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What to Expect from Your Caterer

… to make your life easier

When selecting a catering partner, one of the most important considerations is how will that caterer make your life easier? This can be tricky to ascertain as the definition of “catering” is loose to say the least.

Many restaurants operators whose priority is taking care of their dining room patrons will send an employee in their personal vehicle to “drop off” some food for your meeting. Some fast food restaurants will put together trays of food items for pick up and may even drop off some sandwiches at your office. There are some full service caterers who will cater your event if it is large enough and at a high price.

Somewhere in the middle is the catering “sweet spot”, the full service catering company that will successfully handle all of your needs and at a reasonable price. This type of company will make your job and your life easier. Here are some of the characteristics of such a catering partner:

  • They only handle off site catered events without having the distractions of operating a dining room.
  • They have the staff and equipment to be able to successfully handle many events.
  • Quality staffing is a top priority and turnover is very low (mature and experienced employees who are paid well.)
  • They offer menu products that fit your needs (menu selection, training packages, customized menus, etc.)
  • They are easy to work with (professional order taking staff, quick responses to requests, easy invoicing, etc.)
  • They never tell a client “No” (to pop up events, smaller meetings, off hour events or special budgetary needs.)

Here is an example of how a true full service caterer can make your life easier:

Training Class Planner: In the past you have had to work with a number of different restaurants/caterers in order to give your five day training classes enough menu variety for the week. Many challenges arose from this set up, including:

  • The dependability of each restaurant provider varied and some would arrive late on a regular basis, causing a disruption in training schedules.
  • Early morning breakfast deliveries were a very big challenge for these providers.
  • When deliveries were made, the various delivery personnel were not familiar with the meeting rooms and set up needs, making you have to meet them and show them how to do their job.
  • Invoicing was a nightmare as questions would be routed around to various voice mail boxes within a corporate office.

Here is the alternative scenario:

  • An always on time caterer who will deliver whenever you need without time restrictions.
  • Professional service staffers who are familiar with your needs and who set up events without you having to leave your desk (with background checks having been conducted on these staffers in order to gain security clearance.)
  • A single contact for invoicing who always responds to questions in a timely manner.
  • A catering partner who appreciates you and constantly looks for ways to exceed your expectations.

I will end this article back where I began… “Making your life easier”. You have many responsibilities and planning meetings is just one item that needs not be a high stress waste of your valuable time. Selection of a quality catering partner is very important, so please, ensure that you select the right one.

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