When it comes to event planning it seems we always explore what an event planner is responsible for as well as the skills and expertise needed to achieve success. And most times will gloss over the importance of some of the event planning daily decisions and outcomes. Many say when it comes to event planning the success is the outcome of hard work and a comprehensive, detailed blueprint. Outlining and executing a plan of this size can take an unbelievable amount of effort and know-how. And just the creating, planning and all that is involved can take well over a year. But it’s some of those event planning decisions that can make even the most seasoned event planner slightly anxious and tense.
When talking Event Planning Food Events Do Guarantee Numbers Matter?
Do event planning food event guarantee numbers matter? In a word YES! The other day I was having a chat with a meeting planner peer and we were gabbing about some of our “best” hits and misses when it comes to planning events. A couple of my stellar misses while not directly my errors were definitely my responsibility to fix on-site revolved around clients and guarantee numbers. In one of the more memorable snafu an association executive director provided a guarantee of one thousand for his Welcome Reception and as luck would have it two thousand guests actually showed up. And let me tell you things changed pretty quickly including glassware went to plastic and planned hors d’oeuvres went to whatever was in house and could be prepared. Another time a client provided a guarantee of 200 for a supplier party and you guessed it 500 showed up. And this time I quickly got the establishment preparing, serving and ensuring the guests were accommodated and I then rolled up my sleeves and started busing the room. No matter what in these situations we do what we can.
So far the majority of the on-site hiccups I have experienced had everything to do with the wrong guarantee numbers. Of course we all know when it comes to event food functions, no matter where they are held, a guarantee number must be provided.
Success is in the Numbers for Event Planning Food Events!
There definitely is a lot to consider when providing a guarantee number for a food function. Depending on the catering company, a guarantee number is required anywhere from 3 – 7 business days out. Most catering companies will work with a client and provide recommendations. I personally have found a good catering company usually provides great information as well as guidance. However it is the planner’s responsibility to know the group, numbers, menu and budget. And once that guarantee number is provided, if wrong or the numbers are actually lower, the client is charged for the guaranteed number or the total served, whichever is greater. As a safety net, many catering companies and venues will prepare 3% to 5% over the guarantee number and will then only charge for these meals if they are used. A couple more things to note; providing you have allowed enough time; you can increase your guarantee number but never, ever decrease it. And in the case where the client does not provide a final guarantee number, the caterer or venue will go with the original guesstimate provided.
One of the more challenging undertakings with event planning can be the food events and understanding all the ins and outs it takes to be successful. When it comes to food service and food events there definitely is a plethora of what, where, when and how decisions to make to ensure things do turn out just right. And food guarantees will forever be at the top of that list. Of course any meeting and event professional knows providing correct and on target food guarantees is one of the more important decisions when it comes to the budget and the bottom line.