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Recruiting A Good Caterer Requires Imagination And Detective Work

Author : Rubel Zaman

Anyone can cook. Because you want a caterer who can manage every detail of your grand occasion, recruiting a skilled caterer requires imagination and skilled detective work.

If it weren't a grand occasion, you simply would open a can of sardines, pass-out toothpicks, and serve-up the pints. Done. Party. Because, however, it is officially and certifiably a "Grand Occasion," you want not only good food and refreshing beverages but also impeccable service-prompt, polite, unobtrusive, and well-versed in the finer points of etiquette. As you recruit your caterer, skip over sampling the food and beverages, getting right to the heart of the matter: Can your caterer coordinate the event and crack the whip on his or her staff, doing everything short of cutting the guests' meat, making the event perfect as any affair ever hosted at Buckingham Palace? Will your properly coiffed and haute couture'd guests feel compelled to wear Phillip Tracey hats? And, just as importantly, can your caterer clean-up so well you see no signs of a soiree on the cold morning after?

It's not about cooking. It's about collaboration and coordination.

As you launch your head-hunt for the caterer par excellence, resist the urge to do too much party planning; instead, tell would-be kitchen contractors the nature of your occasion and the kind of event you have in mind. Then, sit back and assess whether or not your contestants share your vision and can deliver the goods. If a caterer brings-out a standard one-size-fits-all menu and price list, thank the applicant for his time, and take your leave. A caterer genuinely dedicated to service automatically understands each grand occasion has an identity and style as distinctive as the host or hostess's, and further understands that satisfying the client's desires is both the goal and the heart of excellent service.

Naturally, you should examine your prospects' references, testimonials, and client lists. If your caterer has served Presidents, kings, and Queens, you have some assurance they are qualified to serve you. But do not allow reputation alone to seal the deal, because a hungry upstart often out-performs their more accomplished but complacent rival. As you plan your quality-catering recruitment process, take a moment to consider what distinguishes an exceptionally successful professional from others who share his or her job description. In most cases, you will discover the top performers have a gift for asking probing, penetrating, insightful questions and then offering proposals carefully adapted to your answers. Almost as importantly, exceptionally skilled professionals willingly negotiate, giving and taking until you feel confident you have the goods and services you need. If you leave a catering consultation with the general feeling you have endured a good grilling and roasting, you probably have found your person.

Pay no attention to price. Focus on value.

Crunch some numbers before you start recruiting caterers. First, total the retail cost of high quality food and premium beverages for your gala; then, triple that total to estimate the price of full service. Although you may feel tempted to accept the lowest bidder, maintain a healthy scepticism. If a caterer's bid comes-in too far below your own estimate, you know they are cutting corners somewhere. Naturally, the same reasoning applies to a bid much higher than your estimate: unless you see added value in some of the products and services, you're just getting gouged. Finally, just as when you shop for a new automobile, here too keep in mind that no caterer has food, beverages, and service so gobsmackingly magical you cannot walk away from them.

Author's Resource Box

If you want advice on Catering Recruitment then visit Hospitality Recruitment for information.

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Tags:   Catering Recruitment, Hospitality Recruitment

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Submitted : 2011-06-11    Word Count : 608    Times Viewed: 264