Friday, April 30, 2010

Pricing for Wedding

With the economy still in a stand still we have decided to try to explain what is involve in a wedding and event.

I have enlisted the help of a catering friend.
Pricing, with the economy still a little sluggish we thought it might be a good time to post this reference to all of our brides on how whats involve in your wedding. Being a High Quality Caterer in large part is about the food and the presentation and creating the perfect atmosphere from start to finish for your event. This does not happen over night, there is time and many of hours of work that helps produce a successful event.
Lately I have been reflecting on price, I stop out a chain Hamburg establishment,(not the fast food places) I was with my daughter, for two burgers with cheese nothing else one order of fries one of onion rings and two soda the cost 26.00 yes I am not kidding. You go to the counter order wait for your order then sit, everything is serve on paper products and no tip is involve that is just for the food.
Stop out for breakfast bagel, two bagels and two cups of coffee 15.25
Dinner at upscale restaurant< two steaks, two salads, potato come with steak two glasses of wine 157.00 plus tax and tip.
Ok to make my point I have clients that want a wedding menu with h-d for first hour 4-5 passes, open bar (wine and beer for five hours) and three course entree, salad, coffee and they would like it for 30-35 dollars per person.
Please understand all food is house made, we create the h-d, we do the salads, entrees, desserts and everything else that is involve in creating the perfect event.
Trucks are loaded, unloaded, loaded and unloaded and reloaded for every event.
Please take a moment to read the following, its from a friend who is a catering professional that also is involve in one of our catering organizations. It will give you a little insight on what it actually is involve in creating a event the right way.

What goes into a typical catered event
By carl jones

The Call: Our receptionist takes the call asks questions to collect information for an overview of the event.
If the prospect is a “qualified prospect”, ( they have selected a date and time we are available to produce the event, they understand the price ranges, the event falls within the parameters of our requirements.)

If one of our event planner is available, the receptionist will give the profile to him (her). Otherwise, the receptionist may be able to answer general questions and e-mail the appropriate information to the prospect.

Initial Appointment: If the prospect wishes to meet with the event planner, an appointment is scheduled. The first meeting usually lasts one hour. At that point the prospect may wish to reserve our services for their event. A deposit is collected, all the paperwork is completed and an agreement is signed which determines how future situations will be handled if they occur. The office manager creates the event file.

Site Survey: If the event is in a home or unique location, the event planner will visit the location, do a survey and sketch out. Along the way, the client will stop in, phone, e-mail with questions or changes,

One Month Before: The client finalizes menu and event details. Our operations manager plans, confirms rental reservations such as linens, and rental items for the event.

One Week Before: Client is called to get the guaranteed number of guests, which is due. There usually are more phone calls from the client wanted to go over everything, again. The client may call to add more guests even the day before the event.

The office manager enters all the information into the computer, prints 3 copies of the event sheet. One goes to the chef, one to the event captain, one to the operations manager. The Operations manager, the Chef and Carl Jones hold a meeting to discuss the event and determine any special needs or circumstances, which need solutions. Our well-trained staff for the event is contacted and scheduled for the event. This process takes several hours.

Three days Before: The Chef analyzes each items selected from the menu and calculates the needed ingredients to prepare for the event. He must calculate a percentage over in the likely event of a last minute change in the number of guests expected. A complete inventory of ingredients is taken. The chef calculates the quantities of ingredients needed. Several suppliers are contacted and the Chef meets with each to order the necessary items.

Two Days Before: Delivery trucks arrive at various times with the various items ordered. The Chef must stop his work and check in each item to assure that the correct item has been delivered in excellent condition. Kitchen staff must immediately move the items from the delivery area to the proper cooler, freezer, dry storage, linen room, smallwares, or paper goods storage. Each item must be marked with a date. They must pulled the existing items and place the incoming item on the shelf then place the existing item in front. This is called rotation of stock.

The day before the event:
The chef creates prep lists for each item ordered by client.
He assigns time schedules and prep lists for the kitchen prep staff.
The prep staff goes to the proper storage area and pulls the ingredients listed.
They slice, dice, mix, and follow strict recipes procedures.
Each prepped pan of food is then labeled, dated and place in the proper cooler or storage area.
The kitchen is completely cleaned and sanitized. Floors are swept, sprayed, scrubbed, rinsed and mopped. The day is complete.

The day of the event:

The chef creates a timeline schedule to assure food will be ready at the proper leave time.
The chef assigns tasks to each of the prep staff who places foods in state of the art equipment, sets precise temperatures to assure the food temperature is at a safe level for holding.
The pans of food are placed in an insulated storage box, placed on wheels, labeled moved to staging area.
The event captain prepares a detailed checklist to assure each necessary serving piece, service ware, plates, glassware, silverware, ( many more items too numerous to list here ) has been pulled, packed, labeled, and moved to the staging area by the catering staff.

All of these items are carefully loaded on the vans and rechecked. A driver transports these items to the event venue. The catering staff drives in other vehicles to the venue.
The catering staff unloads the items from the vans, carries each item to a staging area inside the venue. Depending upon the event, the staff may be required to place linens on tables and set the tables with silverware, napkins, glassware several hours before the event so the decorator can finish the tables.
They cover the buffet tables with professionally cleaned linens; and place each service piece in a pre-designed format. They fill the chaffing pans with water and place sterno under each.
They light the sternos just before the food arrives.

Meanwhile at the Kitchen. trays are garnished and finished and all food to the staging area.
The Staff loads and carefully checks to assure all food and remaining items are loaded on the van.
The driver transports to the event venue.
The catering staff unloads the items from the vans and carries to a staging area inside the venue.
The food is placed on the buffet. A buffet artist properly garnishes and finishes the buffet.
The service staff completes several tasks.
Now we wait. Sometimes guests arrive at the appointed time, sometimes early, sometimes late.
Everyone must be in uniform and ready to begin.
We must pay our staff from the time they arrive and throughout the event, even while waiting.
As guests arrive, the catering staff attends to the buffet assuring it is full and appealing.
The service staff pours and refills beverages, removes plates and attends to the guests.

The event is over? Hardly, now it’s clean up time!
Dishes are rinsed and repacked. Silverware, glassware, linens are packed and moved to staging area. Buffet is cleared.
Chaffing pans are extinguish, cleaned, sanitized, repacked and moved to staging area.
All items are carefully loaded on the vans and transported back to the kitchen.
All dinnerware must be washed, sanitize and dried before sorting, wrapping and returned to their proper storage location.
Van is swept and cleaned.
The hot storage containers, ice coolers and any other platters, trays or props are cleaned, sanitized and returned to storage.
The kitchen equipment and surfaces are sanitized.
Floors are swept, sprayed, and mopped.
The employees clock out and go home after a job very well done!

In our price, there is a lot more than food you are getting. Many things happen before, during and after that most people are not aware. A special staff of trained professionals will set up, serve and clean up. There will be many types of specialty equipment, which must be pulled, loaded, transported to reception, unloaded, set up, reloaded, transported back, unloaded, cleaned, sanitized and restocked. These specialty items had to be purchased, maintained and will be replaced after a number of uses.

Catering requires long hours, weekends away from family, hard work, serving people who are sometimes less than cordial and occasionally verbally abusive while the caterer must smile and continue to serve people. It is hard to understand why many nice people treat other people who are serving them abruptly and rudely. This is true in not only the catering business but many other businesses as well.

Evening At NY State Bar

We were happy to create a small reception at the NY State Bar this past Wednesday evening. Small event for 40 with some passed H-d and station. I found a great serving piece at Ikea a few months back and finally got to play with it. See what you think

April Showers

April is almost over, excited about expanding our gardens this year to
better serve our clients. We will also be offering "Farm to Table dinners" coming in the late summer early fall to share our harvest.

Putting together cooking classes which will be starting in June.

I have increase our herb gardens we have three kinds of thyme, rosemary, lavender, parsley, basil, Thai basil, lemon basil to name a few. Very excited.

We will be planting zucchini and when the flowers start blossoming we can not wait to try a few new items to stuff them. My patience is getting the best of me, just want to start now, but of course living in Northeast we have to avoid those temptations, two nights ago the temp went down to mid-20's what that about.

I will have pictures to follow me on bulldozer working the land. Had a great time and thank you to the Laurie and Gerd for letting me play with there equipment.

Being that its spring I will be posting a few soup recipes on our Asparagus, and a nice spring pea soup.

Please feel free to email me, will be happy to forward some recipes for spring hord-