Just about any given event is usually flanked with an F&B factor, and although it may seem trivial, it is the most critical success factor for an event. The reason as to why the food and beverage part is often deemed as trivial is because the entire ‘food & beverage’ element is usually outsourced to the caterers and quickly forgotten!
This is the ultimate mistake those that manage events make as more things can go wrong with the food that is not rectifiable than any other aspect of the event.
For instance, if the entertainment is not good, they good be replaced in an instant, if the décor is inadequate, it could be touched up, but if the food is tasteless, insufficient or the cutlery is inappropriate it is simply too late as the event would have been declared as a disaster in the minds of the attendees. From here on, the event would be memorable; however, it would be remembered for all the wrong reasons!
According to Zebra Tasty, hiring caterers who keep abreast with the ‘latest trends’ on event F&B is not the only factor in executing a successful event that offers the best possible experience for those who attend. The fact is that, as surveys reveal, 77% of event attendees say that the food is the primary element to them at events what they mean is that what is important to them goes beyond just the event menu.
In other words, beyond the menu, presentation, hygiene, types of cutlery used the drinks, the wine, wine glasses, the servers, quantity and last but not least – TASTE.
Among the worst things that could transpire at a ’well attended’ event is when the food tastes good and the food tastes so good that it runs out, it is among an event planner’s worst nightmares as it would make the host look like a miser.
Hence it is always important to hire caterers with enough experience who know for a fact that ‘hungry guests and empty plates’ is a disaster that should be avoided at all costs. In some situations, the food does not run out, but the servers fail to cope efficiently and are not trained enough to serve the variety with balance.
Overestimating the number of people and having a trained crew is critical towards overcoming such situations. However, this could result in a higher cost if the caterer is incompetent and goes overboard with the overestimation.
Competent caterers play it ‘by ear’ and the best among them will instruct their servers to replenish platters only when it is half or quarter empty. Other tactics that experienced caterers use to avoid guests from thinking that food is insufficient is by moving the feast which obscures the fact that food amount is below the waterline are moved in and out so guests don’t know when numbers are low.
To make sure that your event runs successfully without any ‘kitchen issue’ it is important to have a kitchen contact on standby with a staff who has been assigned to keep an eye on food quality and quantity, Ask critical questions about staff and numbers as short-staffed caterers could also pose problems.
As about the cutlery, look at them physically as pictures could be misleading. Make sure the wine is right; the punch is right and make sure there is enough to last throughout the event. Last, but not least ask for referrals, it is the only and best way to ensure that the caterer is competent.