Gatherings To-Go delivers food from Sole, Chop House and Via
With a new year comes a new service from the Worcester Restaurant Group, with the catchy name of Gatherings To-Go Catering.
Worcester Restaurant Group, founded by husband and wife Robb and Madeleine Ahlquist, includes The Sole Proprietor, One Eleven Chop House and VIA Italian Table, all in Worcester.
All food ordered through Gatherings To-Go Catering comes directly from the kitchens of the three restaurants, according to Quillah Hakkarainen, the catering coordinator, who also is event coordinator at VIA Italian Table.
Gatherings To-Go Catering had a trial run last fall during football season, which led into Thanksgiving and Christmas packages with all the bells and whistles, said Hakkarainen, who compared the launch to a soft opening of a restaurant. The Thanksgiving packages even included cooking information and a meat thermometer, she said, and there also was a consumer hotline leading up to the holiday.
At the time of the launch, the Gatherings team was able to evaluate delivery service and ensure catering boxes kept food at the right temperature, whether hot or cold, said Hakkarainen. “Every detail of the service is important,” she said.
Caitlyn Carolan, the Ahlquists’ daughter, came up with the catering idea several years ago and is the driving force behind it. “We had so many inquiries about bringing our food to offices, team sports events and at home parties that we decided to go for it and in a big way,” said Carolan. “We do a lot of take out, but Gatherings is different from the average takeout order.”
Carolan said that while the business didn’t have a script to begin with, Worcester Restaurant Group knew it wanted the food to be exactly what its customers see on its restaurants’ menus. “We certainly couldn’t duplicate everything because there are foods that don’t travel well,” said Carolan, “but we offer plenty of variety, from raw bar to sushi to whole roasted meats and lobster and crab. We took a look at all the menus and blended it into one.”
Consumers also can choose from soups and chowders, salads, signature sandwiches, seafood (salmon, swordfish, scallops, sole, haddock and more), side dishes, small bites, brunch options, desserts and gelato. Gluten-free and vegetarian options are available. Restaurant staff is trained to prepare allergen-free meals, and Gatherings catering boxes are properly labeled, said Carolan. “There’s no guessing about what’s what.”
Carolan said the new service is a reminder of her mother-in-law, who lives out of state and loves to have family gatherings. “She often will call a nearby restaurant for a half tray or a full tray of food when she has people in,” said Carolan. “She’s like most people today when they entertain a large crowd. They sometimes will make the entrée and supplement with a side, or order a complete meal. Or it could be just appetizers. It’s whatever works for them.”
For help in planning your next gathering, visit www.wrgrestaurants.com, call Quillah Hakkarainen at (508) 831-0697 or email [email protected].
Delivery is available for orders totaling a minimum of $300. Delivery, for a $25 fee, is made to Auburn, Berlin, Boylston, Clinton, Grafton, Holden, Leicester, Millbury, Northboro, Paxton, Shrewsbury, Southboro, Upton, Westboro, West Boylston and Worcester.
Carolan said Worcester Restaurant Group is proud of Gatherings To-Go Catering, which brings “our food to your table.”
Great food, happy customers!
Barbara Houle – Table Hoppin’