Stacey Combrzynski
February 7, 2019

Salvage One: An Eclectic Space For An Unforgettable Experience

February 7, 2019

Salvage One: An Eclectic Space For An Unforgettable Experience

Stacey Combrzynski

Set inside an old brick warehouse building, Salvage One is a one-of-a-kind space boasting an eclectic mix of antiques, furnishings, and decor.

When first setting eyes on the exterior of the building, you would never assume the dreamy world that lies within the walls.

Step inside and the mix of brick, steel, and wood breathe new life into the aged building.

The 60,000 square foot warehouse is decked out with salvaged indoor and outdoor furnishings. The interior boasts exposed brick, low hanging chandeliers, long tables, and pews — complementing an assortment of antiques and furnishings.

Savage One is dedicated to preserving history through architecture and design. Their mission is to keep these timeless pieces relevant and in circulation.

Salvage One is a dual space, set up for both events and antique shopping.

If you are looking for an event that is sure to awe and inspire guests, look no further. Multiple floors allow for parties to hold cocktail hours in one space, then move up to the second floor for music, dancing, and socializing.

Photo Credits: Michael Novo Photography & Victoria Sprung Photography

If the weather permits, the storybook courtyard is the perfect location for a ceremony or cocktail hour. This space is sheltered by the building’s brick walls and is well-hidden from the urban bustle of Chicago’s city life. There is even a long stretch of grass leading up toward an arch of living greenery, making it a stunning natural aisle runner.

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John Caruso
February 1, 2019

We Are All Michaels

February 1, 2019

We Are All Michaels

John Caruso

Catering Alchemy

Recipes succeed when perfect ingredients meet perfect skill. Meals achieve memorable status when simple ingredients join to become more than the sum of their parts. We love this catering alchemy: when all the elements of preparing a perfect dish, meal, menu, or event come together magically. And we know this alchemy is only possible when all of us subscribe to this same philosophy.

It is because of this mindset that Catering by Michaels has gained the reputation for being one of the very best catering companies in the Chicagoland area.

We Are All Michaels

Catering by Michaels is more than just a collection of talented people. We are a team. We are a family. It’s what we think about every time someone asked the (obvious) question, ”Who is Michael?” The elegant and fulfilling answer is, “We are all Michaels!”

One of our greatest assets is the camaraderie we all share. For us, it’s about so much more than just the food: it’s about the people behind the food and service.

We are fortunate to have a collection of dedicated people who all bring unique—and integral— skills to work everyday. We succeed as a company because we thrive as individuals. Our unity, our desire to work toward the same goals, our mélange of skills, perspectives, and personalities all combine to make Catering by Michaels flourish.

At Catering by Michaels, you can really taste the difference this combination makes. We owe it to all the “Michaels” who care about the quality and care that goes into every menu item and every event booked.

We are proud of who we are—individually and as a whole—and we want to share this pride with you.

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Catering By Michaels
January 15, 2019

So You Scored Yourself A Super Bowl Party?

January 15, 2019

So You Scored Yourself A Super Bowl Party?

Catering By Michaels

On February 3, 2019, people all over the United States will gather together to cheer on their favorite team (and scream at the competition!).

The Super Bowl is somewhat of a sacred day for most Americans, with delicious food as a major focus of the festivities.

Chicago Game Time Buffalo Wings

If you’ve been charged with acting as a Super Bowl party host, this guide will help you to throw an awesome party that won’t soon be forgotten.

Keep Things Interesting (And Fun!): Off And On The Field

Super Bowl commercials have a reputation for being the very best of the year and those who don’t consider themselves as sports fans are thankful to have many fun ads to watch, interspersed throughout the game. To spark up some competition, guests can rate commercials and make predictions about them before the game.

Alternatively, if you’re hosting a Super Bowl party for die-hard sports fans, print out trivia questions and pass them out for your guests to fill out.

Another fun way to keep people excited for all 5+ hours of the big game is football squares. You can either make your own or print out a pre-made template. Hang it up and let everyone initial the squares they want to buy. Put everyone’s money in a pool and award winners at the end of the game.

Score Fan Fare With Awesome Food

Having delicious food probably seems like a no-brainer, but the finer details can slip through the cracks at the last minute.

Let’s take the slider for example. It’s a staple, but instead of just offering cheeseburger sliders, kick things up a notch. Give your guests something to cheer about with a selection of extraordinary miniature sandwiches.

Bring out a selection of Pulled Chipotle Chicken Sliders, Grilled Portobello Mushroom sliders (for your vegetarian friends), and Vietnamese Pork Bahn Mi sliders.

We assure you, these little delights are always a touchdown with party guests.

Buffalo chicken dip is always a good idea, but consider upgrading to the next level with Buffalo Chicken Monkey Bread. Just imagine sinking your teeth into this knotted bread dipped in blue cheese, jalapeño peppers, and green onions.

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Catering By Michaels
January 8, 2019

Ringing In The New Year With Catering by Michaels

January 8, 2019

Ringing In The New Year With Catering by Michaels

Catering By Michaels

As we say farewell to 2018, we look back to a full and wonderful year of catering. Thanks for a wonderful year — we’re grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such amazing clients like you!

A New Year, Full Of Celebration

The holidays are a special and busy time of year for us, but we are thrilled to be a part of your celebrations all year long.

Here’s how the numbers broke down for us for the 61 days from November 1, 2018 – January 1st, 2019 (in terms of planned orders so far!):

  • Number of delivery orders: 1254 (20.5 a day, every single day)
  • Number of full-service events: 88 (nearly 1 1/2 a day, every single day)

Many of us turn to the beginning of the year and see it as a blank slate.  

The turning of a page. 

A time to reflect on the past and turn an eye toward the future.

Whether you are reflecting on the previous year you just had or are looking ahead to the new one, the Catering by Michaels team is here to make 2019 bright and delicious.

A Meal For Any Occasion

No matter what particular menu items catch your eye, we encourage you to create a customized meal for all your guests to enjoy. Once you have made your selections, you can either pick them up or have them delivered to your party. Our specialized menus offer seasonal and fresh items that change throughout the year.

No matter the occasion or time of year, we offer a wide variety of food items that satisfy everyone’s appetite.

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Our goal at Catering by Michaels is to wow the guests at every single event we cater — not just to serve them delicious food, not to make the venue look beautiful, but to leave them feeling genuinely delighted with all of the details of their event.

That’s no easy task. The only way to do it is to nail every detail. Everything from the table setting, to the linens, to the food, to the service is tailored to provide the perfect night for our clients. But surprisingly, some of the details that let us provide clients a great experience are things they’ll never even see. One of those details that is really important to us as a caterer, is the tool we use to schedule our staff: Nowsta.

Nowsta is a workforce management software that we use to build our staff’s schedules, track their hours, pay them, and rate their performance. I know, it sounds a bit mundane but stay with me. Why would our clients care how we handle scheduling, as long as it gets done? But as with the events themselves, the devil is in the details. Below, I’m going to outline some unexpected ways Nowsta helps us better wow our clients and give them an outstanding event experience.

We Can Build the Perfect Roster for Each Event

Most caterers, especially bigger ones like us, rely on a big network of part-time staff to work events. It’s difficult to manage relationships with all those employees when you’re not seeing them every day. There’s a huge range in the frequency with which these people work with a given company — some of them may only work an event with us once a month or so, while others may work with us multiple times a week. Plus, these people are taking on multiple roles. One day they might be a waiter and the next a bartender, so it’s hard to keep track of who’s qualified for which jobs. It also allows us to keep overtime in check and spread the workload across everyone who is available for shifts.  

Before Nowsta, our staffing managers had a list of all our part-time staff, and would contact them by text or email as needed to ask if they could work events for us. This tended to limit the pool of people who could actually work for us at a given event, since our managers would naturally gravitate toward staff whose names they recognized. As a result, we may find ourselves needlessly asking the same server to work three events back to back which is no fun for him and increases chances of errors due to tiredness — when we actually have a great server we could call who happens not to have worked for us in a few months.

Nowsta fixes this by giving us a database of all our workers. As we schedule the shifts for our events, we can easily sort staff by the positions they’re qualified for, availability, and number of hours worked that week to find the ideal person for each event. We can even tag the preferred staff for specific clients we work with often, which is a huge boost to our clients. Many of them like to bring back the same function director, bartenders or waitstaff for corporate events or to venues that we have someone already familiar with the space.  No matter the circumstances, we’re able to ensure that every client gets the right staff for their event.

Our Staff Are More Reliable

While caterers typically have extra staff on call to work in case of emergency, tardiness or absence, adding staff last minute or rearranging staff can throw off the rhythm of any event. A truck driver getting a late start can keep us from getting food in the oven and delay a dinner’s start time. A missing coat check attendant can lead to a bottleneck of confused guests. A late bartender can cause a rushed and unorganized bar set up which leads to slower service and bar lines are not a great way to kickoff any event.   

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