On the other hand, this is far from an exact science, and there are times when you just misjudge
the crowd, or the client's fund raiser gets 60 guests turning out for it instead of the expected (and contracted)
100, or there ends up 30 "vegans" who stick to salad and sides cuz they dont like your mains...a zillion
other reasons for ending up with a bunch of extra food. Thats part of the game.
The annoying part is when clients ask...then insist you leave them ALL your leftovers. And there are some
pretty stock answers they use, the worst one is.. "Well you know its technically ALL mine because I paid for it."
Wrong. Whether you have a no leftover clause in your contract or not, we're contracted to provide food for their
party of 100 say, and to sever for such and such a time. Once that duty is fulfilled, we're under no further obligation.
In fact, they're actually insisting you leave food they did NOT pay for. So you tell them,
"Well I have enough food here for about 30 more people so if I leave it with you that will cost you, at your rate of
12.95 per person, just under $400.00." and watch them turn green. I actually used to leave food with clients now
and then, IF they promised me it was to go straight into fridges. Until a few lied to me. One in particular, I created
"go-boxes" for about 12, only to find after I'd cleaned up they were laying around on tables in 90 degree heat for
over 30 minutes. I had my helper run around collecting them and dumping them in the trash. That spooked me,
so I was wary after that.
Because in the end, catering is risky enough when you're in control of the food. But the minute you release it
THEY are in control--while you're still liable for their mishandling...because technically you sold it to them, you
released it, and you are considered the food professional. Thereby expected to use safe judgment.
I also heard there's an actual code now at least in California, prohibiting the caterer from leaving food with the
client, but I'm not sure about that.
But Chef Buba is right, its best to simply put it in the contract, then if its an issue at the event you just point it
out and that should be the end of it.