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3 Worst Case Catering Scenarios: And How to Avoid Them

When you organize a catered event, all kinds of worst-case scenarios might enter into your mind — especially if it’s a very important function, or if you’ve never organized a catered event before. The scary thing is that these scenarios actually have happened, and will probably happen again in some city or town. But it’s pretty easy to avoid these catering disasters if you know what to look for in a catering company. Here are a few examples of things you never want to happen at your catered event:

1. Your caterer runs out of food

This is probably the most common fear amongst people who organize catered events. To be honest, it’s also the number one fear of catering companies. But these companies also have to consider their owns costs, and if they bring an over-abundance of food to every event they cater, they won’t be in business for long.

It’s really a question of experience and skill. Caterers who have been around awhile, and who maintain high professional standards for every event they cater, have developed a very keen sense of how much food is needed for events of different sizes. It’s not really guesswork for them, but rather a dependable formula for success. But beware — your caterer won’t be able to predict or anticipate a guest turnout that is significantly higher than expected. Knowing how many people are going to be at your event is an important detail.

2. Your guests get food poisoning

The idea that the food at your catered event would actually be unsanitary and unsafe is one of the absolute worst nightmares of anybody who has ever been responsible for organizing a catered event. To say that such an event would reflect negatively on you, your company and/or your event doesn’t even begin to describe it!

In reality, food poisoning is extremely rare at catered events — provided the catering company is licensed and respected in the community. This is the key to avoiding a nightmare situation like this: Choose a highly reputable catering outfit who meets all the appropriate food safety standards. Licensed catering companies are subject to regular health and safety inspections by local and state governments, and you as a prospective client should feel comfortable asking about these inspections and making sure everything is on the up and up. It’s your event and your reputation, after all. You want to put it in the hands of someone who really knows what they’re doing, and won’t make silly mistakes — such has mishandling food that needs to be frozen or refrigerated — prior to your event.

3. The service is slow and unprofessional

Have you ever been to a catered event where the service was completely underwhelming? This is really unfortunate, especially if it’s a special occasion like a wedding reception or graduation party. And if it’s a corporate event, well, your colleagues aren’t going to think very highly of the event if the service is slow and the staff are inattentive.

One way to avoid this problem — besides the obvious step of choosing the right company to begin with — is to ask your caterer about their staff and service philosophy. You might also wish to see pictures and information about past events your caterer has done. Establish and understand of the kind of service you expect for your event, and expect a realistic assessment of whether those standards will be met.

Steer clear of these worst-case scenarios…hire a real catering professional!