Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to contact you with questions or to place an order?
If you have any questions please call or e-mail us. We are available by phone Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and in person by appointment. We are frequently on the phone, so please make use of the voice mail. We try our best to get back to our customers within the business day; if your call comes in later in the afternoon, we will return it the following day.

When you are ready to place your order, type or write out your order, and send it to us via e-mail (info@anns-catering.com) Please let us know what time you would like to pick up the platters (from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm; special arrangements can sometimes be made for slightly earlier or later pick-ups), or what half-hour window you would like for delivery. As soon as we can, we will acknowledge your order request, call you with any questions, and ultimately send you a formal order confirmation. We require a credit card number to guarantee your order. 

If you would like to meet in person, please call to make an appointment. We are very busy most days, and often can't accommodate drop-ins. We are happy to help you in any way with your order - from quantities to platter selection; often this can be accomplished via an e-mail or fax exchange.

How much notice do I need to give for a catering order?
We usually require at least three days notice for orders. During particularly busy seasons, more notice may be required. In the case of an unanticipated event, such as a memorial, we try our best to respond quickly. In the case of a staffed event (for corporate and institutional customers only), we usually require five business days.

If you would like your order delivered, it's best to submit your order at least a week or more in advance. Our delivery schedule tends to fill up quickly, especially for the breakfast and lunch windows.

Please keep in mind that we sometimes book up for a particular day and must stop accepting orders. We always recommend placing your order as soon as you decide to use us to cater your event.

What is your delivery policy?
We schedule half-hour delivery windows, so let us know what your ideal window would be (11:00 to 11:30 am, 3:45 to 4:15 pm, etc.) The times of the delivery window represent the earliest to the latest times we could arrive. Our earliest delivery window is 7:30 to 8:00 am, and our latest is 5:30 to 6:00 pm. Ideally the end of your delivery window should be at least 15 minutes before your guests arrive, so you have time to set up your buffet. When we deliver, we simply drop off the food. You are in charge of the set up, since the food is essentially ready to serve. If you would like help setting up, please let us know. Charges for set up start at $25. We must also allow for a longer "set up" window.

What is the charge for delivery?

LocationMinimum Order
For DeliveryDelivery
Alameda$250$35Albany$250$35Berkeley$200$25El Cerrito$250$35Emeryville$200$25Kensington$250$35Lafayette$500$50Moraga$500$50Oakland$200$25Orinda$250$35Piedmont$200$25

We're sorry, but if you don't see a city listed here, delivery is not available. Event locations at a park or picnic site may incur additional delivery charges - please contact our catering office for more details. If an order is so large it requires two people and/or two delivery vehicles, or if there are access challenges (stairs, difficult parking, etc.), additional charges will apply.

What can I expect when I order from Ann's Catering?
All of our food is prepared to order and is intended to be served at room temperature or slightly chilled. Our philosophy of fresh, healthy food is antithetical to heat-maintained foods. We are somewhat unique in that you can simply order "party platters" for pick-up or delivery. Our prices are published, and are the same for everyone. There are no hidden costs, though some of our prices vary with seasonal availability. In all cases, we will make sure you understand clearly what you are getting, and what it costs. Whether you are trying to figure out how much food to order for an open house, birthday party, or wedding reception, we will be attentive to your needs. Please let us know what you are looking for, and we will do our best to provide helpful information.

Please note that we are not a full service catering company. We do not provide staff and rental equipment for private parties. We can, however, recommend other companies who will help you with those needs. We do provide onsite staff for established corporate / institutional customers - please call us for details.

How are the items on your menu packaged, presented, served, etc.?
All of our food is plattered on or in sturdy white plastic catering trays or black bowls, with pop-off dome lids. They are fully garnished and ready to serve. All you must do is pop off the lid. These platters are disposable and are yours to keep. If you would like to return them to us we can sanitize the platters (but not the domes) for reuse.

Due to space, time, and handling constraints we are unable to use your platters.


Can I change my order once it has been placed?
We are usually able to accommodate changes made at least three days before your event. Let us know when submitting your order if you anticipate making any adjustments. Please note that we consider all orders final two days before the scheduled event date and are not able to make any changes after this time.

What is your cancellation policy?
Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel you order. Orders that are canceled less than two full days before the scheduled event date will be charged 100% of the total invoice. This charge is to cover foods that cannot be used, labor, rental goods, and jobs we may have declined in order to accommodate your event.

How do I pay for my order (private customers)?
You are welcome to pay with cash or credit card (we accept all major credit cards), but we do not accept personal checks. We require a credit card to guarantee all orders. Payment is due two days before the pick-up or delivery time. We will charge your card two days before your event date. If we do not receive full payment two days before the pick-up or delivery time, or are unable to process your credit card for payment, your order will not be fulfilled.

How do I pay for my order (corporate / institutional customers)?
Established corporate / institutional customers will receive an invoice for submission at the time of delivery or pick-up.

What are single-service items and how do I get them?
These items include biodegradable paper plates, eating utensils, paper napkins, and plastic serving utensils. They are available upon request at a cost of $1 per guest. Ann's Logo beverage napkins (up to 100) are complimentary.

Do you do tastings?
Yes, with adequate advance notice we can arrange for you to taste items before you decide to order. In general, we need a week's notice to schedule a tasting. Because we make everything to order, we cannot provide drop-in tasting. We are available for tastings Monday through Thursday, at 3:30 or 4:00 pm only - please contact our catering office to schedule a tasting.

Tastings take place in the lobby of Rick and Ann's restaurant. We charge $12 per item (enough for two to taste), maximum of five items. There are a few items on our menu that cannot be made for tastings - we'll let you know if you've chosen any of these items. If you decide to place an order with us, we will deduct 50% of the tasting charges from your balance due.

Can't I just eat at the restaurant to find out what your food is like?
Our catering kitchen and cooking staff are separate from the restaurant kitchen and cooking staff, and our menu offerings are quite different. What we do have in common is Ann, of course! We hope you'll love the restaurant food and have a great dining experience, but you will not have sampled the catering food.

Is a gratuity automatically added to my order?
We do not automatically add gratuities to catering orders. We are often asked if tipping is customary, to which we respond that some customers do and others do not. The matter is up to you. Gratuities are shared among all who helped prepare and execute your order.