Common Mistakes People Make When Booking a Special Event

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A special event can be difficult to plan. You want to give your guests or clients the best impression in every aspect and go over every detail with a fine tooth comb. From the decoration to the entertainment, nothing can be overlooked, and especially not the food. Food tends to be the conversation starter at any event, and it has the ability to change people’s moods as soon as they take that first bite. The kind of food you serve can be a big reflection of your personality or your company, so you want everything to be just perfect for your guests.

There are a number of things you can do to make sure your food is a crowd pleaser. Know your audience, know your setting well, make sure it looks appetizing and is easy to eat.

There are also a number of “don’ts” to consider while planning the food and it really helps to know what not to do. So to help you avoid some basic errors that could prove to be costly, Clock Tower Inn has put together a list of the most common mistakes people make when booking a special event.

1. Not knowing your budget.

Special events can become expensive very quickly. Knowing your budget ahead of time will eliminate a lot of back and forth discussion, giving the caterer or venue an opportunity to create a menu both the parties are happy with. Room rental fees, staff charges, taxes, and gratuities need to be considered when making your budget for a special event.

2. You get what you pay for.

Don’t expect steak and lobster if you have a hamburger budget. If your event has a small budget, the event space or caterer can definitely work with you. Be realistic about what you want and the amount of food required to feed your group. Sometimes ordering half quantities of things such as appetizers and stationary platters can be enough for a group. Your caterer or venue space can help guide you in deciding the right amount to order.

3. Overestimating or underestimating the number of people.

The larger the group the more expensive your event will be. Managing the guest list will help control the end cost. As the group grows in size so does the cost of food, labor, taxes, and gratuities. Most catering and venue spaces have a cut off period for final numbers. Usually forty-eight hours in advance. If your numbers suddenly drop at the last moment you will likely still have to pay for the full guaranteed amount.

4. Poor communication.

Caterers and venues can be very busy and sometimes get behind in their communication. Be patient, they will get back to you. When sending emails or telephone messages, polite, courteous language will get you the quickest response. Angry e-mails and telephone messages will slow down the response you are looking for.

5. Making final payments

Catering and venue spaces have a cash flow to follow. A deposit of up to 50% of the event value may be required. Sometimes this deposit may be non-refundable. Check with your caterer or venue to be clear of the policy they have. After the event is over, quick payment will be required. Interest charges may be applied to your bill if there is a long period of time being taken to make the final payment.

6. Understanding the bar requirements

The cost of providing a bar for your guests can quickly increase the cost of your event. Caterers and venue spaces will be able to guide you through the cost increase associated with a bar. Options for a cash or open bar should be presented as well as the timing of service. Also, it is important to be aware of any licensing that may be required to allow alcohol to be served off-site. Does the caterer have on an off-site license to provide alcohol service or will a temporary license be required? Serious charges and expenses can occur by the Government Alcohol agencies if proper licenses are not applied for and followed.

To avoid these and other mistakes, reach out to the experts at Clock Tower Inn. We have over forty years of experience in the culinary industry and cater to all kinds of special events like birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. We are located in Strathroy, ON, and offer our services across London, Strathroy, Grand Bend, Mt. Brydges, Komoka and the surrounding areas.

For a complete list of services, please click here. If you have any questions about our catering services, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us here.