We did a beautiful wedding..time for the dinner buffet style to be served. 125 guests come through the line. Towards the end of the line we run out of lobster tails....MOB sees guests unhappy and comes out to see why...she explains to staff that it was her fault and requested that only 90 tails be cooked, we did 100. She felt that not all guests would like lobster. Guess who looks bad her or us! How do you handle these types of situations. Last time we listen to client on numbers.
86 on the lobster tails
This is called experience !! !Don't wait til it happens. Tell the client prior that everyone will eat lobster explain you are the caterer not her and even though she might not care about looking bad, You Do. After the fact you can't do anything.
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume).
Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...
It is the client's party. That is the very reason for my system of "Food Cost + Labor Cost +Expenses" and the same reason most new full service caterers don't survive the first year. ( I cook what the client buys deliver it and leave) Any time you have Shrimp or Lobster or King Crab or even BBQ Ribs, they always under estimate their guest's appetite. I always suggest at least one pound per person and sometimes they still don't have enough. But I am usually home sitting in my" Lazy Boy" when they run out.( Life is to short to try to educate MOB's and CEO's etc.) You can have my share of "Full Service Catering" I'll go play 18 holes.
Thank you for your input and experience in these types of situations. Thank god we had plenty beef tenderloin, and swordfish...but when you see lobster, the rest is crap ;D I believe the count on the lobsters was dealt with the MOB then event planner and finally to the kitchen. We had plenty of food for all the other courses, go figure.
short learning curve....man, I can remember when first starting out doing a benefit for the pound and they totally underestimated guest count, we sent out staff to pick up BBQ.....but it was not pleasant to say the least.
There's nothing like working for non-profits that have an experienced event planning person on staff, someone who knows OP and costs, they are realistic about what can be provided for different budgets, they know final counts and add more just to cover their butts.....
Weddings are are usually people that have never used a caterer and have to be walked through everything. For many it's the only time they are apt to use a caterers
Dont worry, at the end of the day, you were working on the advice of the MOB. On the other hand, finals (numbers) are very important, and +10 on final numbers are a real "get out of jail" card.