Server Style and Etiquette for Private Dining Events
You’ve chosen a caterer or private chef to serve the meal at your event, but you’re a little unsure of what the reception details entail. Will the servers greet my guests? Will the place settings be right? Not to worry!
Remember that the caterer or private chef has a lot of experience serving large numbers of people. Their reputation depends not only on the quality of the food they serve, but, in large part, on the professionalism and guest interaction of their staff. It’s as important to the caterer or private chef as it is to you that the event meets with your satisfaction. So, they are more than happy to go over the details with you before the big day.
Get Down to Details
When meeting with them here are some of the areas you’ll want to discuss, so that there is no doubt that you both understand what to expect and know all of the details. Neither of you want any surprises during the event.
First off, presentation is everything. Presentation is key in setting up your wedding reception. You want to make sure that all place settings are in their proper place, eating utensils and glasses are spotless, and the centerpieces are aligned accordingly. Discuss your desires with your planner and caterer to make sure your vision is displayed that evening.
We live in a world where things tend to be rushed along. Be specific about your expectations throughout the evening. If you’re serving hors d’oeuvres, (especially when they are tray-hand passed) servers should know the name, main ingredients and the pronunciation of what’s being served. It’s also helpful that they are aware of any nuts, wheat or other ingredients in the dish for those with food allergies. A courteous and knowledgeable server is very impressive!
Serve from the Left, Pull from the right
Dishes are traditionally served from the left and removed from the right during dinner. Servers are usually assigned a few tables for the evening so as to make sure everyone has their fill of drinks and anything else needed throughout the evening. If you are serving cake for dessert, such as at a wedding reception, ask about a cutting and serving fee. Not every location offers coffee and tea with dessert, so be sure to ask what the policy is on these extras.
If you are renting a venue and have a separate caterer or private chef coming in, make sure they are aware of what time they can arrive to set up and when they must vacate the venue. Also make sure they are informed of any rules the venue has for off-site service providers, including proof of insurance, etc.
However many courses you decide to have on your wedding day, it’s important to collaborate with your caterer to ensure your evening overflows with seamless effort and class.
Happy Planning!Images by: The Paella Project, Michael Jonathan Studios, Colette’s Catering and Events, Gourmet Gourmet Catering, Canyon Catering, Seafaring Events and Catering and Studio EMP Get more information about : Southern California Caterers