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spit roast catering

Catering FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Here you will find most of your questions answered about Silva Service Spit Roast Catering and the Melbourne areas serviced.

  • IS YOUR FOOD FRESH?:

    We take great pride in providing healthy and fresh catering directly to our customers. Our menus are prepared fresh daily specially to your order with the only items not cooked in our kitchens being specialty items that we find better prepared by specialists – these are sourced from suppliers with a similar outlook to ours, so freshness and quality always comes first.
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  • WHERE DO YOU COOK AND PREPARE THE MENU?:

    We have a purpose-designed commercial kitchen in Clayton.  Our kitchen is registered & authorised as a commercial food premises with the Health Department. With all necessary Food Safety certification and oversight by Environmental Health Services we provide a catering service you can always rely upon, and be reassured that we certainly are not one of the many back-yard caterers.
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  • WHAT AREAS DO YOU CATER TO?:

    We cater to all areas of Melbourne, including the CBD and outer suburban areas, including Geelong and Regional Victoria. Some of our larger catering orders have taken us halfway to the state’s borders so most Melbourne suburbs are catered to. Your venue is most likely in an area we can service.  As a general rule a 2 and half hour drive from our kitchen is our cut-off, and anything over 2hrs would need to be assessed for the safety of the food under transport.
    Please use this map as a general guide to our service area (zoom-in may be required)
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  • DO YOU PROVIDE YOUR OWN EQUIPMENT OR DO WE NEED TO PROVIDE ANYTHING?:

    Venue requirements: As ‘The Caterer’ we provide the catering service at the venue of your choice, so you need to provide a venue that is suitable for a catering service to come to.  These are simple things such as parking, staff access, and suitable shelter for your service area to protect it from the weather (if applicable).

    • Spit roast, buffet and dessert services include all necessary service equipment, even including banquet/buffet tables. You will not need to provide any equipment, services, or even electricity for us to provide these menus to you.
    • BBQ services require the use of an on-site barbecue. We recommend that you hire our BBQs but you are able to provide your own. When providing your own BBQ, it must be clean and ready for food before we arrive, in good working order, has an adequate supply of gas, and is large enough for your event.
    • Finger food or appetiser services will require the use of an on-site oven and kitchen. You will need to ensure that your venue has an oven that we can use without interruption, that it is in good working order and clean.
    • Drink & Beverage services will include appropriate glassware for the service, and for outdoor venues we provide disposable cups for safety. If supplying glassware we assume that your venue will have a suitable glass washing facilities. If this is not the case please advise us to discuss options of hiring additional glassware or additional staff to manage venues with inadequate facilities where manual handwashing may be needed during service.
    • Delivery only services do not include any service equipment. Your food-only delivery will be packaged using food-safe disposable containers suitable for transport of hot or cold food. Generally your delivery will include separate thermal boxes for hot food and for cold food. There is no requirement to return these boxes.

    We do not provide party hire equipment, such as dining tables, seating, marquees, or venue decorations.

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  • WHAT SORT OF DININGWARE DO YOU OFFER?:

    We offer the choice of either disposable diningware or china plates and silverware. Our disposable range is plastic as paper plates quickly leak, and we use a range that we have found to be sturdy and reliable. These are only available in white and we are not able to offer different colours.
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  • HOW MUCH SPACE DO YOU NEED?:

    For spit roast or BBQ services with less than 130ppl we’d normally set up 1 food service area. For events larger than that we’d generally set up 2 identical food service areas, and so on. For each food service area we use 2 x standard trestle tables to fit all the menu items, service equipment, and dining ware. The trestle tables are approximately 1m x 2m and we prefer to set them end to end, but can be in an L shape. Please remember we also need room for our staff to work and room for guests to be served, so a clear area of at least 1m either side of the food service area in required.
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  • HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED TO SET UP?:

    As a general rule we aim to arrive 45min prior to the food service time for spit roast events, and 60min prior to the food service for BBQ events. This may vary slightly depending on the size and nature of the event, but won’t change too much.
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  • DO YOU HAVE DELIVERY FEES TO MELBOURNE OR SUBURBS?:

    We offer free travel to any venue within 15km of our kitchen.  If you are outside of this radius our excess travelling fees are only charged to cover additional staff wages and vehicle expenses and are kept to a minimum.  All travelling fees are calculated on a case by case basis and once we receive your booking details we can calculate the exact amount if applicable.  We provide no-obligation free formal quotes every order so you will know exactly how much any delivery or travel fee may cost.  It is very difficult to provide ‘ball park’ estimates without knowing the details of your catering as many factors can alter the number of our staff travelling and expected travel time.
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  • DO YOU HAVE A MINIMUM ORDER SIZE?:

    We have minimum charges for our various menus/catering packages.  Depending upon your selections the minimum charge will be somewhere between 20 and 40 guests.  During December all staffed services have a minimum charge of 40ppl, and some peak days in December will have a higher minimum of 60 or 80 which are set each year (normally Thursdays/Fridays and the last 2 or 3 working days of the year).
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  • HOW MUCH FOOD DO YOU PROVIDE?:

    We have used our years of experience to calculate food quantities for all menu items, and to work out the optimum amount of variety to provide to best service for you and your guests.  Our menus are designed so that there will be plenty of choices and plenty of food for everyone, while minimising wastage to save you money.  Our spit roasts are provided with a minimum of 300gm or roast per person (depending upon the size cuts available this can be up to 400gm), approx. 500gm of salads/sides, bread roll and 1.5 roast potatoes.  When you consider all the extras such as gravy, butter, condiments, etc that’s over 1kg of food for each person – which is heaps of food!  In a normal mixed crowd of people this will be ample to allow guests with larger appetites to return for seconds or thirds, and also enough to ensure that individual menu items don’t run out for the 1st round of service, and generally enough to allow for left overs.
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  • DO YOU PROVIDE AN ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT-BUFFET OR WILL FOOD RUN OUT?:

    Please see above regarding food quantities.  We do not offer an all-you-can-eat-buffet, our menus are designed to provide a varied and substantial hearty meal for every person.  We can’t predict every scenario of what might occur at your function, but assuming all your guests arrive on time and that some ‘over anxious’ guests do not come back for seconds/thirds before other guests are served for the first time then it is extremely unlikely that any one dish will run out.  If you have a function where different meal sittings are needed (such as shift workers at a factory event), or where you expect some guests to arrive late, then please advise us before your function so we can discuss options to ensure this does not occur and also options to ensure hot food stays hot and safe for service for extra service times.
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  • HOW MANY DESSERTS SHOULD I CHOOSE? THEY ALL SOUND SO GOOD!:

    We always highly recommend that with desserts fewer choices are always better, and picking only 2 varieties will suit most catered events the best.

    The more variety you choose the less of each variety will be supplied. As an example, a function for 100ppl where 10 dessert varieties are chosen means that only 10 slices of each variety will be provided to make up the 100 serves. While there is plenty to go around only 10 guests can enjoy each dessert type and many guests may feel as though they’ve missed out on the one they wanted. On the other hand if we only provide 2 varieties then there would be 50 serves of each in this example and we find that just about every single guest is always happy as there’s always plenty of each to go around.

    The final decision is yours, especially with premium desserts as we can provide these in as small quantities as 6 serves each, but 2 varieties is our recommendation.
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  • HOW DO WE COUNT CHILDREN?:

    With regards to children, because we provide a buffet style service we don’t supply children’s pricing for our catering services. As we provide a buffet service we simply ask our customers to estimate the number of adult sized servings to cater for based upon the appetites of the children. For example, if you have children under 4 you may not want to count them for catering purposes as they may not eat at all (or just pick off their parent’s plates); you may want to count three quarters of children under 10 who’s appetites may not be quite as large as an adult; and older children may eat just as much as adults. On the other hand if you are ordering desserts as well, then it is usually best to count each child in your catering numbers as they will all want desserts…. These age groupings are just examples and we advise customers to use their own knowledge of the children involved when finalising guest numbers for your catering.
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  • DO YOU OFFER VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN OPTIONS?:

    You have a few options depending upon how many Vegan/Vegetarian guests you have.  The first and simplest choice is that you can simply choose your salad/side dish selections with those guests in mind and choose the heartier varieties such as our vegetarian biryani rice dish (which is vegan too) as their hot food option or one of the other hot vegetable options.  Secondly, we can provide vegetarian lasagne (that is popular), however, when we place an extra dish on the buffet everybody wants some so you really need to cater that way – a catering tray of lasagne would normally suit around 30 guests as an extra. Please note that this does not mean there are 30 full serves, but in our experience 1 tray per 30 guests normally suits. Please contact us for current pricing on extra dishes such as this.  Remember, you’ve chosen a Spit Roast or BBQ catering service which traditionally is chosen for the meat, and is served as a buffet/banquet so individual plated meals aren’t offered.  We’ve got some options that should make everyone happy, and everyone normally is.
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  • DO YOU LEAVE LEFT OVER FOOD?:

    The answer is yes and no..  As a licenced commercial food catering business, we are bound by very strict conditions regarding food temperatures, storage, service, and supply.  Our spit roast catering service is designed specially to give you and your guests the best buffet style service possible and conforms to all the strict food service rules.  Any food that is left over after the service, while still being perfectly good for continued consumption by guests, may no longer be suitable for refrigeration and future re-heating.  Depending upon a range of circumstances and timing, at the conclusion of the meal service we can leave you with any leftovers that can be reasonably consumed within the food-safe guidelines but may not be able to leave excessive quantities that will be stored and re-used outside of the rules.  Food made for commercial purposes can only be supplied under these stricter guidelines, so we reserve the right to refrain from leaving excessive amounts of left over food even if some of your guests don’t turn up and there is excessive amounts left.  If you have any concerns regarding some guests arriving late, or a later meal sitting be required please contact us before your function so we can advise you of the options and safe-food handling practices needed to be able to leave you with as much left-over food as possible.
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  • CAN YOU CATER AT ANY VENUE OR EVEN A PARK?:

    Yes, we can and have catered at just about every type of venue imaginable.  Our spit roast catering service is acceptable by all local councils that we have come across so far to cater in any hired hall, or public park/garden.  We will have a substantial amount of food and equipment for your function so it is essential that we have access to your venue at the time we advise necessary, and vehicle access to the site.  You will need to arrange our entry with your venue if you have hired the venue to ensure that our service to you runs on schedule.  Remember that as the venue is your choice it is your responsibility to ensure it is suitable for catering and that you have made the necessary arrangements needed for us to cater for you at your chosen location.
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  • DO YOU COOK ON-SITE?:

    Finger food and BBQ services are cooked on-site.  However, we cook our roasts using charcoal which is by far the best way to cook and gives the best results.  It is also the smokiest and the slowest method of cooking, which makes it unsuitable for on-site cooking for several reasons. For example, it would be prohibited outdoors during summer on fire ban days leading to many last-minute cancellations; if the wind blows the wrong way your venue will quickly fill with smoke; and to have a chef and equipment on site for 6+ hours would create excessively high charges for our customers as well.  Our tried and tested system is timed so that the roasts come off the spit and travelling time is incorporated into the resting time the roasts need after cooking.  Our roasts are kept hot until the time of service and are then carved individually for each guest at your event so that every person receives the best freshly carved roasts possible.  Being able to prepare and cook in our specially designed commercial kitchen that is fully licenced, registered and food-safe gives our clients that extra peace of mind.  I don’t believe there are any reputable caterers who provide on-site spit roast cooking anymore as the cons far outweigh the pros..
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  • CAN YOU PROVIDE HALAL/KOSHER FOOD?:

    Our meats (other than pork) can be sourced from a Halal/Kosher Certified wholesale butcher.  Our staff can ensure that separate serving utensils are used for the carving/serving of Halal/Kosher meats and will endeavour to have a spacing between them on buffet table.  However, having said that, please note that our commercial kitchen is not “certified” Halal or Kosher.  We are a non-religious catering company and our kitchen is used for all types of food.  I am told that strictly speaking only certified Halal or Kosher kitchens can ever call their food Halal or Kosher even if they use certified foods.  From our experience what we do has been acceptable for all customers who we’ve catered to that have a mix of guests.  We’ve catered thousands of events over the years where the question has been asked and so far, everyone has been happy with the process we use. If you have any concerns we’d recommend forwarding this information onto the guests you’re catering for to see if they are personally happy with the process.
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  • WHAT IF SOME OF OUR GUESTS HAVE ALLERGIES OR SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS?:

    Our catering service is generally served “Buffet/Banquet” style, which means we do not provide individual servings or special single meals.  Our menus are designed so that you should be able to pick and choose the right combinations to suit your guests. 

    • Gluten Free – you will find most of our menu is very gluten-free-friendly… All roast marinades/spices are gluten free and all of the salad dressings we use are also gluten free.  The only things your gluten intolerant guests will need to avoid are the bread rolls, the gravy, and the pasta salad if you select that – these menu items should be very obvious to the guests concerned who should know to avoid them. 
    • Dairy Free – The above also goes for guests who require dairy free options. Butter portions and sour cream are served separately; only the two mayonnaise based salad dressings have dairy (coleslaw and potato salad); if you upgrade to scalloped potatoes rather than roast potatoes in our spit roast menu; or order any additional/extra lasagnes.  Again these will all be very obvious to the guests concerned who will know to avoid them.
    • FODMAP – in very simple terms includes both gluten free and dairy free information above; plus onion and garlic.  They need to avoid a lot of other food items that don’t play a big part on our menus.  As it is, you will need to do your homework here as onion and/or garlic will be found in our Biryani Rice, salad dressings, and meat marinades.  If you want a completely FODMAP free menu, you’d need to request that meats are done without any marinades at all for a start, and so catering for FODMAP may mean that all of your guests receive a relatively plain menu.  You may want to consider providing a DIY single serve meal for your FODMAP guest so that all of your other guests can enjoy or normal menus.
    • Allergies – we do not use seafood, nuts or peanuts in our kithen as core ingredients for any food. We do use items such as dairy, garlic, onion, gluten, etc and generally your guests can avoid those menu items with a less serious intolerance by menu selection. We also hold specialty food items made for us at other commercial kitchens.  Despite our best efforts in our own kitchen we cannot guarantee that our fresh stock has not been originally shipped or packaged in other premises where nuts, seafood, gluten, fructose, dairy etc are also handled.  As a commercial food supplier we cannot guarantee that trace elements of any food type will be 100% eliminated, and guests with severe allergies/anaphylaxis should use their own judgement when consuming food that they have not prepared themselves.
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  • HOW DO I MAKE BOOKING, AND WHEN DO I MAKE PAYMENTS?:

    The first step is to email us at info@silvasspitroastcatering.com.au and request copies of menus and pricing, and to check that we are available for your event’s date.  If you’re happy with the pricing, then do a quick online booking form where you select your catering services and answer some quick questions that give us all the information we need to provide you with a formal and accurate quote.

    • Tentative Bookings – We don’t take tentative bookings or hold dates, but will secure a date for you once you’ve accepted our quote and we’ve received a deposit from you.
    • Balance Payments – Once your booking is confirmed we don’t require any further payments until your balance is due. Your catering plan will be finalised 7 business days before your event and your account will be due then.
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  • CAN I CHANGE MY FINAL GUEST NUMBERS OR MENU SELECTIONS?:

    Our cut-off date for changes to your booking is 7 business days prior to your event.  You can adjust your final guest numbers or menu selections at any time before that and we’ll adjust your account accordingly.  What we possibly cannot change is your event timing as we have other events to cater to that were booked around your confirmed booking. 
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  • CAN I CHANGE MY BOOKING TIME OR DATE?:

    Once you confirm your booking details and secure your booking for the date/time you’ve chosen we will turn away other customers whose booking requirements conflict with your event and fill our booking calendar around your confirmed booking time. To change the date, you’ll need to cancel your booking and re-book a new service if we have availability on your new date. Timing “may” be able to be changed, but we can’t guarantee this for the same reasons as above as it’s likely we’ll have other bookings that would be impacted. We also set our kitchen schedules and staff rosters up to 2 weeks in advance to secure everything in place for your event, so within that timeframe altering your event time will not be possible.
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  • HOW LONG DOES A FOOD SERVICE GO FOR?:

    (For BBQ services please add on 15-30min to the following information, for both set up & service times). Our staff will arrive approximately 45 minutes prior to the meal service time you nominated on your booking form. Your catering package will include certain staffing/timing that from experience are ample. Our staffed main meal services will run for approximately 30-45 minutes depending on guest numbers. Smaller functions of 30-40 guests will run on the faster side of around 30min. If you have ordered an appetiser and/or dessert course allow approximately 50 minutes extra per course. This includes service time as well as preparation and clean up time. Functions with china plates and silverware will run slightly longer for each course as our staff members will need to arrange table clearance and re-packing of used diningware before moving onto the next course. If these timings do not suit your personal requirements, whether it be shorter or longer durations, contact us for a quote to increase staffing as required to alter the timing you require.
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  • CAN WE ARRANGE A TASTING OR GET SAMPLE FOOD?:

    We are unable to provide food samples or tastings as every single food item produced in our kitchen is specially prepared for a particular function. Stock is specially ordered and then freshly prepared just for the functions that we are catering. We don’t have an associated restaurant or café where single meals can be purchased, so unfortunately fresh sampling is impossible. Customer feedback and reviews are regularly published on our webiste “testimonial” page, and also if you perform a Google search of Silva Service Catering you should see a link to Google’s public reviews of our company. Likewise customers publicly review from time to time on our Facebook page. Hopefully these reviews help.
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  • CAN I GET THE MOBILE NUMBER FOR THE DAY'S CATERING STAFF?:

    We will give you our staff’s estimated arrival time at your venue as part of the catering plan we prepare for you. If there is any reason that they may be delayed (such as an unexpected traffic jam), or if they can’t locate your venue address, then our staff will call you. We don’t provide our staff’s private mobile numbers to anyone for safety, as the only time you’re likely to call them is when they are driving to your event and transporting a lot of valuable food and catering equipment where distractions from phone calls could lead to disaster. We know that sometimes it can be weeks or months before your event since making contact with us, and some people want that last minute reassurance that we won’t forget them. If you think this may be you, please remember our office is not staffed outside of business hours so make sure you make contact mid-week.
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  • CAN YOU DO THE MENU IN A 'SHARE PLATTER' SERVICE AT EACH DINING TABLE?:

    We are asked about share platters on occasion. Unfortunately, it is not something we offer for a few important reasons. Firstly and most importantly, when catering on-site away from a commercial kitchen environment we have limited service equipment and it is not possible to set up a “pass” for plating with heat lamps to keep plated food warm. Trying to set up a range of hot food share platters (including carving meats) sufficient for all the tables would mean platters will have cooled down considerably by the time they were served. Then when you add the time for guests to serve themselves and start eating you’ll find the food will be too cool. As well as you not being happy with that type of service, I would not be happy for your guests to be receiving our food in this way as it reflects badly on our service and quality. On top of that we would need to provide additional staffing to plate food and additional service equipment of platters and servingware, so would need to charge more than our standard pricing. So to charge a customer more for a service where I know the quality will be lower is not morally right. I’d rather you were completely happy with service and that your guests are happy too. There’s also the problem of having dining tables large enough to fit platters of all our menu – with nearly a dozen menu items in the service, that’s a dozen plates to fit on each dining table…
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