When you find yourself planning a catered event, you’ll probably find yourself imagining all the different things that could go wrong. Anxiety may not be much of a factor if it’s a small and casual event, such as an informal party with friends. But most catered events are special occasions – the kind of occasions people really want to go well, such as wedding receptions, corporate events, or extended family get-togethers. When you start thinking about all the different variables (venue, entertainment, catering, turnout, weather), your imagination can easily run wild.
The good news is that the vast majority of catered events – provided they are handled by a legitimately skilled and experience catered – are very successful overall. The unexpected can certainly happened, whether it’s inclement weather or an unexpectedly large turnout, but professional caterers are adept at going with the flow and finding solutions.
That being said, it’s always good to “de-mystify” the catering process and take a good honest look at why some catered events fail. By doing so, you can increase the chances that your event will steer clear of major pitfalls and become a success.
1. The planning process wasn’t meticulous
A great catered event is really made during the planning phase. It’s here that the event is effectively visualized – the menu options, the service, the venue, and so forth – and all of the details are taken into account. A strong planning process will leave no stone unturned, and minimize the chance of any unwanted surprises on the day of the event.
2. The hired caterer was inexperienced
Hiring a caterer who doesn’t have much real-world experience might, in some cases, get you a lower tab. But will it be worth it? There have been catered events that really didn’t work out well at all, where the food was hardly touched because the job was so obviously mismanaged. This is never an ideal situation – but experienced caterers are another story.
3. The customer didn’t provide correct information
Like it or not, this does happen. If an event draws twice the number of people that were expected, for example, there will be very little the caterer can do to accommodate everyone – unless they’re able to quickly call for reinforcements. If certain dietary requirements are not communicated up front, likewise, there may be an awkward situation down the line. This highlights the importance of crystal clear communication between the customer and the caterer. Fortunately, there are experienced caterers out there who take extra steps to make sure they understand the client’s needs.
Are you ready for a successful event?
Reputable caterers are all about bringing your event up to its full potential, and that means working with you from the beginning to ensure that quality decisions are being made. There will be budget constraints to consider, and logistical challenges to address. A skilled caterer will help guide you through the maze from the very beginning, keeping the ultimate success of your event in mind throughout the process. Choosing the right professional caterer – one that has years of experience with many different venues and types of events – is your best defense against the common problems and mishaps listed here.