Be careful of serving food that is not from a health approved kitchen. We’ve only done a few events where we have served food from donated food. Chef’s need to be there to answer questions
We are in an age of responsibility concerning foods – you’ve got to know what’s in your foods
Food sensitivities – ask for that information up front. Even if it’s overwhelming, Much easier to manage up front that as the food is being served.
We need to understand the place of the guest and their fears and what it takes to make them feel comfortable – even if it means limiting the menu to beef and chicken instead of shellfish. Maybe it’s moving an ingredient to the side like dressings or bread.
One event we had had 27 different kinds of food allergies and prefenences for 60 guests out of 400.
Need to be sensitive to and thoughtful towards. Especially if the client shares those same concerns.
We advocate for rental items like washable linens, plates, silverware. If we use disposables, we try to use environmentally friendly options. This elevates the event.
We do need to think through custom design pieces – can they be donated or used again? We have some sturdy 4×8 tube steel frame panels that can be used over and over and we’ve found some pretty creative uses for them.
If economical we encourage clients to recycle waste from our event. Most larger venues have a recycling program in place. Ask your host what process they use to handle recyclables and see if you can dovetail with that process.
If you haven’t used a venue before, that’s a good question to ask them before your event.
Plan ahead to donate leftovers to a food bank or a non-profit
After large grand opening, we donated 4000 cookies to a local non-profit
Convention Center works with a local non-profit that feeds the homeless to donate leftover hot food to them before it goes bad.
People are RSVP’ing less and less.
Create a reasonable RSVP deadline. 2 weeks before the event is reasonable. 6 weeks out is too far.
Create the urgency, educate your guests. Teach them that you are
Phone calls to people to see what they are thinking. Nothing replaces the personal phone call. Email and paper mail just doesn’t do it.
If you are calling for the host, use their name in the conversation to encourage a more accurate response. Ie. Kathy really wants you to be there. Or even say you are preparing a report to the host to let them know if you are coming or not – sometimes that encourages a response.
First of all work with your bartenders to learn early when a guest is starting to overindulge. Bartenders should be trained to spot a inebriated guest. They have ways of handling them such as pouring weaker and weaker drinks, slow service etc.
Entice the guest to leave the room and engage them in conversation. Be non-confrontational. Your goal is to minimize risk and maximize safety. Keep law suits from happening. Consider involving the host if necessary (not the bride of course).
Alert event security
Story: We asked the bride and groom ahead of time if there is anyone we need to watch that may like to drink too much. We got the person’s photograph and name so we could keep an eye on him. We also gave that information to security and the bartenders so they could help.
Etiquette is there to make people feel comfortable. Recently etiquette has been used to intimidate people and make them feel uncomfortable.
We don’t need to make events more casual – we don’t see that trend.
Actually, the larger the place setting the easier it is to figure out which fork to use.
Story: We’ve begun teaching classes at local summer camp to help kids learn etiquette. We have also done a few social media posts to help teach people. We have also offered etiquette classes in advance of a sophisticated event as a fun way to get people involved and invested in an event.
One idea is to put together a menu card that helps guests know which fork to use.
Have multiple levels of entry. Silent Auction, Live Auction and Premiere Live Auction items all at different price points. Other low entry activities are things like wine pulls or gift card pulls.