Choosing Staff That Will Complement the Event
Every staff member adds a different element to each event. Aside from personalities and talents, your staff should be armed with the basic knowledge to effectively do a great job. Think of your servers and front-of-the-house employees as performers in a show. If you were the director of the show, you would set up rehearsals and give the performers a script. Even the back-of-the-house staff needs direction, just as the production crew of a play might. Event planning should be thought of in the same respect. Give your staff the tools to succeed and your event will be even more successful.
Educate Your Staff
With food allergies affecting so much of the public, education of your staff is crucial. As part of the training process, it is important to cover basic knowledge of food allergies and life-saving techniques. Explain how important it is for the servers to convey all information on guest allergies to the kitchen. An unprepared staff member can ultimately be the demise of a lot more than just the event.
Appealing to each guest's taste can be a challenge in the event-planning industry. It's not uncommon for a banquet service to serve the same course to each guest, for example, at a wedding where each guest is served a medium-rare prime rib roast beef. How does the chef know if a guest is a vegetarian or prefers his beef medium rather than medium-rare? Empower your staff to engage with the guests to determine whether the menu is suitable to their tastes. Have an easy backup dish available for a guest with dietary restrictions in these cases.
Your servers are the buffers between the guests and the kitchen. A staff should be trained to walk guests through the menu. A staff should also be knowledgeable about the ingredients on the menu if a guest would like to make a substitution. It is important your staff handles special requests graciously. Guests with special requests should not be a bother to back-of-the-house or front-of-the-house staff. This is an area where your staff can really make a positive impact on a guest's experience with your company. Exceed the expectations of your client and make guests with special requests feel special.
Staff Strengths and Weaknesses
When planning an event, it is best to keep in mind the strengths and weaknesses of your staff as final preparations are being made. An exuberant, outgoing server may be perfectly suited for a cocktail party but not a board meeting. A knowledgeable, snooty server may be perfect for a wine tasting but not a bachelorette party. A young, talented chef who is great in her own restaurant may not function well at a catered event.