Whether or not you have experience working with catering companies, it can be hard to choose the best service option for your specific event. What’s the difference between full service and delivery? Let’s break it down and take a look at each different service type and what they include. 

Here’s a quick visual summary via an infographic:

Full Service vs Delivery Catering Infographic

And now we’ll take a more in-depth look at each…

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Catering By Michaels
February 5, 2018

Chicago Venues We Love: Loft 21

February 5, 2018

Chicago Venues We Love: Loft 21

Catering By Michaels

We’re lucky to have so many amazing venues in our network, giving you direct access to a variety of unique backdrops to complement any type of event.

As part of our ongoing “Chicago Venues We Love” blog series, we recently spoke to Jazmine Gonzalez, Owner and President of Loft 21, to get the lowdown on Chicago’s newest and most awe-inspiring event space that can be transformed time and time again.

loft 21 Chicago event venue

What kinds of events typically take place at your venue?

We have seen clients use Loft 21 for many different events this first year. From mitzvahs and weddings, to corporate and charity galas. We have even done baby showers, 1st birthdays and 50th birthdays. It is incredible seeing how each client transforms the space to fit their vision.

loft 21 Chicago quinceanera

loft 21 Chicago wedding

What are your favorite types of events to host at Loft 21?

My personal favorite is an event where the client comes in excited to be creative. There are so many amenities with Loft 21 — from the divisible space, tables & chairs and my favorite feature, the technology. It really allows the client to put their personal stamp on their event.

loft 21

What are your favorite features of the space?

We have built the 31,000 sq ft venue to be an event space with a distinct blend of industrial and ultra-modern design. With state-of-the-art sound, lighting, 11 giant screens, and 15 mechanical walls, a client can truly transform the space to be personalized every time. There are so many amenities including; tables, ghost chairs, linens, lounge furniture and more. We have a VIP suites, 4 outdoor terraces, private parking and are surrounded by a nature preserve and trails. With 4 trap doors in the ceiling, guests are in awe when aerialists come down to serve drinks and sweets. Truly a dream venue allowing the client to design their event to fit their style.

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Catering By Michaels
August 8, 2017

Tips For Planning An Impressive Company Picnic

August 8, 2017

Tips For Planning An Impressive Company Picnic

Catering By Michaels

Summer is the perfect time for a picnic! Picnics are a great way for corporate businesses to give back to their employees and show their gratitude for all their steadfast hard work. If you’ve been chosen to plan your company’s annual picnic, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together the below tips to help you save time, money, and unnecessary headaches.

Here’s how to plan a company picnic with as little stress as possible.

Plan ahead as much as possible.

Easier said than done, right? We understand that it’s not always realistic to carve out extra time to plan a company-wide event when you still have your regular job duties to attend to. That’s why we strongly recommend putting together a schedule that realistically addresses the complexity of putting together such a large-scale event. This will ideally go back 5-6 months before your planned picnic date to give you enough time to secure a venue, hire a rock star caterer, and give employees enough notice to clear their schedules.

The trick here is to find a caterer who has the experience needed to take this off your plate. And it’s a bonus if they have partnerships with picnic venues — that way you can scratch two important to-dos off your list right away, and then breathe a sigh of relief!

Corporate Picnic venue

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Stewart Glass
April 11, 2017

Chicago Venues We Love: Independence Grove

April 11, 2017

Chicago Venues We Love: Independence Grove

Stewart Glass

If we could pick a favorite event venue, it would have to be Independence Grove. Ok, we’ll admit it – we’re a bit biased!

Events at Independence Grove: Quick Facts
Events at Independence Grove is the exclusive caterer and event management partner of Independence Grove Forest Preserve, and is a Catering by Michaels company. The venue opened in March of 2001, and was specifically designed with a premium visitor experience in mind. It is open year-round to host various events and celebrations.

Independence Grove is located in Libertyville, Illinois in a 1,100-acre nature preserve and recreation area. People know it for its pristine beauty and secluded setting. It’s been described as a Midwestern one-of-a-kind treasure because of its natural calmness, beautiful grassland and stunning lake views. Because of this, hosting an event at Independence Grove will provide a truly unique and memorable backdrop for any type of wedding, social or corporate event.

Independence Grove
There are three main event categories we normally get bookings for at Independence Grove.

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Catering By Michaels
March 21, 2017

Meet Nisar Naimi from Events by Nisar

March 21, 2017

Meet Nisar Naimi from Events by Nisar

Catering By Michaels

We love working with event planners, and recently had the opportunity to chat with Nisar Naimi from Events by Nisar. If you’re about to plan an event, his insights may be especially timely!

How did your career in events begin?

​It started off as a part-time job to make extra cash on the weekends during my undergrad years at Loyola University. I used to work for a non-profit community organization, and my boss at the time introduced me to his friend who was an event planner. I worked with her throughout my college years, then went full-time with event planning once I graduated.​

Why do you love working in the events industry?

​I love that it’s a new experience every day! I get bored very easily, so I love the creative and personal interactions that allow me to have a new and exciting experience every day. More than anything, I love all of the relationships I am able to build and foster.​

Events by Nisar wedding

What are current trends you love?

​Simple is more.

  • I love the mixing of metals (golds, rose golds, silvers).
  • Lighter, softer tones in decor have also recently become very popular.
  • The rustic theme is very big at the moment.

Couples are now so much more open to being creative with their menu selections, especially in terms of live action stations, exotic ingredients, and presentation. It seems that recently, food has definitely taken precedent over decor and other event items. ​

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