Clambake FAQs

Q: Can I host my clambake party anywhere, or do I have to have it on the beach?

A: We can—and have—catered clambakes everywhere from ballrooms to beaches. It’s good to keep in mind that clambakes are casual parties. And we do need access to the outdoors: that’s where we set up our trailer and kitchen (yes, we bring our own).

Most important, ask what your venue will allow. That will help determine whether you should choose a pot-style or a pit-style clambake.

 A traditional pit-style clambake doesn’t necessarily have to be on a beach, but we do need to dig a pit and have enough space for a large fire (with no over-hanging branches); we also need access to running water.

A pot-style clambake is more go-anywhere: we bring our own kitchen and water supply. It is best if we can set up our truck, trailer, and cook station with reasonable access to the buffet area. And outdoor lighting, or electricity for our own lights is important for evening parties.

Q: How many guests can we invite? Is there a minimum?

A: The more, merrier. But we do have a minimum. Our traditional pit-style clambakes are for 50 or more people. We offer our pot-style clambakes for 20 or more.

Q: When do you need to have our head count?

A: When the contract is signed, we ask for an approximate number so we can start planning your clambake. We need your final headcount 10 days prior to the party.

Q: Are the menus for pit and pot-style clambakes different?

A: No. Both clambakes include the same delicious, top-quality menu items:

  • Choice of a 1 1/4 lb. hardshell lobster, grilled marinated steak, or BBQ bone-in chicken breast
  • Homemade New England clam chowder with fresh rolls and butter
  • Native Cape Cod steamer clams and mussels
  • Portuguese-style linguiça sausage
  • Corn on the cob, red bliss potatoes, and homemade coleslaw
  • Sliced watermelon

And either way, you can choose to add on a raw bar or any of our appetizers, salads, and more. The difference is in the pricing: because pit-style clambakes require more time and staffing, they cost more. See our pit-style and pot-style pages for menu and pricing specifics.

Q: Do you offer alternatives for people who don’t eat lobsters?

A: As long as we know in advance, we can swap out lobsters for steak, chicken, or a veggie burger. We also offer a specially-priced vegetarian option for purists. A wide range of additional individual orders and sides are also available. See our pit or pot pages for our full menu, including all the extras.

Q: What does the per-person menu price include?

A: The per-person menu price includes the clambake menu itself (see our pit-style and pot-style menu pages for details), as well as condiments. It also covers our smiling servers. And it includes our kitchen and cooking supplies, buffet tables, chafing dishes and other serving supplies. We bring claw crackers as well as disposable serving plates, plasticware, napkins, and wet naps. Trash bags and bins, too.

Q: Does the price include tax and tips?

A: No. There is a 7% Massachusetts tax on meals, and if we’re providing any of your rentals, 6.25% applies. We do also add an 18% gratuity.

Q: How do we pay?

A: We ask that you return your signed contract to us with a non-refundable $200 deposit to hold your party date and time. The balance is due on the day of your party.

Q: How long will Clambakes, Etc. be at the event?

A: It depends on which type of clambake you’re having. Our traditional pit-style clambake takes about seven hours from the time we arrive, cook, and serve, on through to collecting all the trash. We will arrive 5 hours before serving time. Our modern pot-style clambake party takes about two and a half to three hours from the time we arrive, cook, serve, and collect the trash. For these, we arrive one hour before serving time.

Q: Who takes care of the trash?

A: Clambakes, Etc. will remove all trash we create from the site.

Q: Does Clambakes, Etc. carry insurance?

A: Yes. We are fully licensed, HACCP food-safety certified, and have full liability insurance. You will want to check with your venue to be certain everything there is also covered.

Didn’t find an answer to your question? Just drop us a line. We will respond within 24 hours.