Whenever possible you of course want to avoid that scenario, but when it occurs a cooler head or heads can help walk them through it until they get on track. Shadowing helps or just having them run out holding trays for another more experienced person for table placement works too, so long as it's coordinated back stage, and the food line production keeps delivering plates, or clearing them, when called to do so.
One recent event in a new off-premise location for Deli House Catering, with which I've had a long standing business and personal friendship / relationship with, was a coral / ranch type spot near Wasaga Beach that featured a covered indoor/outdoor dome-like hall with a mini-bar made of barn wood as well. But being a new place for DH, arrival had been tight to get the open bar up and running on schedule and almost literally upon arrival we had to swing open the bar to keep our end - father of the bride looming nearby. He is someone you want to keep happy at any wedding.
As the bar began to get set up I directed some staff to stock certain essentials immediately - ice, white wine for tables on ice, open reds to breathe, beer in tubs, main liquors with pour spouts in, cups, pops, tonics, sodas, opener, straws!..Ok lets go! Get the bar help cutting fruit and locating juices etc and opening containers and creating a garbage.
In doing so as we did, they were able to open on time delay, albeit with some chicken with heads cut off backstage running around going on, something the guests need to know. Far too often in past experience I hear of staff relaying how they are almost out of this or are out of that. It only takes hearing that a couple times before a negative vibe can take over your event and if it's a wedding, you have an angry bride on your hands. Would you tell your audience of a play your prop was missing? No and such is the back of the house in a restaurant or catered event.
It can be hard to predict what to bring to a catered food event with an open bar as some cocktails seem to fly some nights. One recent event saw Caesars flying off the open bar however I'm not so sure you'd see that as much from the same group if it was pay bar but you can control that a little by creating a delicious evening drink special or two that is quick and easy to make.
Recently at a Wedding I was asked to overshadow, we ran out of Blue Curacao halfway through the evening as it had been a staple ingredient in two of the brides requested bar special drinks. This on the same night we'd so far already not provided a special hard root beer she also had asked for, which we could not find in Newmarket. However the ace up the Deli sleeve was there was a guy out trying to find it still - even after the bride had said not to worry about it and given up hope we'd find any.
The end of the evening saw the bride and groom request the remaining late night buffet to be taken that night instead of having someone return the next day and that person made sure it got packaged up and personally delivered to their vehicle. Now that is hospitality, and going the extra mile, and that is the kind of stuff brides remember.
Nothing will ever be perfect and you will most certainly never please everyone, but 90% of any job is just showing up and if you work to keep some key people happy, you will find you've covered your bases..and you'll leave feeling pretty good!
|What all the Fuzz was about!|
I leave you with this. Your catering of a wedding is going well as your stand alone chicoutery of blue cheese, cheddar, and marble cubes, crackers, antipasto and cold deli meats are fairly plentiful and plated table service has begun. You've just served salads for 142 of 150 people but realize you have feta cheese for only 4 left. What would you do? You have seconds not minutes to decide.
Here's what I'd do. All 8 would be expecting cheese mixed in the salad and those vegan would have opted out of cheese, so we can assume they all could eat cheese. Feta is a crumbly cheese . Gulp..What to do? Seconds ticking away.. impatient server looking at you, panic creeping into the eyes....Quick! Grab some blue cheese and use it on all 8 of the plates at that last table so they all have the same...Explain about it only if they ask...And I bet it tasted yummy too!
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