Catering Tips And Tricks
At first glance, it seems that catering event organizing, be it a press conference, forum, anniversary celebration or corporate event, is purely a technical work: arrange tables and chairs, connect microphones, invite guests, arrange dishes, etc. But this is only the upper, visible tip of the iceberg called event management. The intense preliminary work of the event manager to prepare the event lies behind it. During which all the details need to be thought over and foreseen. Indeed, you need to know special catering tips & tricks. in a short time of the event, participants must receive and analyze a large amount of information, discuss important problems, and work out ways to solve them.
The task of the organizers is to create the most favorable and comfortable conditions for the participants and guests of the event, which would correspond to the interests and moods of the target audience and would contribute to the solution of the tasks set. The professionalism of the event manager is manifested in the fact that he is well aware of the laws of management of all components of the event organization process.
The preparation of any event includes five stages:
- creative development or search for a creative idea,
- coordination of work,
- analysis of results.
The preliminary research will help to clearly understand and formulate the goals and objectives of the event, to determine the target audience. A creative idea will make it unusual, interesting, memorable, with an original storyline and intrigue, since any event should have a strong emotional impact and impression on the participants and cause a positive response.
Thorough elaboration of a step-by-step event plan involves answering the following important questions: who and how we invite, where and what we do. Depending on the goals and objectives of the event, its guests and participants may be representatives of government and business, the scientific community, culture and the media. Any event should be attended by opinion leaders, experts in a particular field.
During the preparation, special attention should be paid to the development of the event scenario, design concept, selection of the venue, interaction with the catering service restaurant (catering company), organization of the participants’ safety, and logistics. Analysis of the event will reveal its strengths and weaknesses, determine what results have been achieved, draw important conclusions that will be useful to the manager in future work.
Since the organization of such festivities involves a whole range of work, which is not possible to cover within the framework of this article, let us dwell in more detail on various aspects of choosing and interacting with a catering company. After all, a successful choice of contractors and competently structured work with them are the key to the success of the event. But first, a few words about the psychological characteristics of information perception that every event organizer needs to know.
Psychological features of information perception
Science knows that a person perceives only 10% of information by ear, visually – no more than 30%, and when he or she is involved in the action – about 60%. The event allows you to use all the channels through which a person receives and remembers information: hearing, and sight, and emotional perception, and direct participation.
Think back to an event you attended recently. What’s the first thing that pops up in your memory? Most likely, the location of the event, your actions, the decoration of the hall, taste sensations and, last but not least, figures, facts and quotes from the opinion leaders speeches. This is also explained from the point of view of science. The fact is that the left (rational) hemisphere of the brain receives less information – only 20% of the information, and the right (emotional) – 80%. Therefore, during the organization and hosting of the event, it is important to create a favorable mood among the participants, influencing their emotions. To achieve this goal, the event manager can use such means as musical accompaniment (background music, fanfare, beatings, performances of popular artists, etc.), stage decoration (phytodesign, lighting effects, branded materials) and, of course, culinary delights.
Moreover, it should be borne in mind that a buffet or banquet is not just the absorption of food and the satisfaction of hunger. In its informal atmosphere, contacts are established, new acquaintances are acquired and friendly relations are struck, even difficult issues are resolved. Pleasant music, beautiful surroundings, delicious food and good drinks help to satisfy the most important human psychological need – the need for positive emotions.
Choosing a catering restaurant
There are several ways to choose a catering restaurant: ask for advice from a friend who already had experience working with catering companies, look at the catering companies websites, or carefully study the advertising brochure of a particular caterer. But it is best to attend a presentation or an event served by a catering company to evaluate the work of managers and waiters, to taste the delicious dishes of the chef.
One of the main criteria for evaluating any restaurant is, of course, the range of dishes offered and the quality of food preparation. Catering companies have high requirements: chefs must be able to prepare delicious meals even in cramped conditions, waiters must skillfully set tables and serve guests professionally and politely.
The menu for a buffet or banquet should be carefully selected in accordance with the wishes and tastes of the invited guests. At the same time, the table should contain both low-calorie diet meals and gourmet dishes.
About furniture and moving
Two crossings are tantamount to one fire, says popular wisdom. The specificity of catering companies’ work is that they constantly travel to the event sites with special tables, chairs, refrigerators and other equipment. Therefore, when choosing a catering restaurant, special attention should be paid to the quality of furniture, dishes and related accessories: tables should never wobble, chairs should creak, plates and wine glasses should literally sparkle, and tablecloths should be perfectly clean. The tablecloth should lie on the table so that it reaches the floor without seams, the skirt of the tablecloth should certainly be ironed.
The appearance of the waiters should be neat and in line with the style of the event. As a rule, this is a white top, black bottom, but exceptions are possible, for example, historical or national costumes. In any case, the uniform of the waiters and managers must certainly be in perfect condition.
The service provided by catering companies must be top notch. The atmosphere of the event, the mood of the participants largely depends on this. The style of serving the waiters should correspond to the concept and ideology of the event. For example, at a gala dinner, waiters should be courteous and helpful, at a friendly party – elegant and agile, at a formal business lunch – keep a respectful distance, not forgetting about their duties. The buffet tables decorated with small flower arrangements should always be kept clean, which is a sign of the first-class work of the waiters.
You should properly plan the time for serving or changing dishes and opening buffet lines. Traditionally, meeting of the guests is accompanied by an aperitif and light music. The approaches to the buffet lines open after the main speech, and the main course is taken out against the backdrop of a laser show or cold fireworks. However, be careful when using ice sculptures, which traditionally elevate the status of the event. Of course, the sparkling swan in the center of the table is an unforgettable sight, but only if there is no lake of melt water around. Taking out meals during an event can be an independent element of the program.
The virtual reality
An important element of a buffet or banquet organizing is the arrangement of tables. It should take into account the characteristics of the hall, the specifics of the event and create comfortable conditions for accommodating guests. Today, some catering companies offer their customers a service called “virtual reality” – the arrangement of tables and buffet stations using computer technology. A carefully thought-out arrangement of buffet lines or banquet tables will help to solve the problems of zoning the venue on which the event is held, and effectively coordinate the movement of guests and waiters.
Table setting is an integral part of the decoration of the event and must fit into the overall flavor. For example, the classic style of serving involves white tablecloths, chairs with snow-white covers; an antique vase in the center of the table can complement the picture.
The experience of working with catering restaurants shows that all the details of the event must be agreed in advance: the menu and wine list, the waiters uniform, the color scheme of tablecloths and skirts, the time of serving the aperitif and taking out the main dish. It should be borne in mind that catering services will require a separate room or space located close to the main scene. No matter how clearly the program of the event is agreed, the manager must coordinate the work of the catering service staff during the celebration.
In order to save funds allocated for the event, you can agree with the catering company that you will provide liquors and soft drinks yourself. In this case, it is important to agree on the type and number of wine glasses and the reporting system (as a rule, companies report with empty bottles).
Sometimes, after the banquet is over, food preparations or even ready-made meals still remain on the table. This happens if much less than expected guests come to the celebration or they are not hungry (or, probably, you have chosen not a very good catering service). In such situations, unused products are packed in special lunch boxes. In addition, you should arrange in advance with the catering company about the garbage collection after the end of the event.
These are just a few tips and tricks for choosing and interacting with a catering company. In conclusion, it must be notedthat one of the most important conditions for the successful organization and holding of an event is an attentive approach to all details, a sense of taste and proportion. And remember: there are no trifles when arranging the important event!