Common Catering Problems You Can Avoid

Common Catering Problems You Can Avoid

Caterers may seem like miracle workers but in the end a lot of events go horribly wrong because of simple problems that snowballed into massive avalanches. You never want your guests to be disappointed, hungry, or mad because of simple problems that could have been avoided.

Everyone’s been at a big event and everyone knows what it feels like to not get the kind of food or service that was promised. The food and catering services are big parts of any event, even meetings, and avoiding as many issues as possible is necessary for the organized occasion to go smoothly.

To help ensure your events go well, here are a few common catering problems that you can avoid:

Leaving Your Guests Hungry

Here’s one of the most common catering problems that should be avoided at all costs. After all, who wants to run out of food in the middle of an event just to see the guests go home hungry? You don’t want to overshoot it either because then you’ll end up with paid leftovers that no one might take home.

The best way to avoid this is to follow the following questionnaire:

  • How many expected guests are there?
  • How long will the event be?
  • What time of day will the event be held?
  • What type of food is going to be served?

If you’re expecting fifty people then prepare for seventy because you never know how many will back for seconds. Lunch requires less food than dinner since people are more prone to eat a second time around when the lights go out. What kind of event is it so you know if it should be a simple buffet or a fancy dinner with a three-course meal, cocktail hour, and salad bar?

Keep those tips in mind and you’ll have a good estimate on how much food you need to prepare.

Failure to Communicate

Most catering problems are caused by a failure to communicate. If there aren’t enough plates for the guests then where is the man in charge for utilities and amenities? If many of the guests turn out to be vegan but you’re serving meat on the table, where are the financier and chef to churn out veggie meals?

You want to know who the key players are. This means you need to know who the chef is, who the staff manager is, who the organizer from the catering company is, and more. Most importantly, you want to constantly keep in touch with the liaison from the catering firm.

Most of the time, however, the guy you’re talking to while planning might not be the actual floor manager during the event so make sure you know who is charge of catering on the day itself. You will want to make sure you can easily communicate when issues suddenly pop up on the dining table.

Keeping Food Hot and Cold

You never want to end up with melted ice cream or cold soup. Unfortunately, keeping a hot, sizzling dish ready for 150 people is never easy. To avoid hot food getting cold or frozen food melting, you want to establish a strong agreement with the venue and the food caterers.

This will allow you, the venue management, and the caterers to check if the facilities, available space, cooking utensils, and preparation area is enough to maintain the food at its optimal condition. Otherwise the food might not be maintained well and will reach your guests in poor condition.

This is perhaps one of the most common catering problems that can be avoided early on as long as you get the key players together to collaborate and ensure each one gets what he or she need to deliver high quality service.


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