum. Though occassionally exceptions can be made, most buffet packages require a minimum number of (20) guests for Harvest to proceed with a contract. Next, in said contract, will be a food and beverage minimum, meaning that both parties have agreed that the event is expected to host (x) amount of guests for an agreed upon menu, which gives the anticipated dollar figure expected to be obtained, prior to taxes and other charges. It is this "minimum" expediture that a Harvest Catering Representative will refer to in the contract.


Does Harvest Specialty offer rain dates for outdoor events?

Yes, rain dates are negotiable and must be included as part of the contract and subject to surcharge.


How can I accommodate guests with Kosher requirements or with food allergies?

This is also one of the most popular questions. Harvest works with other Kosher caterers to provide Kosher meals when requested. These need to be submitted a minimum of (10) business days in advance of the function. Food allergies are handled on a case by case basis. Nut allergies are very difficult since baking is done on-premise and there are a variety of nuts on hand at all times. Other allergies, such as gluten, as well as requests for vegetarian, vegan, and other dietary preferences are handled on a regular basis.


What is provided with a catering order?

Each catering order is customized. It all starts with the food, and once a menu is selected, it can be as simple as those items dropped off at a residence as an example. On the flip side, it can be as elaborate as a wedding with a tent, tables, chairs, linens, glassware, flatware, china, etc. After the food, every addition to the order is a line-item on the invoice, so a customer can decide if they want disposable cutlery, upscale disposable cutlery, or if they would prefer to purchase their own. Once again, every order is customized to meet the client's needs and work within their budget.


What other services does Harvest Specialty provide for an event?

As alluded to above, everything from tents, tables, chairs, linens, glassware, china, portable bars, popcorn machines, cotton candy machines; it is a one-stop shop! There's a vendor page with additional resources on various add-ons clients may be interested in purchasing. These arrangements can be added to an invoice as well, so there's one point of contact and one invoice for the entire event.


Can Harvest Specialty purchase and serve alcohol at my event?

If you've read this far, you may have notice we don't say "No" too often and as a whole, Harvest is very flexible and easy to work with. This is one area, by law, we must respectfully decline. Harvest does not own a NJ liquor licesence and therefore can not purchase alcohol to be resold. Harvest can staff bartenders to serve alcohol to your guests and does rent coolers, portable bars and sells ice to assist in this area as well.


More questions? Contact us.


Harvest Specialty Catering

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