Catering FAQ


What do catered events during Covid-19 look like?

We look forward to serving you and your guests in a safe and responsible manner. We are committed to your safety and health and will continue to follow all applicable state regulations and guidelines.

  • Our catering staff is always available to deliver your menu items. We can deliver menu items cold for you to re-heat–or hot and ready to eat. Buffet service and self-serve beverages are not currently available due to state regulations. Our revamped menu offers pre-composed meals, individual appetizers, and cocktail kits.
  • A six-foot of distance must be maintained between those who are not in the same household/family unit. Venues have designated separate doors for entering and exiting the building. We clean and sanitize bathrooms and other high-touch points every hour. Learn more about what we’re doing to ensure the safety of our team, our customers, and our community
  • We can provide onsite catering staff under certain circumstances. We can provide onsite catering staff at event venues that are following current state and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) mandates for indoor/outdoor entertainment establishments. Currently we are not providing onsite staff for events hosted at residences or parks. This is due to social gathering restrictions as well as the lack of a dedicated event operator to monitor safe distancing, sanitizing, etc.
  • Virtual events: We’re experts at delivering gorgeous food that travels and reheats beautifully at home — from cocktail hour appetizers to individual entrees and desserts. Learn more about how we can help with your virtual event or celebration.
What are your contract terms?
  • To reserve your date with our full-service catering team, we need a signed contract and a $250 (nonrefundable) retainer. Menu and event details can continue to change throughout the event planning process. Please note that summer, holiday, and weekend event dates book early, so a signed contract is best completed well in advance.
  • For delivery drop-off or pickup orders under $1,000, we will charge the card on file the day of your event. For orders over $1,000, a 50% deposit will be due when booking and the remaining amount charged the day of the event.
  • To postpone your full-service catering contract, please provide written notice at least 90 days in advance. We can transfer your retainer fee to a new date within one year of your original event date. For example, if your event was June 1st, 2021, then your new date can be anywhere between 6/1/21 and 6/1/22).
  • Your final guest count – not subject to reduction – is due ten (10) business days before your event. Any increase in guest count beyond this date may incur extra charges, as we order ingredients for your event.
  • We offer a 10% discount off food and beverages to non-profit and B-Corp Certified customers. This applies to catering and sack lunch orders.
​How do your menus work?
  • Our Delivery Menu is for our drop-off and catering delivery services, as well as curbside or in-store pickup. We deliver throughout the Portland metro area as well as the surrounding communities. You can check your delivery fee by by zip code here. We are also using this delivery/pickup menu is for full-service catering (weddings and events) right now (2021). Check back this summer/fall to find our full-service catering menu for 2022!
  • Buffet meals or other self-serve items (beverages, desserts, etc.) are not allowed under current regulations. We are able to deliver and drop of menu items in larger containers for you and your guests to serve.
  • We can include place settings, linens, and other rental items on your full-service catering contract. We work with many talented local vendors to arrange for specialty décor pieces, floral arrangements, lighting, draping and props. Our event planners can provide recommendations.
  • A few notes for clients considering drop-off catering:If you order cool menu items (to reheat later), we will deliver them within a two-hour window. Hot and ready-to-heat in a 30-minute window. For hot meals, we recommend a delivery window as close as possible to the meal time.We assign our drivers a delivery window well before your event. We cannot guarantee any last minute changes.
  • We use disposable containers and platters for all the items on our current delivery menu. For our casserole and entree items, the single-serve “Small” containers are microwave safe and the “Medium” and “Large” sizes are microwave and oven safe.
​Do you offer menu tastings?
  • COVID UPDATE: We are not doing in-person tastings now, but you are welcome to order items off of our Catering Menu for delivery or pickup. Please connect with your planner for more details.
  • Standard Tasting Policy (fall 2021 + future events): We offer complimentary tastings for booked clients for up to two individuals. We hold tastings at our catering offices in SE Portland within three months of your event date. They are by appointment only. We can accommodate more guests can with advanced notice, for $10 per person.
  • All menu tastings are subject to ingredient availability and may not be available outside of a menu item’s seasonality.


​I don’t know where I am going to hold my wedding/event – can you help?
  • Elephants is a preferred caterer at most of the premier venues in the greater Portland-metro area, as well as the Columbia Gorge and Willamette wine country. For more information, please refer to our catering venues page. We are always establishing and expanding relationships with the region’s best venues, and would be thrilled to help you find the perfect setting for your big day.
  • Elephants also has two private dining rooms at our NW 22nd and Corbett Avenue locations. The Corbett Room is perfect for mid-sized social and corporate events, and The Garden Room is ideal for intimate parties, meetings and more.
  • Our team also manages Leftbank Annex, a large industrial event space located in NE Portland. Leftbank is available for events of all sizes and types, whether it be a wedding, tradeshow, gala, or performance.
What are my options when it comes to having alcohol at my event?
  • Elephants is a fully OLCC licensed provider of beer, wine and spirits, and will happily provide and serve at your event. Our bartenders maintain a full selection of wine, beer, and cocktails (from old classics to custom creations). We are also proud to offer a selection of “preferred cocktails.” This rotating roster of revived classics and brand new creations is complimentary with all full bar packages.
  • Our clients are free to provide their own alcohol for events, but it must all come from the same source (no BYOB). All events with client-provided alcohol must be pre-approved by the venue (unless it is a private house). This may result in more regional venue-specific insurance or fee requirements. If alcohol is provided by the client, Elephants Catering charges a per-bottle/drink corkage fee in addition to the per-guest bar setup fee. This covers the cost of bar equipment, insurance and standard mixers.
  • All alcohol (whether provided by us or the client) must be served by an Elephants staff member. The only exception being if the event is hosted at a venue that requires the bar items go through them.Please note: Not all event venues permit client-provided alcohol, and some carry restrictions on the types of alcohol allowed.
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