Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1 - 134

s

SERVICES &
SUPPLIERS

Windows Catering Co.

opened patrons started asking chef-proprietor Henry Dinardo if he would cater
art exhibition openings, weddings and
high-end, large-scale corporate events.
The requests became so overwhelming
that within two years the company shifted its efforts to growing its off-premise
catering business.
Since then, the second-generation
family owned company has become
one of the premier caterers and event
planners in the Washington, D.C., market. The company has planned and executed events at all of the Smithsonian
museums, historic homes, art galleries
and numerous unique venues throughout
the metropolitan D.C. area. Events vary
from charity fundraisers, social gatherings, corporate celebrations, embassy
affairs, U.S. State Department meetings
and the last eight presidential inaugurations. "We have solidified our brand in
the marketplace as a high-end, quality
caterer and event management company
that is capable of doing small, intimate
affairs as well as high-volume events.
From private dining for two guests to
most recently serving over 15,000 guests
in a single day for a museum opening,
we collaborate with our clients and execute on all the finer details that make an
event successful," Gerstel says.
Nearly all of the company's customers are located in the Washington, D.C., area, but on special request
Windows has managed events as far
away as New York, Philadelphia and
Naples, Fla. "Our reputation is one
of high-quality, creative cuisine with
outstanding levels of service," Gerstel
says. "We are not only in the food business but also the service business. Our
clients trust us to focus on the small
Manolo and Son is a family-owned and operated
wholesale seafood company in Alexandria, Va.
We take pride in sourcing a diverse line of quality
products. Working with Windows Catering for
nearly a decade, we have built a great relationship
with their chefs and work diligently to bring the sea
to their step. Check us out at www.masseafood.com
to find out more about our company.

134

food & drink international * winter 2016 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

details that can make the difference
between hosting just an average event
and an event where the guests leave
with a truly memorable experience."

Stellar Service
When the recession hit in the late
2000s, many companies responded
by cutting non-essential services and
perks. However, Windows' corporate
drop-off business has rebounded as
the economy in Washington, D.C., has
grown. "Over the last several years
since the economic collapse of 2008,
the perception and the stigma of largescale corporate entertaining has been
lifted," Gerstel says.
Today, Windows makes between 60
and 70 drop off deliveries of breakfast,
lunch and dinner to corporate customers each weekday. That workload is on
top of its full-service business, which
can number as many as 25 events a day
during peak season. To serve all those
customers, Windows operates a stateof-the-art facility with a 12,000-squarefoot kitchen, a temperature- and humidity-controlled chocolate room and
4,000 square feet of refrigerator space
staffed by 65 culinary team members.
Food is delivered to customers using
Windows' own fleet of vehicles.
Coordinating all these events and
managing customer relationships is a
daunting task, but Windows has developed several processes to improve
efficiency. The company is divided
into three business segments: corporate express, full-service events and
weddings. Team members are crosstrained so they can move to where they
are needed most.
"All of our event designers are fully trained to execute on all types of
events," Gerstel says. "Each event is
unique and we take a very consultative
and educational approach throughout
the planning process. Our clients trust
us to walk them through every step of


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1

Contents
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1 - Cover1
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