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One thing I take pride in is keeping my help. All of my servers are nice looking, considerate, neat and clean.They are part of my presentation so I can't afford to lose them. And they have been with me through high school and now college. When they come home weekends they call and see if their needed. 2 of them are in a local college and are with me every Sat night. I pay them well, have them come at the latest moment and get them out as soon as I can. They have their job down pat ,so everything runs smooth. They are ususally out early enough for their night life.
I only take on 1 job a week, so I do all of the prep myself. That way I can pay everyone well. I also have kitchen help that I couldn't do without. And when I get in a bind, I have 2 daughters
that are a phone call away when needed. I don't know how I could do it without my good help.
 

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Dear vcrase, have you had a look at Students conducting research, Please read... on the "Culinary Students" board??

(sorry, but I couldn't link to it directly)

BTW: are you asking about the British use of the word "catering" which I believe includes restaurants, or the American use, which refers mainly to non-restaurant foodservice?
 

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The biggest thing you can do is develop a strong employee base for the big events. Temporary help is expensive and these costs are reflected in your margin. With a large list of available employees, you have the opportunity to keep them trained. I use anyone I can, friends, friends kids, family, family and kids, kids of other employees. It is a family of people who enjoy visiting and working together.

As with all businesses. The costumer is number one. Stay flexible, this means return business. I have a good friend (client) , a hall of fame baseball player who always calls at the last minute for a dinner. On Friday night he called and wanted a fried chicken dinner delivered to his home Saturday at 11:00 AM for 50 people. Hardly enough time to purchase chicken and the other items for this event. I asked him if he wanted regular or extra crispy:eek: No problem.
 
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