Providing you with a perfectly relaxed day can start and end with a perfectly orchestrated staff. Our staff is a combination of young and old. We start with experience and end with teamwork, and mentoring.
I start each event with a team meeting. That includes everyone from Dishwasher to waitstaff. I go over each menu item and its ingredients, along with expected etiquette, service, chain of command, timing, and problem solving. I want each and every team member to be as knowledgable, and as happy as our client. It can be very obvious if someone is having a hard time or bad day. I never want that spilling over onto an event. We split the tables into teams, always having an experienced server as a lead. This way someone with less experience can gain confidence and really see why this method works for Duck Soup Catering. I love to give a high school student with no experience a chance to see what it is like to work as a team member and gain some experience. It is often so hard for students to get that first job, they often have rarely worked as a team member, and need to gain patience.
Catering has a weird flow to it. You start out crazy busy to get the scene set and ready to go. Then you wait for guests to show. This can be difficult for our newbies. I encourage them to relax, for this feeling will be over in a heartbeat. Guests soon arrive, starters are passed and the hustle begins.
It is important to pay attention to the flow of each event. They each have their own heartbeat, which has little to do with even the most experienced wedding planners written schedule. It is important that you make sure a wedding couple has had a hors d' oeuvre plate served to them, not to clear dinner too early, and make sure you have paid attention to the guest that may be having difficulty getting up and down. I want each guest to sit back and enjoy a beautifully prepared meal, the family and friends that surround them, and give thanks to the event that brings them to this table. Meanwhile the kitchen still hums, the staff is allowed a short break in shifts, and a meal to get them through the next onslaught of the event. Cake is cut, champagne is toasted, tables are cleared, the Duck van starts to get loaded. The staff is buoyed by the laughter of the guests, and positive comments about the food and service they have just provided. Each staff member helps out with clean up and pack up. The music plays in the background, the stars twinkle, the event comes to an end. The newbies have long forgotten the lull at the start of the event, and go home tired, fulfilled, and appreciated.
I, in no way could do this alone. I have the best dishwasher in the world! He always jumps in to help out, no mater what the task. The dishes, pots and pans are sparkling when we bring them back to the barn, my husbands dream come true. I have a team member that is as picky as I am about set up. I know I can count on her for making sure the tables are set correctly, platters are perfect, and is able to offer adivice to newer staff members. Another staff member is very gung-ho about our salad. She mixes it to perfection. Others lift and shift without a second thought, offering service like they were serving their own grandparents. This is a perfect event. While there are always small hitches, the hosts rarely notice, for they are enjoying themselves knowing the dedicated team of Duck Soup Catering is at the helm.