by Lisa Grimaldi | January 01, 2005

The following checklist was created with the assistance of the Loews Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles ( and Nir Weinblut, manager of the Los Angeles-based restaurant and catering firm La Gondola Ristorante.

Key Considerations

  • Will the event be “kosher-style” (where the food is kosher but preparation does not have to be supervised by a rabbi, a kosher kitchen is not required, and kosher dishes and tableware are not necessary) or “glatt kosher” (which requires stricter supervision and rules)?
  • Does the venue have a relationship with an established kosher caterer, or can planners work with a kosher caterer of their choice? If so, does the caterer have rabbinical supervision and a kosher certificate?
  • Does the venue have a relationship with a rabbi, or can a client bring his or her own rabbi or maschgiach (a kosher supervisor or agent) to make the kitchen kosher?
  • Does the venue have a kosher kitchen, which must be separate from the general-use kitchen? 
  • Does the venue have kosher cookware? If not, can it be provided by an outside vendor? 
  • Does the property provide kosher china, silverware and serving pieces, such as chafing dishes, platters, trays and pitchers? (Note: Glassware and linens do not need to be kosher.) If not, can kosher tableware be brought in? 
  • Do extra charges apply for use of kosher cookware and tableware? 
  • Will the site allow dishwashers to be kashered (prepared for use under the rabbi’s supervision) so caterers can wash kosher china and silverware before leaving?
  • Does the venue offer kosher wines? Most hotels stock kosher wine or work with kosher wine suppliers. (Note: Kosher wines are designated Mevushal on their labels.) 
  • Determine whether hard liquors and liqueurs will be served; several kosher brands are available.  
  • If the client wants to bring in kosher wine from another supplier, the venue typically will charge a corkage fee (generally ranging from $8 to $20 per bottle).
  • For religious holidays and Sabbath days when the Orthodox population must curtail a substantial amount of modern daily activities, such as using an elevator, using key cards to guest rooms, switching on lights, etc., can the venue provide some staff members to perform these functions?
  • Questions for caterers

  • Can the caterer provide all of the necessary kosher cookware, pots, grills, etc., if the venue does not offer it?
  • Will the caterer provide the chef, supervisor and culinary team to cook and plate the food? (Regular staff can serve and clear tables.)
  • Will the caterer provide kosher items such as nondairy creamer and margarine, if not carried by the venue?
  • Other Considerations

  • What is the charge for rabbinical supervision? Fees typically range from $15 to $20 an hour, although some rabbis charge flat fees based on the scope of the event and the duration of their services. The rabbi must supervise everything from setup to tear-down, including food preparation, kashering the kitchen, etc. The process typically lasts 12 to 14 hours; in some cases, several rabbis can oversee the different functions.
  • Will the rabbi be offered a complimentary room or special rate for the night before and/or the night of the event?
  • Notes: