Being a caterer, you constantly are working weddings & events. Each event comes with its different sets of obstacles and challenges, but if dealt with swiftly and intelligently there shouldn’t be anything that can’t be overcome. A good way to re-tune your “event service skills” is by attending an event; actually it can also be quite entertaining. This is a great opportunity to get a server’s bird’s eye view of what guests are truly looking for when attending events. I took advantage of this while attending my Brother’s wedding this past weekend in Monterrey, California. Besides being with family and friends participating in a special part of my Brother’s life, I was personally excited to see what the rehearsal dinner and reception had to offer us.
Remember, you’re not paying for your guests to get a “Restaurant” experience at your event. You hired a Caterer to do just that, cater to the needs of you and your guests. When choosing a caterer, don’t just go off the quality and taste of the food, research the history of the company. Get reviews from previous customers or internet review services such as Google, and Yelp! You want your servers to know what they’re serving your guests. For example, this weekend at the rehearsal several of the waiters were unaware of what they were serving when asked. My mother had later asked me what I thought of the tuna that night. I had to search my mind, I knew I had tried every appetizer but tuna was not ringing a bell. It had turned out that instead of providing tuna skewers that night; we were served Chicken skewers instead. Needless to say my mother had to not only go through the hassle of asking why, but also had the worry that a guest may have unknowingly consumed something they could be allergic too.
This is an important quality that can be applied to the Staff and Food part of your Wedding experience. Choosing the right caterer and venue can help reduce a lot of unneeded stress in planning. When evaluating your venues, you want to keep in mind several important factors. Accessibility is a very important trait to consider. First off you want to make sure it’s somewhere fairly accessible for your guests, especially those traveling from out of town. By providing a form of transportation or having an easily locatable venue will help calm the nerves of your guests and maybe let them enjoy themselves a little more without the worry of driving home. It’s your wedding; you want it to be beautiful. Obviously the look is one of the more important factors you’re going to consider. Remember to keep in mind good locations for pictures around your venue, a nice place for your bridal party to sit down and get ready for the big moment, and the overall quality of where your reception will take place. You want to have a caterer or venue that can provide you with a competent and eager Event manager. This weekend we had the pleasure of dealing with a truly skilled event manager. She was very impressive, on top of her game, providing bridal parties with refreshments, directing us for pictures, and generally keeping to the schedule and keeping the evening flowing. Being on the other side of the event, I can personally tell you how disastrous a wedding can go if you do not have the right Manager coordinating your evening. By hiring full service vendors you eliminate the hassle of communicating between multiple people and can also cut down on overall expense for the event.
Besides how beautiful the bride was, and how well the ceremony went, the food will be one of the most talked about aspects of your event. This is also where choosing a venue and caterer can clash. Some venues will charge an extra fee to hire outside caterers or flat out deny the use of outside catering. Doing your homework and researching vendors can really come in handy. Just because the venue may offer what looks like a great all inclusive package, there can be hidden fees or vendors that may not meet our expectations. It’s best to get a price by price break down and bring it to your potential caterers. Chances are they’ll be able to offer you the same services for a lower price and the option of finding you a quality venue. But make sure you research your caterer as well; you want one that has a good reputation in the locale market. Some venues hire only exclusive vendors for varying reasons. Despite the mix up of the Tuna and Chicken skewers, all was forgotten when dinner was served. The power of food can be amazing! Immediately when my massive Braised Pork Shank was set down in front of me, the not so good appetizer experience faded away from my memory. The first bite was not disappointing; the meat was
so tender a knife was not needed! Needless to say with a few good drinks and a delicious meal all was forgotten and this picky Critic was able to have quite an enjoyable evening. No matter what industry you may work in, it’s always important to retune your skills. Being a foodie at heart and a caterer by trade, I love to take any opportunity to sit down and actually be served. It’s alright to let your opinions and critiques come out, why wouldn’t it be? You know your guests are always doing the same when you serve them your food! There is no better way to learn what a guest wants, then to become a guest yourself! So next time that wedding invitation comes in the mail, take at as a learning experience, and go enjoy yourself!
–Anthony Rea For over eleven years Creations in Cuisine Catering has been servicing Phoenix and the surrounding areas with innovative cuisine and event design. The goal is to be the first choice when planning your wedding, corporate cocktail reception or a catered affair in the privacy of your own home. An established reputation for being flexible and creative with our menu selections, at Creations in Cuisine Catering they use the freshest ingredients available to prepare your food with an emphasis on taste and creativity. The professional team of event planners will guide clients through all the steps necessary to help assure your event will surpass expectations.