Beach House Event Catering: The China Debacle

So I met this lovely couple early on in my business and they were planning a wedding on Pensacola Beach. This was my first wedding with my new catering business so I was a nervous wreck, but they had a pretty easy idea overall. They wanted something incredible and simple at the same time. I was more than happy to oblige! The wedding itself was going to be on the beach and the reception at a beautiful home right on the beach. The plan was originally something simple, some type of chicken, fish, pork, and a vegetarian meal, but as we started doing the tasting it was becoming more and more apparent that they did want something a little more incredible than I had done before. The pressure was on, and I was ready to meet the challenge!

This was early on in the business, so it was one of my first catering jobs and I was a little nervous because I wanted to make sure their big day was very special. All of the sudden I realized through a conversation that they were expecting me to supply china and tablecloths for a 100 person dinner, not disposable plates like I normally do! Needless to say, I did not have the china and table cloths needed for a party of that size. Prior to this I specialized in coffee and desert bars, so I got all of my plates from here. You’re lucky because as my reader you get to learn from all of my stupid mistakes. After making this realization I was in an awkward position because I had already quoted them a price (which I tell you not to do until you have everything taken care of in my last post here). After a little of my own research, I found out that it was customary for the catering company to supply these things so I was up the creek without a paddle if you will. I was going to have to eat the price of purchasing or renting those plates. I was lucky with the timing of this debacle as I had a couple of other jobs I would be completing, and getting paid for a couple of weeks prior to this wedding. I knew I wanted to take this business seriously so I went ahead and started looking for the most beautiful and durable china out there. I will go over what I found in another post, but for now let’s just say that it all worked out. I may not have made that big of a profit off of those clients, but they were treated like royalty and unbeknownst to me they were very connected in the community so I ended up getting multiple referrals from their family and this catapulted my business from coffee and dessert bars to full on 100+ person weddings almost every weekend, booked at least six months in advance. So the moral of the story: Make sure to treat all of your customers like they are your only customer even if you are going to lose money off of them the first time, it may be worth it in the long run.

Author: Chef Gus

Chef and catering monster! I love what I do, and do what I love. You will find me having fun in the kitchen or setting up a beautiful party. Have fun all and let me know if I can help with any of your catering needs!