Catering FAQs

Your Frequently Asked Questions

Why EARL Catering?

EARL catering is delicious, good for you, on time and just a little bit fancy.  We offer real food for every part of your day.  

You already know that we’re pretty good at the whole sandwich and salad thing but did you know that we can deliver beautiful platters of these to you?  And morning tea, and sweets, and…  Perhaps just take a look at the menu!

Whether you need morning tea for 10, or lunch for 100 – we make it fresh each morning, pack it beautifully and bring it to you.

We also offer bespoke catering solutions for bigger events, ask us for a custom quote – we’d love to assist.

Let us bring some EARL to you.  

Do you deliver?

EARL offers three delivery zones, as outlined.  

For weekday delivery;

Zone 1 – Green (CBD, Cremorne, Southbank, St Kilda Rd Corridor)

  • $10 for orders under $50
  • Free delivery for all orders over $50

Zone 2 – Blue (North City Fringe, South City Fringe)

  • $15 for orders under $50
  • $10 for orders over $50

Zone 3 – Red (St Kilda, St Kilda East, Parkville, Carlton, Fitzroy, Prahran, Windsor, Port Melbourne)

  • $20 for orders under $50
  • $15 for orders over $50

For orders to Zone 3 and beyond, we prefer at least 48 hours notice.    

For weekend delivery;

Zone 1 & 2

  • Orders must reach our $300 minimum, delivery is free

Zone 3

  • Orders to Zone 3 must reach our $500 minimum.  

Otherwise, we welcome pickup from our Emporium or QV stores.

Who does EARL cater for?

You!  Well, anyone really.  

Because our main delivery zone is the CBD, most of our clients are corporate.  However we have also previously catered for the following events:

  • High teas
  • Baby showers
  • Birthday picnics
  • Hens parties
  • Kids birthdays

How many can EARL cater for?

How many guests do you have?  

Our plattered catering solutions are designed for groups of six or more.  

There is no minimum purchase required to make an order and we’re yet to encounter a group that’s too big for us to cater for!

Is EARL a full-service caterer?

We offer a drop-off service and provide you with disposable platters, plates, napkins and cutlery so that you can set up your catering however you like.

Do you have a menu or catalogue?

Our online menu is the best representation of what we have to offer.  You can view it here.  Not listed is our breakfast menu, please contact us for breakfast options.  

How do I get a quote?

You can either create an order summary on our website – this will tally your order and total cost.  Alternatively, email us at catering@earlcanteen.com.au with the following info:

  • Date & time catering required
  • Number of people catering required for
  • Delivery / pick up location
  • Items required (including any dietary requirements)

How do I order?

There are three options;

If you’ve not ordered with us before, you’re very welcome to pick up the phone or send us an email to get menu advice and the lowdown on how it all works.  

  • Call us between our office hours of 8am – 4pm, Monday to Friday on 03) 9421 3221
  • Email us anytime at catering@earlcanteen.com.au, we’ll endeavour to get back to you within a couple of hours during our business hours of 8am – 4pm, Monday to Friday

If you’ve ordered before or feel confident in what you need, place an order online!  It’s super quick and easy.  

  • Visit our online ordering, choose what you need, and submit your order.  We will have confirmation of your order, plus an invoice back to you within one business hour.  

What time do I need to get my order in by?

Orders need to be placed by 2pm for the next day, from Monday to Friday to guarantee our full menu offering and delivery.  Monday orders need to be submitted by 2pm on the Friday prior.  

I have a last minute order, can you help?

We know last minute catering needs pop up from time to time!  Between our CBD stores and catering kitchen, we will always do our best to help.  Store pickup is sometimes required for same day orders.  

If you have a last minute order, please call us on 03) 9421 3221, rather than emailing, so we can get onto organising something for you straight away.  

How much food do I need to order?

It’s always tricky to predict, we know!  Especially if you haven’t ordered from EARL before.  As a general guide, we suggest:

  • Just sandwiches – 3 pieces per person
  • Sandwiches & Salads – 2 pieces per person + ⅓ serve of salad each OR 1 mini salad each
  • Sandwiches & Savouries – 2 pieces per person + 1.5 savouries per person
  • Sandwiches & Sweets – 2 pieces per person + 1.5 sweets per person
  • Sandwiches & Fruit – 3 pieces per person + 1.5 fruit skewers per person

The above not quite what you were thinking?  We are always very happy to help you design a menu to best suit your needs.  Email us at catering@earlcanteen.com.au with:

  • Date & time catering required
  • Number of people catering required for
  • Delivery / pick up location
  • Items of interest

And we will be back to you within two business hours with a quote.  

Do you cater at weekends?

Yes, we sure do, although our full menu may not be available.  Please see minimum orders for weekend delivery above and email us for more info.  72 hours notice is preferred for weekend catering.  

Is there a minimum order?

We have no minimum order unless you are ordering for the weekend and need delivery.  In that case, our minimum is $300.  

Do you supply drinks?

We sure do, they will be delivered to you cold, straight from our cool room.  The full range can be found here.  

When do I need to confirm numbers?

If you’re not sure of numbers for your event, we suggest placing a tentative order, then getting back to us with firm numbers.  We require this info by 2pm the day before your order.  

Do you do hot food?

We can offer collection of our hot Fancy Sandwiches from our stores for orders of up to 25 sandwiches.  You can collect either before 12.15pm or after 2pm.  

Will you send disposable cutlery, plates & napkins?

We’d normally double check with you before automatically sending them to save wastage!  

Our packaging and cutlery are all made from recycled and recyclable materials;

  • Our RCPLA cutlery is made from a by-product of coffee lid production and is 100% compostable
  • Plates are recyclable bamboo
  • Napkins are made from recycled paper

What about tongs?

Mini tongs can be purchased for an additional $3.5 each to accompany your order.  

How is the food packaged?

We package most sandwiches & salads in recycled / recyclable kraft boxes with slide off sleeves.  The food is table-ready once the outer sleeve has been removed.  

How do you provide for guests with dietaries?

  • We supply all sandwiches and savouries at ¼ vegetarian as a standard offer
  • Gluten free / dairy free / vegan sandwiches, salads, sweets and savouries can be supplied individually packed and labelled, please order these in addition to any platters you are selecting
  • All EARL chicken is Halal
  • We can also accommodate FODMAPS / Paleo and other special eating plans – email us directly for advice on the best options to suit individual requirements

Do you have nutrition and allergy info?

Where there is not allergy published on our website, we can provide it upon request.  

Nutritional info is available for all Everyday Sandwiches and Salads (all of which are also available for catering orders), you can find this on the individual product pages in the Everyday section of our website.  

When & where will the food be made?

All of our food is made fresh, on the day of your order at our catering kitchen in Cremorne, or in an EARL store.  

How long does EARL Catering keep?

  • Sandwiches need to be eaten on the day they’re delivered.  They’re made using a handmade, artisan bread with no preservatives so won’t carry over to the next day.  
  • Salads will generally last two days.  We advise storing them on something other than the packaging provided for second-day consumption
  • Sweets last two days
  • Savouries must be eaten on the day they’re delivered and not refrigerated

Do I need to refrigerate my catering once it’s been delivered?

  • Your catering is fine to remain unrefrigerated for up to four hours if it’s going to be consumed on that day, or two hours if it’s going to be re-refrigerated.  
  • All EARL catering is best brought up to room temperature before serving
  • Please don’t refrigerate any of your egg tartlets or frittatas, they will go rubbery!  

Can I amend platter inclusions?

Our platters come served EXACTLY as they’re pictured online and can’t be amended.  If you have requirements for additional dietaries or extras, we recommend ordering these on a pieces per person basis.  

What time will my order arrive?

  • All lunch orders by 12.30pm unless by prior arrangement
  • Morning tea by 10:30am
  • Afternoon tea by 2pm (or with lunch if you’ve ordered lunch too)

Can I pick up from an EARL store?

Of course!  Most EARL stores trade from Monday to Friday, with QV open Saturdays, and Emporium Saturdays and Sundays.  

How does payment work?

Once we receive your order (no matter how you place it) we will shoot you an invoice via email.  Your invoice can be paid via credit card online, or by direct debit.  All catering orders must be paid for, prior to delivery being made.  

Can I have payment terms?

If you will be ordering from us regularly, we are happy to set you up with an account with 7 day terms, after you have ordered from us 3 times.  Please email catering@earlcanteen.com.au for an account application form.  

What if I need to cancel?

We request that all cancellations are made by 2pm on the business day before the order.  

If you cancel on the day of your order, it’s likely we will have already made some/all of your order in which case, we will need to charge you some/all of the cost.  

When is EARL Catering HQ open?

Our office hours are 8am – 4pm, Monday – Friday.  Outside of these hours, please email catering@earlcanteen.com.au and we will get back to you as soon as we can.  

Do you provide samples?

Yes, of course!  Please email catering@earlcanteen.com.au so we can find out more about your needs and make a time to come and see you with some EARL goodies to try!  

I have another question…

Ask away.  You can email us at catering@earlcanteen.com.au or phone us during 8am & 4pm, Monday to Friday on 03) 9421 3221.