Catering By Michaels
April 24, 2018

Forget Uber: Start Your Side Hustle in Catering

April 24, 2018

Forget Uber: Start Your Side Hustle in Catering

Catering By Michaels

Recent findings by MIT showed that after factoring in costs like car insurance, gas, and wear and tear while on the job, the average driver in a ride-sharing program like Uber or Lyft makes just $3.37 per hour.

And that’s not the only reason why you might want to consider an alternative to this typical side hustle staple—those working as contractors for companies like Uber, Lyft, and Postmates have to deal with customers without a lot of support. If they’re angry about a ride or order, or have dangerous tendencies, you’re on your own when it comes to finding a resolution within that interaction.

Plus, there’s the fact that working as an independent contractor can get downright lonely sometimes. Although it’s empowering to set your own hours, you definitely miss out on the friendly banter and the team feel that comes with a slightly more organized work structure.

What if we told you that you could design a side hustle around your schedule, while providing the support (and camaraderie) of a team, with the promise of up to $16/hour plus tips?

Catering as a Side Hustle: Is it For You?

Whether you have a current gig or not, working in catering is great for earning in the hours outside of the typical 9 to 5 job.

The most opportunities to fit in shifts occur during the summer, where graduation parties and other outside celebrations run rampant. With this in mind, many of our part-timers are teachers—looking to earn a bit more during their downtime, perhaps to make money for a downpayment on a house or new car.

Like many other positions currently available in the gig economy, you don’t need a lot of experience to apply to the roles currently open at Catering by Michaels!

Here are the basic traits we look for in new employees:

  • Responsible
  • Reliable
  • Passionate
  • Good presentation
  • Available to work in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs OR Independence Grove in Libertyville
  • Good English speaking skills or (preferably) bilingual English/Spanish
  • Have a car—we often work outside of public transportation accessible areas

If you embody these traits and fit these requirements, we have an opportunity for almost any type of interest.

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Catering By Michaels
April 11, 2018

Chicago Baseball Season Starting Hot

April 11, 2018

Chicago Baseball Season Starting Hot

Catering By Michaels

Whether you’re a Cubs fan or a White Sox fan, there’s no getting around that giddy feeling of the Major League Baseball season opening in Chicago. The first recorded game in Chicago was played in August 1851—to give you some perspective on how deep you have to dig to find the sport’s roots in the Windy City.

Much to the chagrin of New York Yankee standout Derek Jeter, now the owner of the Miami Marlins, the Cubs started the season hitting it out of the park—quite literally.

The Cub’s leadoff batter and center fielder Ian Happ took a swing at the first pitch of the season, a middle-middle fastball from the Marlins’ Jose Urena. Happ sent the ball over the right-field fence before jogging in the first of eight runs to leave the Cubs on top, 8-4.

It’s simply hard to think of a better way for the Cubbies to start the season.

The Sox rolled up their sleeves and got to work late last month, after having been pummeled in Spring training by the Kansas City Royals. Thankfully, when it counts, the Southsiders were able to walk away with back-to-back wins against the Royals, 14-7 and 4-3.

Even if the Cubs or Sox didn’t manage to put their best foot forward at the beginning of the season, there’s no doubt that every true fan in the city would do everything in their power to be at the first home game—rain, snow, or shine.

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Catering By Michaels
April 3, 2018

Unique Chicagoland Event Venues

April 3, 2018

Unique Chicagoland Event Venues

Catering By Michaels

The Windy City is full of opportunities to set your wedding, reception, corporate event, fundraiser, gala dinner, silent auction, fashion show or other special event apart.

The variety of unique venues that work with Catering by Michaels are bound to be able to provide the exact atmosphere, mood, and moments you want to capture at your next big event.

Embrace the Outdoors

Opened in March 2001, Independence Grove is a 1,100-acre preserve and recreational area in Libertyville, Illinois.

Prepared to host events throughout the year, Independence Grove offers a variety of venues among the sprawling fields and forested areas:

  • The Native Garden, complete with a waterfall, wildflowers, and greenery.
  • The Beach, which can be booked from June to Labor Day.
  • The rustic Audubon Hall, built from cedar, stone, and glass, complete with a fireplace, built-in bar and panoramic view of the lake.

And, there are a number of additional options—both indoor and outdoor—that celebrate the beauty of the preserve!

Independence Grove Audobon HallIndependence Grove Beach Wedding Melissa Marie PhotographyIndependence Grove Wedding Native Garden

Between a Book’s Covers

When most people think of the Chicago Public Library, they do not think “event venue.” However, the Harold Washington Library Center offers a number of unique settings for your next event.

On the ninth floor, there is the spacious atrium of the Winter Gardenthe architectural centerpiece of the Harold Washington Library Center. With marble floors and a terrazzo, this location can offer seating for up to 400 people.

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Catering By Michaels
March 20, 2018

How to Master Passover Seder and Matzo

March 20, 2018

How to Master Passover Seder and Matzo

Catering By Michaels

Have faith in the perfect matzo and other traditional dishes this Passover.

Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) is one of the most sacred and widely observed holidays in Judaism. And, like with all good holidays, food plays a central role in the festivities, both as a way to bring family and friends together and as religious symbols.

The Torah commands the observance of seven days of Passover to commemorate the exodus of the enslaved Israelites from Egypt. It is a spring celebration of birth, rebirth and the journey from slavery to freedom.

The holiday beings on the 15th of the Jewish month Nisan—March 30 this year.

On the first two nights of Passover, families and friends gather for a feast known as seder. During the meal, the tale of the exodus is told and rituals corresponding to various aspects of the story are performed.

passover catering seder dinner plate

A seder plate on the table contains symbolic foods:

  •  Z’roa: A lamb shank represents an offering to the Temple.
  • Beitzah: An egg is a symbol of rebirth.
  • Maror: Bitter herbs are used to represent the bitterness of enslavement.
  • Chazeret: Is a bitter green, which is eaten with the maror.
  • Karpas: A non-bitter vegetable will be dipped in salt water to symbolize tears from enslavement.
  • Haroset: A combination of nuts, apples, and wine represents the mortar and bricks used by the enslaved Jews.

With demands of modern-day life, it can be hard to prepare everything you need for a full seder feast. It can be especially hard when you come to terms with the fact that it’s more than just putting everything together on a seder plate. Among the traditional items also served during Passover are matzo kugel (a pudding made from matzo and apples), gefilte fish, and chicken soup with matzo balls.

Catering by Michaels provides a complete Passover dinner package, from the ingredients you need for a seder plate to traditional gefilte fish and horseradish encrusted salmon filets.

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Catering By Michaels
March 13, 2018

2018 CATIE Award Winner: Food Truck Bar Mitzvah

March 13, 2018

2018 CATIE Award Winner: Food Truck Bar Mitzvah

Catering By Michaels

While we don’t do what we do for industry awards, we do love when our fiercely dedicated team gets recognition for all their hard work and creativity.

It was our honor to be awarded International Caterers Association’s prestigious CATIE Award for Best Buffet Presentation & Menu. We’re humbled to be among a group that includes some of the best caterers we know.

[It’s not the first CATIE award we’ve won—we’ve also been recognized for innovation and green initiatives in catering.]

It’s always a pleasure when our clients love to be as creative as we do, making the Bondy’s 300 person bar mitzvah one of our favorite events of 2017! The Bondy’s wanted to take their son’s favorite American pastime of baseball and create an over the top sports extravaganza.

We ended up creating three life-size food truck facades with three different themes – American, Asian and Mexican, amidst an explosion of baseball themed décor, in order to bring the client’s vision to life.

Though our buffet food trucks really carried this event, it really came together thanks to a high level of detail to Parker’s baseball theme.

Here are some highlights:

All photos provided courtesy of Jai Girard Photography.Baseball themed mitzvah Parkers Baseball Themed Bar Mitzvah Parkers Baseball Themed Bar Mitzvah Food TrucksFood truck bar mitzvahRead More…