Thursday, November 29, 2018

5 Great Purposes for Table Numbers in Event Planning

When it comes to corporate event planning in San Jose, CA, tabletop numbers can take the stress out of seating arrangements as well as help your caterer organize meals. Keep reading to learn more from the professionals at Handheld Catering.

Seating Arrangements

While table numbers have several purposes, primarily they’re used to help event planners make seating arrangements. Once you have a layout of your event room, you can assign numbers to each table and then assign seats to each guest. For corporate events, use table numbers and seating arrangements to encourage networking and teamwork. In the event of a cancellation, you can easily change your seating charts to accommodate vacancies at company events.

Dining and Catering

Most venues use table numbers to help their wait staff and chefs plan and execute meal services. Just like in a traditional restaurant, table numbers help the hosts organize their patrons and help the wait staff remember orders. Even if you don’t use a decorative tabletop number, the venue staff will probably ask for some kind of seating chart and meal planning system to ensure that your guests get the food they requested. Table numbers are also useful if dining is buffet-style. To start a buffet line, you can call out table numbers instead of having everyone get up at once. This helps you manage the buffet lines, so it doesn’t get too long and crowded.

Creative Centerpieces

There’s no shortage of ways to express your personal style with a decorative tabletop number. Some people incorporate them into their floral arrangements using 3-dimensional numbers. Give meaning to your table numbers by including a special note saying what each number means to you. For example, if your corporation has a list of goals for an event or for the year, write one goal on each placard and use it as a conversation starter. You can keep it simple by placing your number in a decorative photo frame illuminated by candles, or a miniature chalkboard with hand-drawn numbers.


Table numbers can also be used to organize games and special events at your gathering. At a business luncheon use table numbers to assign collaborative projects and let tables compete for the best new ideas. This allows for team building. For business meetings, corporate event planning companies in San Jose, CA, can help you with your seating arrangements. Contact the experts at Handheld Catering for more great ideas.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Tips to Boost Attendance at Your Event

There’s nothing more disheartening than spending hours of hard work planning an event, only to have no one show up. Though it’s likely they have their reasons, it’s hard not to take something like this personally. No matter if it’s a wedding, a business meeting, a fundraiser, or another event, you want your attendance to be high. To avoid this kind of embarrassment at your next event, use the tips below.

Select the Right Date

Think carefully about the date and time of the event you are planning. Certain seasons, days of the week, and times of day can be better suited for some types of events. For seminars, mornings are the best. Employee appreciation and networking events are best on weekday nights right after work. Weddings and parties are great on Friday nights and the weekends. If you are not sure about which date to select, ask some potential attendees about their availability.

Choose the Best Location

The venue where you host the event will also impact the attendance. Select a central location that will be easy for people to get to. And, of course, make sure the venue fits in your budget, too.

Mail Invites Early

The earlier you can send out save the dates, the better. This will allow people to schedule this day and time early on and lowers the chance that they will already be committed to another event. Be sure to personalize the invites, too. A handwritten note will get more attention than an easily-ignored email.

Plan the Agenda Early

By planning the event ahead of time and communicating it to the guests, you can give them another reason to commit. In the invitation, include the major selling points of the event like a free meal, guest speakers, a petting zoo, etc. If the event is open to people of all ages, offer activities that appeal to the different age groups.

Remind People about the Event

The good thing about mailing invites early is that it gives people more time to plan. The bad thing, however, is that you run the risk of people forgetting about the event. Mail or email reminders to attendees about two weeks before the event so they don’t forget.

Hire a Professional

If all of this seems like a lot of work, it’s time to consider hiring a professional. A private event planner in San Jose, CA, can handle improving attendance and any other party planning task. This will relieve all the stress of throwing an event and guarantee that it will go off without a hitch. Contact us at HandHeld Catering to learn more about how we can boost attendance at your next event.


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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

What Should Be on the Menus of Your Corporate Event?

Before you can order from a company that provides full-service catering in San Jose, CA, you need to know what you want to serve. Your menu will be dictated by the time of day, how you sell your event, and what you want to get out of it. Catering breakfast provides incentive for people to arrive on time and stay for the entire meeting. Catering lunch keeps people from drifting away from a meeting. Dinner and early breakfast meals are a good time to connect with customers and supporters. Mid-meeting snacks keep the energy level up and provide a respite, in which people can process information from the meeting.


At Breakfast Time

Breakfast may be the easiest meal to decide on a menu for. Eggs can be scrambled, fried, or boiled. Pancakes, waffles, and French toast are always a hit. Granola and yogurt are good together in a parfait or separate, especially if you need to cover those who are vegetarian. Don’t neglect the drinks; coffee and tea should always be on the menu, but it is equally important to include fresh fruit juice, preferably orange if they are in season. Add cereal and milk to help people feel like kids again!


At Lunch Time

Lunch is relatively easy because you can let people decide on their own menu! A sandwich bar makes it easy for people to eat as healthy as they want. Spice it up with a variety of breads, lettuce, tomato, a couple types of cheeses and lunch meat. Add a salad and soup bar for vegetarian options. Ice cream with toppings is always a good finisher.




At Dinner Time

Pasta is always a great choice because it can be served with a variety of sauces: tomato sauce for the vegetarians, Bolognese for the meat eaters, and chicken Alfredo for those who don’t like tomatoes. You might also try an Indian-style rice dish with curry sauces to choose from. Finish the evening off with coffee or tea and a themed dessert, and you’ve got yourself a great way to connect with your customers or your employees.


Snack Time

Coffee and tea with pastries and fruit in the morning or cookies and muffins in the afternoon make for a good snack. Of course, you can always serve breakfast food for dinner or lunch, and lunch menus make for okay dinner options, too. Consult with your company providing the full-service catering in San Jose, CA, and see what they recommend for your budget. Then, communicate with the people that are coming, so they know what to expect.

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Monday, August 20, 2018

Fun Fun Fun in the San Jose Sun: Where to Go

Several festivals are still coming our way with food, fun and more. So let’s get right to it so that you can mark your calendars for these great local activities.


Italian Family Festa

August 25th & 26th at History Park is the 38th annual Italian Family Festa. Each year the Festa adds new activities to keep the Festa fun and relaxing while providing a truly cultural experience to the community. This year’s addition is the Galbani Cooking Stage, sponsored by Galbani Cheese, with celebrity Chef Marco sharing his recipes and cooking tips. With Italian music, entertainment, cultural exhibits and presentations, cooking demonstrations, grape stomps, wine tasting, bocce and more, this is a weekend filled with fun that shouldn’t be missed.


Viva Frida!

September 9th marks a festive tribute in honor of renowned Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo! Head over to Mexican Heritage Plaza to enjoy food, art, music, culture, tequila, and margaritas. Listen to live Mariachi as you admire paintings from local Chicano and Mexican artists and there be a variety of food vendors plus Mexican antojitos, Frida themed photo booths and a festive atmosphere to celebrate one of Mexico’s most renowned artists. The event is kid friendly so the whole family can enjoy this festival and this year there will be a Frida and Diego lookalike contest but tickets will not be sold at the door, so be sure to get yours ahead of time.


Chile, Mole, Pozole

Sunday, September 16th from 11am-4pm you should again visit Mexican Heritage Plaza at The School of Arts and Culture for Chile, Mole, Pozole – a celebration of Mexican Independence Day featuring traditional food, unique family recipes, and art that bridges the traditions of Mexico and East San Jose. At this inaugural event, twelve families will prepare their salsa recipes using locally sourced vegetables. As an attendee, you can sample these delicious salsas and hear the stories behind their creation. Additionally, there will be 3 local restaurants on hand serving up the delicious Mexican staple dishes of mole and pozole.


Looking To Spice Up Your Party Menu?

Whether you have a small gathering of friends, a large reunion, corporate event or a local wedding, Handheld Catering will work with you to design a custom catering menu to please all of your guests. We offer fresh, high-quality and, most importantly, delicious food to the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Contact us today and let Handheld Catering take care of the food.

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Check Out These Great San Jose Wedding Venues

Weddings are fun! Nerve-wracking, but fun. And a huge part of that fun is planning the entire thing but trying to find the perfect location around San Jose can be a little overwhelming at times. So today we thought we’d shine the light on a few of the more ‘top-of-the-line’ venues.


Corinthian Grand Ballroom

Located in Downtown San Jose, the Corinthian Grand Ballroom is the premier location for your wedding ceremony & reception. The Corinthian Grand Ballroom is “Silicon Valley’s most elegant and historic private venue” and can accommodate up to 350 guests!


Wedgewood Weddings | Boulder Ridge

Located in Boulder Ridge, high above the Santa Clara Valley in San Jose, Wedgewood Weddings offers panoramic views of the entire Silicon Valley and features a stunning backdrop of the Santa Cruz Mountain Range. 360-degree views of the lush valley make the perfect backdrop for your weddings photos and this venue can handle up to 200 guests. The average wedding cost at Wedgewood Weddings, Boulder Ridge is estimated at between $13,657 and $17,522 for a ceremony & reception for 100 guests.


The Ranch Golf Club, South Bay

Offering more than just an 18-hole golf course, The Ranch Golf Club in the South San Jose hills offers a unique wedding venue that you have to see to believe. With an endless view of the countryside that extends far beyond the meticulous fairways to the glistening, San Francisco skyline, it’s a location that neither you nor your guests will soon forget. For a ceremony & reception with 100 guests, the average wedding cost at The Ranch Golf Club is estimated at between $16,734 and $27,167.


Cinnabar Hills Golf Club, South Bay

This 27-hole golf course is nestled in Coyote Valley, providing a beautiful view of the lush rolling hills. The clubhouse has large windows with elegant white edging that frame the exquisite views and a massive, decorative skylight atop the room with a pyramid-like quality adds impressive lighting. At Cinnabar Hills Golf Club you can expect to pay between $9,825 and $17,592 for a ceremony & reception with 100 guests.


Got Something a Little More Budget-Friendly Planned?

We know that the above locations aren’t for every wedding and you can also check out some of our favorite Bay Area Wedding Venues. However, no matter what venue you choose, Handheld Catering can provide you with Bay Area wedding catering that is customized to your specifications. Almost nothing makes us more excited than crafting a delicious and fresh-made meal, but we’ve got to say — true love comes pretty close. Handheld Catering is thrilled to offer wedding catering services throughout the Bay Area including Santa Clara, Los Altos, Sunnyvale and San Jose, so that newlyweds and guests alike can have the dining experience of a lifetime.


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Monday, August 6, 2018

Handheld Catering On Location At Stanford University

Recently we were honored to be a part of a two-day event at the University’s Center on Global Poverty and Development. This research center works to improve the lives of the world’s poor and is working diligently to turn path-breaking research into real-world results. From research and awarding student fellowships to convening conferences and events, the Center strives to improve policies that will make people’s lives better.


What Was On The Menu

With 2 full days of breakfast, lunch, and snacks, Handheld Catering worked up an impressive menu for all four meals. Of course, as a Certified Green Business, we used all biodegradable products for all plating and utensils, as well as napkins the cups for beverages and coffee.

Day 1 Menu


  • Fruit salad
  • Egg, potato, spinach, bacon, mushroom, onion, tomato and cheddar cheese frittatas.
  • Vegetarian option with egg, potato, spinach, red pepper onions and Swiss.
  • Build your own bagel bar with assorted sliced bagels, sliced cheddar, and Swiss, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado.
  • Assorted juices, tea and of course plenty of coffee.

AM Snack

  • Assorted mini muffins & mini scones with jam and butter.
  • Assorted soft drinks, mineral water and lemon and mint-infused water.

Buffet Lunch

  • Baby arugula salad with orange and grapefruit segments, shaved fennel, red onion and a honey lemon vinaigrette.
  • Seasonal vegetables.
  • Garlic and leek mashed potatoes.
  • Fried Sea Bass with a tarragon white wine sauce.
  • Vegetarian entree which was roasted red bell peppers filled with wild rice, spinach, corn, fava beans, and tomatoes.
  • Dessert was salted caramel brownies, lemon bars, and blueberry crumble bars.

Day 2 Menu

The Daily Start Breakfast

  • Scrambled eggs with fresh chives.
  • Roasted breakfast potatoes with red peppers and onions.
  • Chicken apple sausage.
  • Fresh fruit platter.
  • Assorted mini croissants.
  • Assorted Greek yogurt cups with granola on the side.
  • Beverage service with coffee, tea, and juice.

AM Snack

  • Assorted breakfast breads – banana, zucchini and lemon poppyseed.
  • Assorted soft drinks and mineral water with lemon and mint infused.

Buffet Lunch

  • Naan
  • Steam basmati rice
  • Aloo gobi with potatoes, cauliflower, and peas in Indian spices.
  • Vegetarian option of Dall-Indian spiced lentils.
  • Chicken tikka masala
  • Dessert was individual gulab jamun/ mango fruit custards

You Need Handheld Catering

No matter if you’re having a formal event or a small social gathering, Handheld Catering can customize a menu that’s perfect for you. Whether you substitute certain items from one of our delicious menus or you have us craft one from the ground up, we will make a meal that you and your guests are destined to enjoy. Contact us today for your upcoming Palo Alto corporate event catering needs, wedding, reunion or just a gathering of friends. We’ll take care of everything – you just enjoy the party.


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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Handheld Catering Certified As Green Business

You likely know that at Handheld Catering we strive to use the freshest ingredients from local growers and farmers and that we practice the farm-to-fork approach. However, we are proud to announce that we are now the first caterer in Silicon Valley to be Certified as a Green Business and only the 36th in the entire state of California to receive such a distinguished honor. This is a milestone that we are extremely delighted to achieve and we couldn’t wait to share this news with you.


So What Does ‘Certified’ Mean?

Becoming a Certified Green Business is reserved for those companies that are verified to be complying with environmental regulations in the areas of pollution prevention, business waste, energy, water and air quality and that show they truly care about sustainability. Handheld Catering is committed to taking action to conserve resources and prevent pollution and this Certification lets the rest of the state know exactly how committed we are.


What Differences Do Green Businesses Make?

As of 2018, there have been 3,108 California businesses Certified Green and the overall savings has been huge. Take a look at some of these savings from the past year.

  • Greenhouse Gas Emission – With the equivalent of planting 419.696 trees in one year, greenhouse gas was reduced by 356,322 metric tons.
  • Utility Usage – Small businesses saved $9,000,000 in utilities.
  • Diverted Waste – 122,030 metric tons of waste was diverted from landfills and that’s the equivalent of 15,253 garbage trucks worth.
  • Water Conservation – 60,621,760 gallons of water saved – enough to fill over 90 Olympic-sized swimming pools.


Why Get Certified?

Becoming a California Green Business Partner not only means that you’re doing your part to fight climate change, but that you’re committed to improving the health of our citizens and environment. Savings in energy, water and garbage thanks to cost-saving practices mean less waste and more money retained by the company and by using less toxic products, your staff members benefit as well.

Recent studies have shown that consumer’s desire to patronize businesses that are doing their part for the environment has been steadily increasing and 42% of surveyed California Green Businesses reported an increase in business since receiving their recognition.


Let Us Do The Cooking

Handheld Catering is available for all of your private and office events in the Bay Area. We will customize a menu specifically to your likes or specifications and since we use those locally-sourced fresh ingredients and we are Certified Green, you know that you and your guests will be treated to an unforgettable meal.

Whether you have a wedding, reunion, small family get together or a large and very important client or corporate meeting, Handheld Catering will craft a delightful breakfast, lunch or dinner that you can be proud of. Contact us today and let us do the cooking so you can enjoy the gathering.


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