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Chef John's Tips for Choosing & Hiring a Catering Company

If you are planning a wedding or any other type of event for work or

family, hiring a catering company will save you time and energy.

Caterers have experience in planning events. Hiring a caterer will let you

enjoy your event & interact with your guests while the caterer handles

the details of food & service. It is the caterer's job to make sure your

event goes off without a hitch. Most caterers have set menus for you to

pick from but a good caterer will be flexiable with the menu to fit your

particular needs & will often help

customize  the menu.

Why Hire a Caterer? In the long run hiring a professional catering service

will not only ensure the quality of food & service , but will take away the

stress & energy needed to do the event yourself. You may need to meet

with your caterer or email them several times to insure all your details

are looked after.

Plan ahead. Hire a caterer well in advance of your event. Most good

catering companies are booked months & even as much as a year ahead

of time. Start looking for your caterer as soon as you know that you are

planning a wedding or other event.

Do your research on various caterers. How long have they been in


Do they offer testimonials or references from past customers? You can

check out the Vancouver Island Board of Heath inspection reports on line.

Do their staff have food safe?  

Visit their location. What condition is their place of business? Is it clean

& well organized? Some caterers will offer to arrange a time & date so

you can sample their food & get a good idea of flavors & quality.

Biggest is Best? Often the biggest & most expensive catering companies 

are not necessarily the best. Smaller companies  are usually still building

their reputation & may work harder to ensure you & your guests talk

about their food & service long after your event. Smaller catering

companies  tend to make everything from scratch.

Does the caterer know & understand your budget needs? Does the

caterer try to up sell you or help you meet your budget? Ask what

services are included in menu prices. Are plates, cutlery, napkins &

linens an extra charge? Is there a charge for staff & if so how much?

Are there any delivery fees or charges? Is there a charge for cutting &

serving your wedding or birthday cake?

Deposit & Payment. What are the caterer's deposit fees? Is the deposit


[ Most caterers do not refund your deposit if you cancel your event ]

How far in advance are final guest numbers due? Is there a discount for

children & toddlers? When is final payment due?

Chef John has 40 plus years experience in restaurants, pubs & catering in

the Greater Victoria area.  


specail menus

Great Food and Great Presentation

Thanks again

Moonlight Catering:
February 21, 2009 was our 3rd year of having Moonlight Catering cover our volunteer firefighters banquet and from the time of arrival to the time of carving, I could tell this banquet was going to

be second to none. John and his staff did a fantastic job and left no detail untouched. The food was awesome; everyone complemented his set up and presentation. The flavors left you wanting

more even though you were full. Thanks John for a wonderful evening of dining and we look forward to you creating another masterpiece for us next year.
Trevor West, Vice Chair,
East Sooke Volunteer Fire Department


Moonlight Catering. 

I would just like to Thank

you all so very much for the making our outdoor wedding perfect. We had chosen the BBQ menu and  I was amazed with the quality and quantity of food. Everything was delicious. That was the first time I have ever had a steak, and cut it with a butter knife.

The food was fantastic  and the staff was very professional and courteous. No details were left


I highly recommend Moonlight catering, and I will  definitely choose them again.

Sandra and Clinton Hunter, August 1, 2009

We use Moonlight Catering for "Birthday Teas, Open Houses, Garden Parties and Christmas Banquets." Chef Annear generously donates his services and equipment to our Society each Christmas. The food is always of top quality. Moonlight Catering Staff are courteous and give us excellent service. We highly recommend "Moonlight Catering" for anything that you would need their services for.
Briant Wm. Hyacinthe, Director,
Springtide Residents Society
December 2008
The food was exactly as ordered, was extremely well presented, delicious & very much appreciated by our guests. Having John cater our event meant that I could enjoy the event with my guests. I didn't have to worry about anything because Chef John is so professional. He took care of everything! The wonderful catering stole the show, and everyone wanted the caterer's name and menus for their future parties. We have used his services three times and will use him again in the future.
Sarah D. 2007

We planned our summer wedding August 30, 2008, in Saanich from Prince George. John made everything so easy. He scouted the site, briefed the parents, and kept us in the loop by email. He was totally organized and professional, and as a result, everything worked perfectly. When the big day came, we hardly had to think about the food because John and his staff just took care of everything, as promised. And the dinner was delicious! We were very happy customers and we would hire him again in a heartbeat.
Highly recommended.
Chris & Claire Walker

Dear Moonlight Catering

Thank youfor the exellent food & services you provided for our Sept.2006 Wedding. The food got rave reviews from our guests & fulfilled the backyard intimate Barbaque atmosphere we'd hoped to achieve. We will highly recommend you to friends & family for further funtions.

Best regards.

Christine & Alex

Vancuver, B.C.


Dear Chef John

Thank you so much for the amazing buffet you

served for our wedding, June 13, 2009. You had

a variety of menus for us to choose from and

customize, which allowed us to create our

perfect meal! The food was absolutely delicious

and beautifully displayed, our friends and family raved about it. Your staff was so friendly, professional and helpful. They even helped with putting out our wine bottles and cutting up our wedding cake. When the meal was over you so quickly and tly dealt with clean up it never even occured to me it was happening. It was the perfect service we had dreamt of for our wedding, and at a price we could afford. Amazing!! We most definitely give you five stars! Thank you Chef John and staff!

Mike & Eva Berry Victoria B.C.




We want to thank Moonlight Catering for taking

care of us at our July 25, 2009 Wedding.

Working with Chef John Annear was a breeze, I knew when we first met him that everything

would be taken care of and everything was. His staff the day of the event were professional

and personable, amazing and efficient service. Most importantly though the food was incredible, I am still having friends and family rave about it. Everything was so fresh, the flavours were unique and mouth-watering, and the presentation was beautiful! Considering how many things there are to take care of when creating a Wedding, I am so happy we chose Moonlight Catering, it was the easiest part of planning. Thank you so much again, and we will definitely highly recommend you!

Christina & Josh Goller Victoria B.C.






"We are extremely happy we chose Moonlight Catering for our wedding. It was an outdoor venue, and

from the beginning Chef John ensured that all our questions and concerns about logistics were answered.

When the day came, dinner was delicious and timely with friendly & helpful staff! A big thank-you to

Moonlight Catering for ensuring our wedding was a success!"

-- Daniel & Sarah Fryer

June 16, 2018



John, and his team are an incredible catering staff.  We had a very large wedding with over 150 guests,

so we were very worried about price, this was one of the first worries John put to rest when we visited

him for a tasting.  His prices are super competitive, and we were blown away by the fact that his price

per plate also included tax, and gratuity.  Not to mention the quality of food we got for such a great

price point.  All our guests were raving about the food!  And personally, we were blown away!  The

steak, and salads were so delicious, and almost all of our guests went back for seconds!  As a company,

Moonlight catering is incredibly professional, and accommodating.  For example, our ceremony ran late,

so John, and his staff politely waited until we were done before even starting to set up.  A lot can happen

on your wedding day to shift the timeline, it was a huge relief to have a catering company who understood

that, and happily worked around it to keep our day special.  After being quoted by many different catering

companies, we can truly say that Moonlight catering is a diamond in the rough, one we will use again, and

one we can recommend to all.

Thanks again John + Staff, for such amazing service!

Daniel & Jenn Fowler

July 14, 2018


It is not possible to praise John and Moonlight Catering sufficiently in words. From the beginning, John was was              

receptive and communicative to our needs. He was able to professionally discuss and understand exactly want

we envisioned,  and come up with solutions and ideas to meet our budget.  Planning a wedding is stressful, and

having support means everything. John made things easy, and I was able to trust in him and not worry. In the

end, we switched our menu unexpectedly, and John was not only friendly and positive about this, he was also

there when I needed him with a friendly reassurance. 

Our guests raved about the food ( we had the BBQ Buffet) and our dinner became one of the highlights to our


Our guests had more than enough (some stating they had several helpings of both steak and salmon). John's

staff made sure that I  ate my dinner on my wedding day, which was over and above. As a bride, it is difficult

to find the time to eat, but John's staff assured I did.  His staff brought down appetizers while we did our pictures,

and packed up the leftover food for us to take home. We ate if for several days after the wedding. Rejoicing in

how good it tasted!

My appreciation for this company is something that I will always hold, and that I wish I could express with the

due greatness  they deserve. If you want your event to run flawlessly, and to have someone guarantee your day

is perfect- this is the company   to chose. 

John, we can not thank you enough.

Our wedding was perfect. 

Warmest regards, 


August 18, 2108


Here is our testimonial:

"Moonlight recently catered our wedding of approximately 95 people. We chose Moonlight after reviewing pricing

and menu options for at least 15 caterers. What initially stood out with Moonlight was the pricing - definitely the

most competitive pricing in all of the caterers we corresponded with. However once we started working with

Chef John in planning our big day, we quickly realized that there are many more benefits to choosing them for

our catering. There were a large number of food options, including excellent accommodations for vegans,

vegetarians, and various allergies our guests presented to us. Moonlight handled these with absolute precision,

including details of all ingredients and allergens along the buffet line for our guests. Moonlight provided us with

all tablecloths at no extra charge. Chef John's friendly face and excellent service made the whole process go off

without a hitch, and we had many guests raving about how good the food was throughout the night and in the

days and weeks following our wedding.

Chef John and the entire Moonlight Catering staff are prompt, detail-oriented, and professional and we

constantly recommend them without hesitation to our family and friends. Thanks John!"

July 21, 2018

Meghan & Myles Mason


Hi John,

You and your team did a great job. Everything was just perfect.

You can use this testimonial:

John and his team at Moonlight catering did a wonderful job catering my back yard wedding. His team was  

attentive and polite and very efficient. We had so many compliments from our guests and everyone enjoyed the

food so much. John made the process stress free and was great at communicating with us. We would highly

recommend Moonlight catering.

Sheila and Todd

August 2018



John and his crew were amazing, first the food was top notch and very tasty, everyone loved it, the only

complaint I have was there was no left over gravy, it was excellent, the team that came were so professional

and more than accommodating. I would recommend John and his crew for any function that you are considering.

Thank-you Christine Johnson(Hrappstead)

July 28, 2018


Thank you Chef John for the awesome work your team did at our wedding

reception on September 19th, 2015. My entire experience with your company from

the prompt email responses to the clean up at the end of our wedding was outstanding

The food was delicious and the service was exceptional. I did not have to worry

about a thing with respect to the catering on the day of our wedding. I will be

recommending your company in the future!

Thank you so much.

Courtney & Justin Meury


"We are so happy that we chose to go with Chef John and Moonlight for our

garden/beach wedding! We chose the Summer BBQ and all our guests loved it.

The meat was cooked excellently and our vegetarian (and vegan!) guests had a

variety of dishes and substitutes to choose from. 

 Our wedding was at the house of a family member and we loved how helpful

and respectful the staff were of our unique venue. All the servers were very

professional and friendly which, we feel, helped achieve our goal of having a

homey, family focused, wedding. 

Thank you to John and all your staff! The day was perfect!"

Thank you again so so much!

Emily & Saul

September 12, 2015


Happy to write a testimonial as follows:


"I was referred to Moonlight Catering from the Resort Manager for our wedding

destination in Shirley, BC. The Resort Manager will only make referrals for wedding

vendors if he has used them before and they have delivered top notch service. Just

knowing that prior to booking Moonlight Catering, instilled a great level of

confidence in their ability to ensure the food and service for our wedding was going

to be nothing less than amazing... and it was!!!


John, Owner and Chef at Moonlight Catering, was incredibly easy to work with to

tailor our menu - we had the Ultimate Buffet - and he was mindful to our guests

who had allergies, and they were very grateful that this has been tended to for

them at our wedding. The spread of food that was included in the buffet ensured

we could meet the satisfaction of all our guests - children, vegetarian, organic

preferences - and was very reasonably priced for the selection, quantity and quality

of food!  


On the day of the wedding, we were provided with a Chef and two servers to set

out and serve the food. The Chef and servers were very personable towards all of

our guests - conversing with them, always smiling and grateful to be there! That

demonstrated to us the excellence Moonlight Catering went to deliver. As an extra

touch, food was displayed with a label underneath or beside it, just so all guests

would know exactly what they were about to enjoy. - A really nice detail!


If I were to host a large function again, I would most definitely use Moonlight

Catering again, and I will be giving them referrals where I can! If you are wanting to

wow your guests with an amazing feast, top notch service and all at a reasonable

price, you should look no further and book today with Moonlight Catering!"


Hope this is a good one for you and fits the bill to post on the website! All the best

for the remainder of your wedding season. We have so much booze left over at our

house in Jordan River, that we may just need to throw another party and have you

cater it!!!

All my best,

Tannis Dukart

August 1, 2015


Moonlight Catering catered our indoor/outdoor modern farm wedding for 90 guests at

Bird’s Eye Cove Farm on September 7th 2013.  We found Chef John and his staff

outstanding to work with through every step of the process. When we first sat down

with Chef John for the tasting and heard his philosophy of delivering delicious food

at a fair price we were very impressed with his integrity; and shortly afterwards we

tasted the food.  Again, we were impressed – it was very delicious and not overly

complicated or overpriced. We chose his summer BBQ menu, which fit perfectly

with the casual atmosphere of our wedding.  Chef John was very easy to work with

and accommodating at our various requests, providing vegetarian and gluten free

options and accommodating other allergies. He came to the venue before the big day

to scout logistics and work with the management team at the venue to co-ordinate.

In addition he organized cutlery, linens & a coffee/tea service. His staff certainly

went above and beyond, staying late to serve our guests our dessert of pie and

ice cream. We would highly recommend Chef John and the Moonlight Catering team

– just sit down with him and you’ll see what we mean.     



Hi Chef John

Thank you for a wonderful experience! John was very easy to work with and as I am lactose

intolerant, he took my dietary concerns and made adjustments so I could enjoy my meal

without having to worry about an upset tummy on my wedding night. My husband and I were

both impressed with the combination of quality and very reasonable prices provided by

Moonlight Catering.  Our guests loved the food and we received many compliments, they

also enjoyed the friendly staff. We had a BBQ which was a huge hit and lent to our casual

style, but was also presented in a professional way fit for a wedding.We had a mid-night

snack which John came back later in the night to help serve, even though he didn’t have to!

He even let us keep the left-overs which most catering companies don’t do, so we could

feed our friends and family again the next day for a little get-together before everyone

travelled home and away!

Thanks John for going above and beyond and making our wedding a smashing success!!

Scott & Marie Irwin May 10, 2012


Thanks Moonlight Catering

For our laidback summer wedding, we really wanted our guests to feel like they were at an intimate

backyard get-together,so we had our heart set on a casual BBQ style buffet. Upon meeting with Chef

John, and hearing him describe his work philosophies, we knew we had found the right guy to pull off

catering needs. He provided us with great menu options and recommendations, and prepared for us a

wonderful tasting prior to our event. Chef John and his staff were extremely helpful leading up to &

on the day of our wedding, reducing much of the stress that comes along with planning such a big


Our guests were served an amazing meal, and couldn't stop raving about the delicious Thai Mandarin

Spinach salad, and the crowd pleasing Kentucky Bourbon Ribs. We couldn't have been happier with

our decision in choosing Moonlight Catering for our wedding day.

Thank you, Chef John and staff, for helping us make our special day, perfect.

Amy & Nick Tweedhope July 14, 2012

Sparling Lane Winery


Hi John and the staff at Moonlight Catering ,

Doug and I would like to thank you all for the services you gave at our wedding July 21st 2012, In

Maple Bay.The food was fantastic tasteful and delightful, everyone had a great time it was such a

lovely day for us both. Our friends and family raved about the food and services provided for us by

Moon light Catering . The set up and clean up.A big thank you to you all , we both would 

recommend your Catering services to anyone interested in your services and will keep doing so .

Kindness regards

Michelle and Douglas Buckberrough Victoria B.C.


Thank you John and Moonlight Catering for a great job on the rehearsal dinner and wedding

buffet for my wedding on August 13 & 14th, 2010. As a bride organising a wedding from

Australia and on a budget, I was happy to see the great variety of food options you provided

at a reasonable price, and was sourced from local suppliers. John was extremely helpful

with answering all my questions quickly, which made it easy for my husband and I to plan

the rest of the wedding. Having you for two days in a row made things a lot easier, and I was

surprised I was able to have completely different menues to serve my guests, who were

happy and full on both days. I received nothing but fantastic reviews from my guests about

the food, especially the portion sizes. The chocolate cheesecake was a favorite by all! I

would recommend you to any brides, who want quality food, at a great price, and to have

reassurance that you'll get a great meal for your guests. Thanks again.

Megan and Andrew Shaw, Australia


Dear Chef John:
I want to thank you so much for the fantastic buffet meal you served at our August 8, 2008

wedding reception at the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre! Our guests raved about the food,

the presentation, and the professionalism of your catering staff all evening. We ordered the

Ultimate Buffet for about 80 people and I received nothing but compliments about the quality,

quantity, freshness, and choice of food available. You really helped to make our wedding

reception a huge success, so much so, that people were almost too full for dancing afterwards!

In planning my wedding reception, I researched a number of catering options. Many caterers

offer buffet meals, but yours stood out from the rest right from the start. Your menu choice and

flexibility in substituting items was just great, and your price was excellent in comparison with

the others. In fact, you offered more menu choices for a lower price than all of the other catering

companies. When I contacted you for more information about your services, I was immediately

impressed with how you answered my questions and how willing you were to work with me to

ensure my special event was a success. I met with you before the wedding reception to go over

menu choices and final details, and could tell by the cleanliness of your facility and your

organizational skills that I was not going to be disappointed with the results. Indeed, it was no

problem for you to pick up my wedding cake, order special linens, and deliver everything from

Langford to Shawnigan Lake on time. I truly appreciated that extra level of service. Besides

everything else, you are a very pleasant person to work with. I felt very comfortable around you

right from the start, and was nothing but happy with every aspect of your service. I would

recommend you in a minute to anyone looking for a high quality, professional, flexible, and fairly

priced caterer for any event. Thanks again for making my dream wedding the best day of my life!

I couldn't have done it without you! Cheers,
Lynn Wilson (and Ernest Gerrand)