Catering FAQs

Your Frequently Asked Questions

Why EARL Catering?

Let’s not beat around the bush, we know a thing or two about sandwiches & salads, so we’re very confident in being able to say that we offer best quality in Melbourne. Hands down. Here are a few of the reasons why it’s the best.

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.

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.  

Quick points


  • Our HQ operates from 8am to 4pm weekdays
  • Orders need to be placed before 3pm for the next business day
  • Morning teas are delivered between 9am & 10.30am and lunch from 10.30am
  • Catering orders may arrive up to 1 hour earlier than your requested time

Where do you deliver and how much does it cost?

EARL offers three delivery zones, as outlined.  

For weekday delivery:

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

  • $75 minimum for delivery
  • Free delivery for all orders over $75
  • For orders below $75, please email us – we can offer collection from one of our locations

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

  • $75 minimum for delivery
  • $15 delivery fee 

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

  • $75 minimum for delivery
  • $20 delivery fee

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

For weekend delivery:

Zones 1 & 2

  • Orders must reach our $300 minimum, delivery is free
  • 10% surcharge on all orders

Zone 3

  • Orders to Zone 3 must reach our $500 minimum, delivery is $20
  • 10% surcharge on all orders

For smaller orders, we welcome pickup from our Emporium or QV stores. Please note there is a 10% surcharge on all weekend catering.

And public holiday catering incurs a 15% surcharge.

Who does EARL cater for?

You!  Well, anyone really.  

Because our main delivery zone is the CBD, most of our clients are corporate and are already very familiar with EARL.  

However we have also previously catered for the following events:

  • Group picnics
  • Evening working dinners
  • Packed lunches for tours
  • 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 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 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?

The fastest way is to simply create an order summary on our website – this will tally your order and total cost.  Alternatively, email us at 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;

Place your order online – It’s super quick and easy!

  • Visit our online ordering pages, choose what you need and submit your order.  We will have confirmation of your order back to you within 2 business hours.

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 to 4pm, Monday to Friday on 03 9421 3221
  • Email us anytime at, we’ll get back to you within a couple of hours during our business hours of 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday

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

Orders need to be placed by 3pm for the next business day to guarantee our full menu offering and delivery.  Monday orders need to be submitted by 3pm 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 late 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 can be tricky to predict, we know!  Especially if you haven’t ordered from EARL before.  As a general guide:

  • All our plattered solutions have an indication of servings, these are an easy option
  • 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 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 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 2 business hours with a quote.  

Do you cater at weekends?

Yes, we sure do, although our full menu may not be available.  There are minimums for delivery (see above) and a 10% surcharge will be applied.  72 hours notice is preferred for weekend catering.  Public holiday catering incurs a 15% surcharge.

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 3pm the day before your order.  

Do you do hot food?

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

Will you send disposable cutlery, plates & napkins?

We have made a Sustainability Promise and in an effort to reduce wastage, we don’t send napkins, cutlery & plates as a default, but let us know if you do need them and we will be happy to help you out. Napkins are complimentary, cutlery & plates are charged at 50c per piece.

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

  • EARL napkins are made from recycled paper
  • Our PLA cutlery is made from a by-product of coffee lid production and is 100% compostable
  • Our plates are 100% recyclable bamboo

What about tongs?

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

How is the food packaged?

We package most sandwiches & salads in recycled / recyclable kraft boxes with smart removable lids, lined with EARL greaseproof paper.  Your catering is table-ready.  

How do you provide for guests with dietaries & allergies?

  • We supply all sandwiches and savouries at ¼ vegetarian as a standard offer
  • You will receive a menu with your sandwich platter which lists the sandwich fillings and their dietaries, so that guests can work out what they can and can’t eat
  • We can supply sandwiches, salads, sweets and savouries individually packed and labelled, these need to be ordered in addition to any platters you are selecting
  • We can also accommodate FODMAPS / Paleo and other special eating plans – email us directly for advice on the best options to suit individual requirements
  • All EARL chicken is Hazeldene’s free-range and Halal
  • We use products containing all common allergens in our catering kitchen and while we take the utmost care isolating products and labelling, we cannot guarantee that any of our food is free of traces of any allergen, even when packed separately.

Do you have nutrition and allergy info?

You can find complete nutritional & allergen info here.  

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 products 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?

We have designed our catering to be the best in Melbourne. It’s intended to be eaten within a few hours of delivery.

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

  • EARL catering is intended to be eaten the day it is delivered.
  • Your catering can remain unrefrigerated for up to 4 hours before being consumed, or 2 hours if it’s going to be refrigerated to be served again later that same day.  
  • All EARL catering is best served at room temperature, not straight from your fridge.

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?

  • Morning teas are delivered between 9am & 10.30am and lunch from 10.30am
  • Catering orders may arrive up to 1 hour earlier than your requested time

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 & Sundays.  

How does payment work?

Online orders require credit card details to be entered. Payment will be automatically processed at 3pm the day prior to your order.

For orders via phone or email, once confirmed we will shoot across an invoice via email.  Your invoice can be paid via credit card or by direct debit.  All catering orders must be paid for by 3pm the day prior to your order.

Can I have payment terms?

If you order from us regularly, we are happy to set you up with a credit account with 7 day terms. Please email for a credit account application form.

What if I need to cancel?

We will always do our best to accommodate any last minute changes, but please let us know as soon as possible. If you need to cancel an order, please let us know prior to 3pm the business day before.

Cancellations after 3pm for the next business day delivery incur a charge of 50% of the total amount invoiced. 

We are unable to accept cancellations on the day of delivery and as such the full amount invoiced will be payable.

When is EARL Catering HQ open?

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

Do you provide samples?

Yes, of course!  Please email 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 or phone us during our office hours of 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday on 03 9421 3221.