As previously mentioned with this job, who knows where you are going to be working, it could be in someone’s back yard, in a grand hall, on the beach… or in a very, very expensive store where the guests have very, very expensive taste….
So I got asked by Patrick in the office if I would like to work this specific event, he said it’s an easy one, a quick in and out job. Of course I said yes.
We travel to The South Coast Plaza shopping center to sit outside what can only be described as a CIA interrogation room. The door had a spy hole which can see in ALL directions, I was expecting a paranoid security officer to let Dennis and myself in, of course who opens the door… Patrick. (He had arrived a few minutes before us)
Now when Patrick mentioned that this would be a quick, smash and grab job, he wasn’t lying. Though what he failed to mention was the setup BEFORE the smash and grab.
Between our small group we had to carry the equipment through a narrow corridor, into an elevator, turn the corner in another small corridor, onto the shop floor, where we then squeeze into a tiny customer elevator, which takes us down a floor, where we then open a huge mirrored door, to carry the equipment up some stairs to the staff kitchen which was the size of my big toe…. Yes Patrick, in an out indeed…
Once the kitchen had been organized, and wine and champagne was pre poured, the event got underway.
Of course being a server, you cannot help but be nosey with your surroundings, I could see these expensive clothes all over the place, $1000 blouse here, $3000 dress there… if carrying a tray of wine on a marble floor with slippery black shoes wasn’t tough enough, having to worry about not wrecking any of the clothes (which must have been hand made by angels to be that expensive) was just another thing to add on the list.
Luckily I escaped without hindrance… sorry I know you were all hoping for the opposite!
So back to the party, guest are coming in and enjoying the amazing food we had to offer from cucumber lobster cups, to cheese cake stuffed strawberries.
There was one problem with this crowd though…. They were all women in their forties, with lots of money, however not much of an appetite. The thought of eating something would ruin the one cracker they had earlier on that day… heaven forbid they have a small beef carpaccio crostini and that distorts their oh so “perfect” figure. Time to turn on the charm.
The food had to go, so I opted to try and sell it. Of course like everything else throughout this blog I had an advantage. You guessed it, the accent. I start talking to a group of three women, and I said “Would any of you lovely ladies like a strawberry stuffed with cheesecake?” They loved it… “Can you say strawberry again please” and of course I had to oblige… thoughts of me on Venice beach acting out as a street performer flashed through my mind. I almost asked for a dollar. (I am joking of course!)
But that’s the business, I milked it, mingled with the guests, and tray after tray started to empty. The food really was amazing, and all the guests agreed. It seemed that the guests didn’t mind a 23 year old English male coming up to them and asking about stuffed strawberries…. How odd?
Repeating myself from earlier, Patrick was right. The event really was a quick job. But now came the break down. By this point Randy, Paul, Kevin, Patrick, Dennis and I just wanted to get the job done. So down the stairs, through the store, up the elevator, through the shop floor again, through the tiny corridor, up another elevator, through the CIA interrogation door, load the van, drive home, open fridge, grab beer, sit down and watch TV is exactly how the unload went.
KEY LEARNING POINTS
•Patrick’s saying it is a quick job doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to be an easy job.
•Catering is going to throw obstacles at you, ours just happened to be an obstacle course.
•Know your audience, find how to relate to them and they will appreciate you and the food so much more.
•Make the client feel that you and the company you work for is the best money they have ever spent.