A Catering business is like any other business, in that like every other business there has to be a small percentage for error. Even though it seems like caterers perform miracles, they are not, in fact, miracle workers. And just as your electricity goes off sometimes, or you don’t get very good cell phone reception in certain areas or the supermarket is out of your favourite food item; catering companies can encounter problems if you do not follow all of the correct steps, albeit a small percentage of that happening.
The chances are that your catering company encountered ten or more problems during the last function that you attended, but they were both manageable and small enough, plus the catering company were professional enough that it did not show on the outside.
There is an old saying which says “a caterer is like a duck, smooth and graceful on the surface, but paddling like crazy underneath“.
In this article there are four of the most important pieces of information which you should be asked to provide which would help in the eventuality that something might crop up that your catering company doesn’t know about.
1. You should give your caterer at least three different contact numbers.
If it is six or twelve months out from your wedding and you have locked in a caterer and contracts have been signed, it is difficult to see ahead and to know exactly what is going to happen on the day. If something happens, for example; the chef gets lost or involved in a traffic accident, the caterer will need to be able to contact someone. They will not want to be phoning the bride, groom during the service and add a memory that should not be there.
2. Is there parking available on-site?
This sounds like an obvious one, but it is so obvious that it easily gets missed. Also, a party at a private residence for thirty or more guests, plus a band, plus other entertainment can easily fill the parking spaces up fast. If possible try to save your catering company and other professionals at your event, a parking space nearby, even it is just for loading and unloading only.
3. Are there amenities on-site?
A caterer is bound by certain health and safety laws, such as having running water to wash their hands and many others. The local caterers in your jurisdiction will also be bound by similar laws and regulations. If the catering site is remote then your caterer would need to know if there is electricity, running water, toilets, shelter from the elements and more. All of these potential problems are easily dealt with if your caterer is notified beforehand.
4. Final numbers and late RSVP.
Final numbers and late comers are not a problem, as long as the caterer is made aware of it. A simple phone call the day before just to touch base with the caterer is fine. As a procedure, your caterer should include some extra food at no extra cost to the client. This should be in their costings. The amount included extra is dependent on the types of menu and the number of guests. Your caterer should do this for a number of reasons, firstly in case of extra numbers. Secondly they should cater extra food in case of any accidents. As I mentioned before, accidents do happen sometimes and your catering company need to have something up their sleeves. Lastly, if the correct numbers arrive, there are no accidents then you will just be provided with the extra food.
If these simple recommendations can be followed then it could be the difference between a successful catering function and a potential disaster. Let your caterer know as soon as possible when something changes or something you feel might be an issue, it doesn’t matter how small of a deal you think it is.