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New to Catering - Page 3

post #61 of 68

When looking for prospects---don't dismiss any company---who would believe these regulars?


McDonalds---The Mariot---the health department---Tome Stone Pizza---Sysco---and a bunch of other folks you might figure would fix their own food.



Here are two more-----


Factory feeds--often a Christmas party--also--often 3 shifts--so plan on a long day---usually a served buffet,throw away plates---keep the food simple,well prepared and plenty---


Strikes----If you don't mind crossing a picket line---these can be big money---the best was 3 weeks---24 hours a day--three locations

800 meals a day with all drinks and snacks---there are risks involved

Edited by Mikeswoods - 2/19/14 at 5:45am
post #62 of 68

@Mikeswoods - loved the story and the helpful hints for catering gigs! 

post #63 of 68
Well back from vaca and trying to catch up....
Will post next when something fun and educational comes to me.

post #64 of 68
800 meals a day with all drinks and snacks---there are risks involved

Yes but with that kind of $$$ you can pre-afford the best weaponry and state of the art Kevlar! :D


Great stories Mike! Keep em coming--we'll make you hang up your tool belt and

start longing for the good ol' days yet!


And BTW, one of the WORST gigs I ever worked was a factory-feed on Thanksgiving night--

worstest horriblist client the modern world has seen.

Just sayin.... :p

post #65 of 68

Some of the December days became memorable----We completely forgot to pick up a crew one time---the day was nuts---I got greedy and took on 28 parties that day---never do that---


We made it through the day--and vowed to be more selective in the future---

post #66 of 68

I am assuming this thread will remain open and accepting stories from back in the day.....

Pretty sure you guys know I waited tables in my home town from the time I could carry a full banquet tray so lets fast forward to the summer after high school graduation.


I come from a small town in south Texas.

Raised in a barn you could say....

The day after I got that paper I moved to the Dallas Fort Worth area and was lucky to get a day job bartending in one of the terminals at the new (to me anyway) DFW airport.

This was when I would make the acquaintance of a man who remained a close friend until his death 2 decades later.

One day this swarthy looking gentleman came in and sat at my bar...asked for a bloody mary.

One sip and he gagged and gave me "the look" took a bar nap and with what looked like a very expensive pen proceeded to write out his recipe for a homemade base.

I was able to gather up most of the ingredients and he walked me thru the "proper" technique.

Made us both a drink (this was Texas and the legal age to drink was 18) and wow...this s**t was good.

I still have that napkin lol.

We enjoyed our drink and he asked me about myself and told me a bit about himself.

You know...bartalk.

Handing me his card he introduced himself and asked if I knew banquet service.

A bit I replied.

Come to my office (a newish and classy hotel that had opened at the airport's north exit) when you get off shift if you want to learn how to make the "real" money.

I know what you guys are thinking...and I was thinking the same.

But I had just made the acquaintance of my "Godfather" an exile from the (ex) Shah's Iran who had to introduce himself as Turkish or possibly face the wrath of those scouring the planet...looking for men like him to take back and "face the music" in the stead of the man who got away.

Getting wordy here so will continue the story of my birth after my Cheerios.



Edited by flipflopgirl - 3/14/14 at 4:37pm
post #67 of 68

Some good ideas just sort of happen----


Long ago --we had an easy Sunday---only one job, a family reunion picnic---the usual--grilled chicken,burgers and sausage--


Perfect. No need for any kitchen staff--all meats cooked on site--salads prepped and sitting in the cooler--truck loaded and parked in the garage.


Simple ---until I got a last minute change----" I want to add a carved roast to the order. We have a lot of older folks coming and I'm concerned about the BB chicken and sausage and the old folks."


Damn, I didn't want to sit in the kitchen for 3 1/2 hours waiting for a roast to cook------------------------------so I made something up!


" Oh, We have just the thing for you!  Carved Terriaki charcoal broil!---It's a roast cooked right on the grill ,everyone loves it!"


I lied---I had no idea what I was going to do--but I sold it--14 pound top butt--cut into thirds--I found a terriaki marinade recipe in one of my cook books--


I knew we had a winner---when the meal was done, people went back to the carving station and picked through the scraps and ate every bit--

then sopped up all the juices with dinner rolls and left the carving station clean.


That item became a signature item---we sold tens of thousands of pounds in the years after that little cook out.


All because I didn't want to sit in the kitchen and wait for a roast to cook.--Mike----

post #68 of 68

Let's call my new friend and employer Pops (that sounds Persian right?).

Being a little rough around the edges Pops thought I could use a bit of polishing.

The banquet manager (also Persian) was an ex Butler? and had fled (pre revolutionary Iran) with his family also.

He not only taught me how to manage a loaded banquet tray without having to rest it on my shoulder (nononono! Pull your hair back! It is touching the food!)

He taught me a lot...not only HOW to set the table (casual vs formal) but what would need to be ON that table by just reading the menu.

Best of all was my "graduation gift"..a 14 carat gold crumbler engraved with my name and the date :D.

Since I would be working both banquet and formal catering gigs at private homes I needed to learn the classic Playboy Bunny way to serve cocktails to a low table (wearing a little black wrap around dress), this knee bend and look over the shoulder and smile proved to be invaluable.

I was never a girly-girl with the makeup and hair (got messed up under my cowboy hat so what was the point?) Pop's friend sent me to yet

ANOTHER Persian expat...this one a woman.

She wanted my hair short to show off my beautiful bone structure (HEY! just sayin' lol) so we did that.

Couldn't pile my hair up any longer but def had more time in the morning :lol: .

Once all that hair weight was gone it was back to the uncontrollable birds nest of red curls....the main reason I grew my hair so long in the first place.

Looked like Orphan Annie :eek:.

On to the makeup counter at the mall.

She told me to fade the tan as it looked bad with my hair color and brought out too many freckles "the sun will make your skin like leather as well as makeit wrinkle and give the skin cancer" she finally got across.

I didn't need much makeup (still 18 years old) so a bit of blush coupled with eye liner and shadow with heavy mascara would do for now...

Since this post is starting to read like a Glamour magazine I'm gonna shut it down.

Oh one last thing.....never wear blue jeans to work.

Get dressed properly (hair and makeup as well) with hose and heels.

Then when you get there change into the uniform (banquet was black shoes with low heel, black trousers, crisp white shirt with short cutaway jacket and tie...both black. For pushing cocktails in a formal setting...well lets just say that Imade way more tips on those nites lolol)




Don't worry....this will be the last of the "Dressing Ms Daisy" type of post.

Needed to hit on the expectations of "the rich and famous" of Dallas during late 1970's .

After all the first impression is the lasting impression....and if that first impression is a professional one....well you can fill in those blanks.



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