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As an event planner, I would many times, think of a thousand things that could go wrong in the process of planning an event. You must be surprised I said “a thousand things”… Yes, so many things can go wrong at your event. Before anything tries to go wrong, make alternative plans.
It is usually said that people come to weddings to check out the bride – her attire, looks and dance moves. Well, that's reasonably true but most importantly, they come for good food. One terrible thing that can happen at your event is getting a bad caterer and below are some tips to look out for, when selecting your food vendors…
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You must double check to be sure that your food vendor is a good listener and one who follows specific instructions. Don't choose a vendor you won't be able to give directives and be convinced that such directives would be carried out. Look out for vendors who are always ready to listen and do as they are told. Don't make the mistake of entrusting your catering to a family member who you are not sure of their utmost professionalism level. Family members are very helpful during events but most times, there is usually an extent to which you can rebuke them, should things go wrong. I know some people engage family members because they most times, offer cheaper services than better professionals. Why not save yourself the embarrassment and not the money.
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2. Flexibility :
Another tip you must put into consideration is the working flexibility of your catering vendor. Some of the questions that must be asked include; can he or she work with the budget given to them? Can they make more food even without being told, when the food paid for is finished? Are they vendors who are willing to allow you negotiate their prices? Are they vendors who stick to the quotation without being generous with extra food, when necessary? These are just some of the questions you must ask. This happens usually to people who want to employ the services of the hotels where their event is to take place, oversee everything food related. I have experienced events where as soon as the food ordered from the hotel got finished, the guests had nothing to eat. Some bluntly asked guests to be served food and drinks, provided they pay accordingly. The quotation for food given by these hotels are usually exorbitant and yet, miserly with food. Every grain is counted and calculated. Please choose your own food vendors, wisely. Personally, I always make sure the caterers I choose for my clients are flexible and they come with complimentary food for the couple. Take for example, the food requested is for 1000 guests, there should be extras for a minimum number of 200 guests.
I have the utmost respect for vendors who are always punctual to events. A punctual person is always organised, such that he/she plans and also respects time & commitment. If your food vendor is in another state or is located very far from your venue, think twice before hiring such one. Although, there are a few cases of good vendors who are always on top of their game. The distance notwithstanding. It would be terrible if your caterer is stuck in traffic while your guests are seated and hungry. I usually know the vendors that would come late to my event from the first meeting I have with them. If you call for a vendors meeting for 1pm and your vendor comes by 3pm and uses the weather, traffic, or a family problem as an excuse , you have warning signs of disappointments to come in the event.
Can you trust this caterer or vendor? Trust is a vital element in any relationship. There are times when the caterer says the beef is finished, and so the guests cannot be served. Would this even be possible if adequate plans were made? Unfaithful caterers hide food and deprive guests of being served. There are experts in this line of unfaithfulness, such that no matter how much you monitor them and count every food, on turning your attention to guests, the food suddenly develops wings and flies away. Why do some vendors display this erroneous character? Do you pay your vendors well for their services? If you don't, it may lead to being delivered a service of low quality. Although, this should not be an excuse for vendors because you must show integrity at all times, no excuse whatsoever would be tenable. There are those who naturally lack integrity.
The above listed tips and many more will save you lots of embarrassment at your events. Most times, trusting your event to event planners like “Sally Events” would save you trouble and of course, money.
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