11 Dec Preparing for and Recovering from Event Disasters
Preparing for Catering Disasters
As veterans in the catering industry, we’ve seen it all–and we mean everything. Because of our extensive experience, we’ve learned how to prepare for almost any contingency, twist and turn, and glitch (and they always occur)! However, as careful as we are with making sure we’ve got you covered on our end, we can’t always plan other aspects of your wedding that fall outside of our purview. So, in your best interests, (and, let’s face it, ours too), we thought it would be helpful to talk about how to avoid, and recover from, event disasters.
The Reluctant Vegetarians
According to Wikipedia,13% of Americans are either vegetarian or vegan, and we suspect that percentage is much higher in Vancouver. What Wiki doesn’t tell you is that for some reason these non-meat eaters will not disclose their dietary predilection when responding to your wedding invitation! Because of this, it’s best to assume that, on average,10% of your guests are vegetarians but have not come out of the legume closet yet.
The best way to prevent any vegetarian or vegan related incidents (like bad-vibes or negative chi) is to always have a backup plan. We recommend designing a menu that works for everyone. For example, create a stock or sauce that is vegetable-based. Then you can add meat to 90% of it, while reserving 10%, sans-meat, for backup. Problem solved. Chi restored.
Da Plane, Da Plane!
While a wedding at a family farm in the valley or Bowen Island is surely romantic and gorgeous, it’s always important to do a site inspection before the event in order to get the lay of the land. It’s best to take the “desert island approach” when it comes to booking these types of venues. In short, not every venue will be Fantasy Island–no Ricardo Montalban or Tattoo waiting for you on a fully operational and luxurious remote locale. Make sure that your venue has proper power sources, lighting, washrooms, access to water and vehicle access.
They say knowledge is power, but knowing where the power actually is, is real power! Often the power needs of a caterer setting up in a double-car garage are radically different than the intended power load. That’s why it’s very important to find the location of the circuits for this area on the electrical panel (if you can) and mark them beforehand with small pieces of reflective tape. Trust us, in them event of a tripped breaker, everything will be turned on and off!
No Generic Generators
Our years of experience catering in remote locations has made us experts in power generators! Our advice is to invest in a Honda generator. It has to be a Honda because they’re the quietest. There’s nothing overtly romantic about the loud whir of an old generator during the vow ceremony. If you don’t want to buy brand new, you can look for a used one on Craigslist. After a non-event like Y2K doesn’t come to fruition, people get rid of these fairly cheaply because they take up too much space and they figure they’ll never need it again–at least not until the year 3000.
It Happened One Night
So why are we going on about this, you ask? It happened! We were set up in a garage on a farm in Langley and blew all the breakers. There were two electrical panels in the garage but they didn’t control the breakers. The result: we were heating up sheet pans of Mexican rice on a BBQ. Not exactly the dream culinary experience.
In Vino Verité
Always know the closest liquor Store to your event and their hours of operation. As a caterer, this is always the hardest aspect to gauge. In fifteen years of catering we’ve got it right twice, and if you’ve over-ordered and tried to return liquor to the BCLC as a licensee (insert impossible here) it’s harder than a last-minute reservation at Savio Volpe on a Friday night!
From Pugilism to Peacekeeping
Anytime you have more than two people in a room, stuff is going to happen, and you need experienced staff to deal with it. Over the years, we’ve dealt with guests medical emergencies, and broken up potential fist fights (don’t be fooled by the book club afternoon tea crowd) and assisted with getting guests into cabs at the right time. There’s a reason why peacekeeping missions come naturally to us! We’ve had to help and intervene, but it’s best to make sure you know all the emergency numbers, and ensure that you have people in your party that are trained to give first aid.
Walk Softly and Carry a Cake Knife
Oh, cake knives. Carry cake knives since they always seem to get forgotten.
Contact Savoury City Catering, and we can help you avoid those event disasters by catering an event your guests will remember as an incredible experience.