Cooking it Up at Saint Germain

staff appreciation Archive

Change Up Your Summer Company BBQ


As summer is set to begin in just a few weeks, you are  probably making plans for your annual company picnic. Chances are the event will be identical to previous years. Hot dogs, hamburger, chicken and/or ribs, salads and watermelon will likely be on your menu and volleyball, softball and swimming on your activity list. Here are some ideas to add pizzazz to your picnic, without necessarily increasing your budget.

1. Move Locations. If you have held your picnic at the same spot for more than two or three years in a row, consider moving it. Look for alternative locales. If your barbecue is generally held in a park, move it to the zoo. If you’re at the lake, move it to a park. Even if you have to keep it at the same park as always, try to set up your event at another location in the park to offer a slight change of vista.

2. The Theme.  Create a theme for the picnic. Themes not only add a little excitement, they allow you to make small changes to your plans that have a big impact. Best of all, themes can provide focus to your plans and help you stay on track. Circus, Western, County Fair and Safari themes are all popular, easy-to-execute and affordable themes. Your menu may stay the same if you wish, but by changing the atmosphere or even how it is served, your familiar fare will take on new appeal.

For aCircus Themed Picnic:

  •  Cover the tables with red and white striped cloths.
  • Rent popcorn and cotton candy machines.
  • Dress the serving staff in clown attire.
  • Hire a face painter or find some volunteers to paint children’s faces.
  • Dress yourself or a senior staff member as the ringmaster and announce activities. 
  • Serve hot dogs and ice cream from rented push carts.
  • Create a midway of rides and/or games. You can hire companies to come in to do this or you can rent or buy games and have volunteers staff the booths. Just be sure to have inexpensive prizes, not only for the children who “win” the games, but also for those who participated.
  • Bring in entertainers: magicians, jugglers, stilt walkers, etc. in keeping with the circus theme. Most have costumes that would be appropriate to your theme to add to the atmosphere
  • If you normally rent a plain white tent, see if a striped tent is available. Should you hold your event in a pavilion, fill the structure’s ceiling with a large quantity of balloons to create a circus atmosphere.

For a County Fair theme:

  • Decorate your tables in a gingham print.
  • Serve beverages from mason jars.
  • Invite employees to bring in their favorite recipe to be judged in a “best chili,” “best barbecue sauce,” or “best preserves” contest.
  • Have fun with a pie-eating or watermelon seed-spitting contest. 
  • Arrange typical country fair games such as three-legged or potato sack races and a tug-of-war with management versus employees.
  • Dress your servers in bib overalls or gingham shirts.
  • Set up hay rides around the picnic area or park.

For a Wild West Theme:

  • Use checked or gingham table covers
  • Straw cowboy hats make great party favors, centerpieces and bowls for dry snacks. 
  • Hire a square dance caller and get everyone up to learn how to dosie-do.
  • Bring in pony rides for the little ones.
  • Barbecue beef ribs instead of pork for a more western taste to your menu.
  • Serve  lemonade or root beer in handled mugs instead of the usual canned  sodas.
  • Use sheriff’s badges as name tags by writing on them with a permanent marker or affixing a name label.

For a Safari theme:

  • Use stuffed toy jungle animals for centerpieces.
  • Dress your waitstaff in animal print shirts or khaki shirts..
  • Hang toy monkeys from the trees.
  • Give the kids butterfly nets to catch “wild” prey.
  • Try to set this theme party at a local zoo so the big game hunters can see jungle beasts up close.
  • Hand out disposable cameras and have a guide take guests on a photo safari of the zoo.
  •  Set up a scavenger hunt using natural items found at the picnic site as the objects participants must find and bring back on their list.
  • If possible, set up elephant or camel rides.
  • Encourage children to draw their favorite animal and then let them save their artwork in an animal print frame.
  • Cover tables in animal print cloth, paper or plastic tablecloths.

Most of all, make your company picnic an event that will be looked forward to, not only by your employees and their families, but also by yourself.  After all, don’t you deserve a wonderful day in the great outdoors too?

Need Help Planning Your Staff Appreciation Meals for April?



When planning an employee appreciation event for your company, keeping a caterer in mind is one of the most important aspects to consider.  It is important to find a caterer who will not only deliver the best and gourmet food available for catering employee appreciation events in Washington DC and Northern Virginia, but one that will also meet all your specific needs and desires. The menu your potential caterer provides is important, but it is whether or not they can work cohesively with you and in a professional manner that is most important.

Keeping your budget in mind is also something that needs to be factored into your potential catering service.  Sure, the caterer of your dreams may have all the menu options you desire, but can you and your company afford it?  If you don’t do the proper research and ask questions when talking to potential caterers, you may find yourself paying a lot more than you were willing to.

Considering the specifics for your event is necessary, too.  Certain restaurants and/or catering services may require a minimum amount of guests for food preparation purposes, and depending on whether or not you plan on keeping your employee appreciation event small and intimate or a large gathering; this may cross a lot of caterers off of your list.

Lastly, when you finally decide on the perfect caterer for your event, make sure you meet up with them, taste the food samples, and ensure they can deliver exactly what you want when.If the food satisfies your guests, you are already on the right track towards a successful event, and your employees will be hoping for leftovers in the company break room!

However, you do not need to look any further when trying to find a caterer because the team at Saint Germain Catering has everything you need when planning the menu for your employee appreciation event.  The food menu selection is beyond exceptional and the experts are not only great to work with but are extremely professional.  Corporate Executive Our sales team and culinary team works closely with the client to ensure the menu is exquisite and personalized for the event.  Saint Germain only uses the finest quality ingredients and their culinary expertise with international cuisine guarantees satisfaction in all areas.  The purpose of your event is to show appreciation towards your employees, but with Saint Germain Catering in charge, your employees will be appreciating you! Need some menu ideas, we have helped put together some packages for you at

A Day In The Life of an Event Planner/Caterer






Do you like attending parties, weddings or galas? Do you ever think who is behind planning all these extravagant parties?  The answer is event planners. They are the ones that make events successful.  Events can vary from weddings, birthday parties, fundraisers, corporate events, festival, concerts or galas. Some event planners may choose to specialize in a certain style of events such as weddings; however, some may plan it all. Depending on the event, planning may consist of one or more of the following: budgeting, establishing dates, selecting and reserving the event site, arranging décor, food, entertainment, acquiring permits, and coordinating transportation and parking. Event planners need to be patient, dedicated and hard working. There are many characteristics that an event planner must have in order to succeed in the industry.

Whether a client orders sandwiches or needs to plan a full scale event from Saint Germain Catering, they like everything to be just perfect says company Vice President Sarah Miller. Sarah is also in charge of coordinating all catering deliveries, both social and corporate, from start to finish. She’s accustomed to making sure that the food is exactly what the client orders, whether it’s for a company CEO networking event or a full scale gala for 500. Having been in the hospitality business for over 20 years; 15 of which have been in event planning and catering. “ After I planned my first event, I was hooked. I love the creative aspect of planning a function, the excitement of meeting people from all over, working with outside vendors and entertainers, and arranging corporate dinners, receptions and social functions.”

Crazy is a great work to use to describe a day in the life of a caterer and event planter. The only way that caterers and event planners can survive it is by being type A, over achievers and have their game faces on all the time Whether it’s planning those menus for clients for an in office or needing to get up early on a weekend to make sure all the weekend’s special events are ready, a person like Sarah Miller definitely stays busy.  The ultimate goal of a caterer is to exceed the client’s expectations by helping them to create a successful event and a memorable experience. In addition to client satisfaction, you hope for repeat business and a long lasting business relationship.

According to the National Restaurant Association, catering is one of the fastest-growing segments of the restaurant and food industry. A day in the life of a catering vice presiden like Sarah can be, as they say, a hard days work. Since Saint Germain Catering handles both social and corporate catering, they are not impacted by the seasons.– MacDougall just Their business often requires long days to not just prepare the food, but also to transport it to the site and coordinate services such as linen, flatware, glassware, tents and much more.

Sarah typically starts her day between 2:30 and 3 a.m. to expediate breakfast deliveries and supervising a team of 30 staff members, meaning food prep, packing platters, and delivery. Constantly checking, double checking and triple checking all the details that go into each order.  When a client comes into contact with Saint Germain whether they are  looking to set up an event or just order a drop off meal, she will discuss the parameters of the clients needs and come up with a specific situation. Important things she considers include what type of event it is, how many people are attending, if there is a theme desired, and what the customer feels is a good budget or price range. Using her in-depth knowledge of the company’s catering menu, Sarah can help the client craft the perfect menu for the event. In some cases, this may include tastings of the possible dishes to let the client review the skill and quality of the chefs, especially when it comes to weddings or events.

Once an order has been placed,  received and processed, she is then in charge of getting a catering team together to manage and staff the event. This may include waiters, bartenders, servers, and chefs, all of which may be under the direction of one of Saint Germain’s event captains. In most cases, she will also be in charge of readying items related to catering, including chairs and tables, linens, floral centerpieces, flatware, and dishes and working with our support vendors. “What I like best about my job is having a vision for an event and seeing it executed successfully” Sarah states.  “I enjoy collaborating with all the individuals needed to make the event happen, there is not a practice trial, you get one shot to pull it off. I like to see the guests and my clients leave the event knowing that we met and exceeded all their expectations.”

With a different event or even several hundred events on many days, the working life of a catering coordinator can be quite exciting.

Corporate Catering In The DC Metro Area


The world of corporate catering is unique from the demands of social catering and event catering.  Whether you are dealing with a client with individual lunch meetings a training seminar with 200, the quality of the food matters a great deal to both personal image and company morale. Saint Germain Catering has built is target focus on corporate catering for the past 15 years and serves clients throughout the Washington DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia area.   Corporate catering that offers higher quality meal options for clients and employees can be not only impressive, but motivating on a level that few other skills can match. Mastering the art of corporate catering in itself can be challenging so there is a huge importanced placed upon finding an experienced caterer.  By working with Saint Germain Catering, we can help you create the perfect meal that will wow your co-workers, clients or employees.

With socialcatering, the idea is to keep everyone fed with the foods and meals that they love and enjoye at home or when dining out. The same can be said of  corporate catering, but there are added things  to consider. What if you’re catering for a breakfast before a big presentation? Will it be a working lunch?  These catering options stand out as being extremely important in menu planning, as they can not only affect the performance of those who actually eat the food, but the general mood of the event.

Corporate catering still offers many options just as social catering. Active chef stations like Waffle Bars, Sundae Stations or Pasta Bars are all popular themes that can come into mind. Whether you are seting up a  hot and cold buffet for breakfast, lunch or dinner.   The first is that they can create a contrast of flavors and textures as well as meeting dietary needs. The second is that they can serve two different types of guests; those who prefer cold foods like salads and sandwiches, and those who are interested in prepared meals such as warm Chicken Picatta. Some guests, for example, may forgo a rich desert in favor of fresh fruit. In corporate environments, where one needs to be quick on his or her toes, options like these can make all of the difference. Be sure to include lots of variety for all the meeting attendees and guests.


Corporate catering can also be said for the types of meals being provided on a daily basis to a company. Does your firm have a daily tray of bagels or muffins that goes out each day? Whether you’re having new hire orientation or  a holiday celebration, nothing tells your staff that you care more about them than a high quality, catered meal. Catering can be great for staff appreciation days, holidays, office celebrations, special parties, or even just suprise  lunch. They can help your employees to save a little on their usual lunch bill. Catering meals in house to your staff also gives your employees the opportunity to mingle amongst one another. This can create an atmosphere where brainstorming can take place , new contacts can be made, and a greater appreciation for the company can be formed.

Just like social catering, presentation matters as well. If your catering service offers special presentation options, consider them.  Offer clients the option of china or ceramics over disposables.  Have a client that supports green  initiatives, offer then compostable cutlery to help support their company wide beliefs.

How To Throw The Perfect Company Picnic

Many companies thank their employees by hosting a cookout for their employees and their families. Not only are company picnics great because they are an inexpensive way to say thank you, but they also allow employees to mix and mingle in a more relaxed setting. Company picnics can be tons of fun to attend, but a little difficult to plan. Here are some essential tips to make your job easier.

1. Know your priorities, budget, and write an effective to-do list. This involves determining whom to invite: employees, spouses and significant others, children and/or clients. All of your decisions– from location, menu, and entertainment –stem from this first one.

2. Select the date. Avoid days near the beginning or end of a company holiday period, as many people may be out of town. Choose a weekday so employees are not forced to give up their personal commitments to attend a work function.

3. Research locations, taking into consideration the travel time from employees’ homes or the office.

4. Food. If you are considering hosting a company picnic, either on-site at your facility, or at an off-site location, contact Saint Germain and we will help make your event a success. From our Fajita Salad bar to our Lunch Time BBQ, our June Specials make a perfect match for any outdoor event.

5. Decide on the entertainment, making sure you have activities that appeal to everyone who will be attending.  Magicians, corn-hole, bingo, and raffles are always great hits.

6. Order any party favors well in advance. Special logo T-shirts or baseball caps are always popular, but also consider Frisbees, water bottles, tote bags and beach balls.

7. Keep a detailed notebook containing all contracts, menus, publicity material, favor choices, entertainment ideas and any other significant decisions and resources. This will give you an overview of planning–and it will provide an immense aid to the person who handles this job next year.

Do you have any tips on throwing picnics? Share them with us! Respond in the comments below, tweet us at @SGCatering or post on our Facebook Fan Page wall!

Saint Germain’s #1 Admin!

The nominations are in, and we have a winner! In March we asked you to nominate your office administrator for an Ultimate Day of Beauty Package at the Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner in celebration of Administrative Professional Week (April 23rd-28th). We are also awarding two runners up with the Invigorate the Spirit Package at the Ritz Carlton, Tysons Corner! In order to be eligible we asked you to answer why he/she deserves the spa package, and what’s one thing he/she does to make the office a better work place.

1st Place is Rosi  

Ultimate Day of Beauty at the Ritz Carlton: 300 minutes of relaxing spa time; this includes a 50-minute therapeutic massage, European facial, gourmet spa luncheon, deluxe manicure with paraffin, and deluxe pedicure with paraffin.

Runners Up: Paige & Brenda

Invigorate the Spirit at the Ritz Carlton: The ideal precursor to an upcoming weekend: 180 minutes of soothing spa time. This includes a 50-minute therapeutic massage, petite facial, spa manicure and spa pedicure.

We would like extend a huge thank you to everyone who participated in nominating their office administrators and an even larger thank you to every office administrator for everything that you do for us every day!

What are some ways you like to relax? Share them with us! Respond in the comments below, tweet us at @SGCatering or post on our Facebook Fan Page wall!

5 Delicious Ways to Thank Your Staff

Between all of the wedding catering and corporate events, sometimes it’s difficult to show our colleagues, coworkers and employees just how much we value them. (A LOT, by the way!) So for this week’s blog post, we’re taking a break from talking about delicious meals to brainstorm some ideas for celebrating Staff Appreciation Week (April 23rd – 28th).

  1. Dinner on Us! Give staff one night they don’t have to worry about dinner. A small restaurant gift card goes a long way in relieving one of life’s most exasperating questions.
  2. The Quickest Way to the Heart is Through the Stomach! Take coworkers or staff to lunch for a birthday, a special occasion or for no reason at all. Even better, use Staff Appreciation Week as an excuse to treat your employees to some corporate catering at the office – we know just the caterer =)
  3. Sweet Gestures. A surprise snack break always gets a smile and brings the office together. Offerings such as bagels, doughnuts, cookies or cupcakes are guaranteed hits. When all else fails, just bring chocolate. Chocolate anything.
  4. A Cup of Joe. Provide your staff and coworkers a $5 Starbucks gift certificate–a quick way to recognize them and keep everyone energized!
  5. Par-tay! Throw a pizza party, ice cream social, or happy hour. Give employees a chance to socialize with each other and have a good time!

Keep in mind you don’t have to wait for Staff Appreciation Week to show your staff some love. Employee appreciation is never out-of-place and in fact, a scarce commodity – so be the exception!

What are some ways you show your colleagues, coworkers and employees appreciation? Share them with us! Respond in the comments below, tweet us at @SGCatering or post on our Facebook Fan Page wall!

For the record, Saint Germain Catering has the best staff in the world! Check out our team in action below!

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Saint Germain Catering Wins Hermes Creative Award!

We are thrilled to announce our catering menu has been awarded and selected as the winner of the prestigious Hermes Creative Award by the Association of Marketing & Communication Professionals (AMCP).
Our menu was chosen because it “captures the food in tantalizing detail with eye-popping graphic garnishes.” The AMCP judges went on to say, “If it were possible to gain weight by reading, than this is the menu to do it.”
Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional materials and programs, and emerging technologies. Hermes Creative Awards is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.
We are also honored to be currently featured on the AMCP Web site. We owe it all to our amazing clients and thank you for your continued support to make this possible.
Contact us today for one of our award-winning menus to keep in your office to assist you with your selection for you next event.

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Celebrate Administrative Professionals Day With Us

Administrative Professionals Day will mark its 60th anniversary on April 25, 2012. The job and responsibilites of an administrative professional have changed alot of the years, but admins have always remained a huge and  intergral part of any company.  By helping ensure that jobs get done right, on time and under budget, admins are one of the most important roles in any organization. In a world that demands the accuracy and speed in a complex digital world, admins are masters of it all. They serve as the gatekeepers for many customers, clients and employees. 

Over the years, Administrative Professionals Week has become one of the largest workplace observances. Celebrated worldwide, this holiday brings people together for events, educational seminars and individual corporate activities recognizing support staff. There are more than 4 million secretaries and administrative assistants working in the United States, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, and over 8 million people working in various administrative support roles.

In honor of Administrative Professionals Week, Saint Germain Catering is offering the following special menus:

Staff Appreciation Breakfast #1

  • Fluffy Farm Fresh Scrambled Eggs
  • Diced Yukon Potatoes O’Brien
  • Turkey Sausage Links and Crispy Bacon Strips
  • Buttermilk Pancakes with Maple Syrup, Fruit Topping and Whipped Butter
  • Mini Muffins, Danishes, Bagels and Croissants
  • Sliced Seasonal Fruit and Berries

$12.99 Per Person minimum 50 guests

$11.99 Per Person minimum 100 guests

Staff Appreciation Breakfast #2

  • Assorted Breakfast Egg Frittata “Cupcakes”
  • Assorted Donuts and Dipped Donut Bites
  • Sliced Seasonal Fruit Platter
  • Individual Greek Yogurts with Granola

$10.99 Per Person minimum 50 guests

$9.99 Per Person minimum 100 guests

 Staff Apprciation Lunch #1

  • Mediterrean Chicken Kabobs & Beef Kabobs with Roasted Vegetables
  • Shirin Polo Rice with Pistachios
  • Mixed Field Greens Salad with Feta Cheese, Black Olives and Pepperonicinis
  • Red Pepper & Garlic Hummus Dip
  • Dill Cucumber Yogurt Dip
  • Crispy & Soft Pitas

$17.50 Per Person minimum 50 guests

$16.50 Per person minimum 100 guests

Staff Appreciation Lunch #2

  • Selection of our Around the World Sliders
  • Mini Pretzel Hot Dog Bites
  • Condiments Station with lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard, mayo, ketchup
  • Sweet Potato Wedges
  • Homemade Parm Chips with Dip
  • Assorted Gourmet Cake Pops

$17.50 Per Person minimum 50 guests

$16.50 Per person minimum 100 guests


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