Unveiling the L'or Espresso and Hotpickle Catering Case Study - Featuring Christmas Coffee Delights


Hot Pickle, a seasoned event coordinator known for working with numerous prominent brands, approached Pearl Lemon Catering to manage the espresso service for three speciality events showcasing L’or brand espresso. This collaboration began when we first entered the catering industry, and their continued patronage highlights a strong, ongoing professional relationship.

The scheduled events were meticulously planned to ensure a high-quality espresso experience. The first event was set for October 18th, followed closely by another on October 19th. The final event was strategically scheduled for November 23rd, 2022, allowing ample time to

Our team prepared diligently for these events, ensuring that each one was equipped to offer an exceptional espresso service that would meet the high standards expected by Hot Pickle and their clients. This included training our staff on the nuances of L’or espresso, coordinating with the venue to ensure proper setup, and managing inventory to accommodate the expected number of guests efficiently. The goal was to create a seamless and memorable espresso experience that would reflect well on Hot Pickle and our catering capabilities.

The Scope of Work

The original scope of work was to include:

  • 1 day of team training
  • 3 pop up events
  • Help with floorplan/layout coordination
  • Helping build the menu
  • Sending glass and crockery samples for approval
  • Mixing drinks
  • Serving drinks
  • Preparing coffee drinks


This would then move into having additional popup events after the first 3 dates.

Below is the original proposal sent via email and agreed upon:

Catering Case Study L'or/Hot Pickle


The total is: £37,049

Staff: £21,924

Event Costs: £11,625

Training Costs: £3,500

Stock Costs: To Be Quoted Separately

Contingency planning: Please keep up to £4,000 aside

Staff breakdown;

I’ve calculated 4 people at:

12 hours per day Mon-Sat  &

7.5 hours Sunday

(9.30 – 20.30 Mon- Sat is 11 hours of total time – but as we’ll need to do our own prep prior to arrivals – additional equipment, stock etc – 30 mins solo – also there’s a handover period when staff start the 2nd shift of 30 mins so 12 hours overall; Sun same principle so 11.00 – 18.30)

There are 33 days in total (including 4 Sundays)

So with 4 people on shift through the whole period at £13.50 per hour (just including tax/nic we have to pay also so £13.50 + £1) = it is:

29 days x 12 hours per day x 4 people x £14.50 per hour = £20,184

4 (sun) days x 7.5 hours per day x 4 people x £14.50 per hour = £1,740

Total = £21,924


Event Costs

Equipment (commercial frothers, milk jugs, misc. coffee kit) – £2,475 / £75 per day

Training (on product, relationships etc) – £750

Recipe ideation – £500

Glassware & crockery – £3,300 / £100 per day

Planning and preparation (remotely via Teams/doc-prep) £1,100

Setup, packup, transport £1,000

Ongoing Support Remotely/In-Person £2,500 (issues with stock, equipment, staff sickness, covering other elements of the popup, changing requirements, changing drink items)

Total: £11,625


Training Costs

Our inhouse knowledge of L’or in general i.e the company, the coffee, the notes etc – and being able to deliver this to customers whilst serving them using the home machine  1,250

Intimate knowledge of the L’or professional home machine, how it works, additional equipment to use alongside it etc – i.e being ‘home-based’ coffee experts – 750

Our knowledge of coffee, cocktails and mocktails delivered across 33 days (i.e coffee history, coffee cocktails, the history of specific drinks, and general coffee knowledge – 1,500

Total: £3,500

Costing the Ingredients

Costing out the ingredients for the events coordinated with Hot Pickle proved to be one of the most complex and labor-intensive aspects of our team’s preparation process. Deepak, along with Axel and Lydia, faced the intricate task of aligning the menu requirements with the logistical demands of ingredient procurement.

Axel and Lydia were responsible for crafting the menus for the core events while also addressing additional requirements for a series of pop-up events. For these, the Hot Pickle team provided specific ingredient lists. Lydia took on the challenge of sourcing each item, which involved researching suppliers and comparing costs to ensure the best quality and value. Concurrently, she worked closely with Axel to estimate the number of servings per drink, which was crucial for determining the exact ingredients needed.

Once the quantities were established, Lydia proceeded to order the necessary volumes. Meanwhile, Deepak developed two distinct cost calculators, which he presented to the Hot Pickle team. These calculators provided a detailed rationale for the pricing of the services, ensuring transparency and facilitating budget approvals.

The entire process required approximately 21 hours of meticulous work. The team had to ensure that all items were priced appropriately and scheduled for timely delivery, aligning perfectly with the event dates and the Hot Pickle team’s expectations. This thorough approach was essential to guarantee that the events ran smoothly and met all specified requirements.

Menu Design

Something Axel and Lydia ended up working on together for this project was taking the menu, providing the L’or flavour wheel, and building a rationale for what pod goes with what drink.

But first, the menu. Axel spent a few days solo looking over the most popular cocktails and mocktails AND most popular ones that included coffee.

From this the menu list was built out to:

  • Espresso Martini
  • Negroni
  • Kahlua
  • Mock Espresso Martini
  • Mock Oldfashioned 
  • Mock Coffee Sour Tonic

This blend would allow for a variety of cocktail drinkers to find something they like whether it is bold or classic, fruity or non-alcoholic.

From here Lydia then stepped in. Lydia spent an entire day comparing the flavour wheel to the product descriptions to assemble the rationale. The Hot Pickle team needed to see a different pod used with each drink and why.

One example was Onyx was used with the old fashioned. This was because Onyx is their extra dark, bold roast, and old-fashioned roast, which is made with whiskey (also dark and bold). This would allow the coffee to substitute the alcohol and still make a delicious drink.

Catering Case Study L'or/Hot Pickle

A sample of those can be seen below.

Catering Case Study L'or/Hot Pickle

We built a great menu to present the Hot Pickle team that was then approved for serving.

Catering Case Study L'or/Hot Pickle

Accommodating the specific beverage presentation requirements also played a crucial role in planning the Hot Pickle events. Each drink was meant to be served in a way that complemented its unique character and style. For instance, Old Fashioneds would be served in classic whiskey glasses to enhance their traditional appeal, while espresso martinis required clean, elegant martini glasses to underscore their sophistication.

Lydia took on the task of sourcing these glassware options, which involved several days of searching for suppliers who could offer a variety of styles that aligned with the event’s high standards. After rigorous selection and comparison, she successfully presented 12 glass options to the Hot Pickle team. This variety allowed them to make informed choices that best suited the aesthetic and functional needs of each beverage.

Once the final selections for glasses and plates for truffles were made, the logistical challenge of procurement and delivery fell to Dee and Axel. They coordinated closely with Lydia to place orders, ensuring all items were meticulously packed to prevent breakage during transport. They focused on ensuring that everything arrived at the job site in perfect condition and ready for the event setup. This coordination was essential to ensure that the presentation of each drink and dish lived up to the expectations of the event and contributed to an impeccable guest experience.

Catering Case Study L'or/Hot Pickle

Leading Up to the Event

Aside from costing, planning, and getting ingredients and glassware approvals, the month of planning leading up to this event was long.

Our team also enjoyed attending a few training events to learn more about the L’or brand so we could talk in-depth with people about the origin, the flavours and anything that may come up.

We also had a few practice runs in our cafe before the event so everyone mixing and serving knew exactly how each drink should be made, tasted, and looked.


Learning so many new drinks and making things extra pretty for this event was a great learning experience for the team.

One last step we helped with before the event was help design and confirm the best possible floorplan to allow for the most movement, ease of service and be able to store everything as needed.

We were able to come up with the below layout adn it ended up working very well.

Catering Case Study L'or/Hot Pickle

The Event

The team had a great time at the event. After figuring out all the costing, transportation and ordering it was pretty smooth sailing.


Our team members greatly enjoyed the opportunity to serve canapés and other delightful nibbles at the events organised with Hot Pickle. Participating in such special occasions allowed our staff to engage directly with guests, offering a personal touch that enhanced the overall experience. Additionally, the chance to prepare and serve new and exciting drinks was a highlight for many team members.

The creativity in crafting these unique beverages and the immediate feedback from guests provided a gratifying and enriching experience for the team. This involvement allowed them to showcase their skills and dedication and expand their expertise in high-end event catering. The enthusiasm and pride our team brought to these events were reflected in their meticulous attention to detail and their impeccable service, making each event memorable for guests and rewarding for themselves.

Catering Case Study L'or/Hot Pickle

Some of the days were long with hundreds of coffee and cocktail serves done over the course of the event.

Catering Case Study L'or/Hot Pickle

It was a great learning experience, especially figuring out how to batch create each type of drink en mass so the team could walk out with fresh and ready cocktails.

Hurdles and Obstacles

Crockery and glassware stood as the greatest hurdle during this event. The sheer amount of breakables to order left us with high risk of not having enough if something happened to any of the glasses. We decided to order 10% more than needed of each glass type as a safe guard. Then there was transportation. It was ALOT of glasses; our cases ended up not fitting the cups despite being ensured they would. This meant carrying shipping boxes of glasses and hoping for the best. At the end of the event we only ended up losing 4 total glasses.

Catering Case Study L'or/Hot Pickle

The Outcome

The event, in collaboration with Hot Pickle, was an overwhelming success, leading to a series of additional pop-up events throughout the remainder of 2022.

We deeply value the partnership we have developed with Hot Pickle. Their continued trust in our services is a testament to the quality and consistency we bring to each event. The positive feedback and repeat engagements speak volumes about our teams’ mutual respect and satisfaction. We are excited to continue this fruitful collaboration, with another event already scheduled for July 2023. This ongoing relationship underscores our commitment to delivering exceptional catering experiences and our eagerness to meet and exceed expectations at future events.

Catering Case Study L'or/Hot Pickle

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