PDA

View Full Version : Anniversary Catering


Bigmista
08-25-2008, 01:03 PM
I want to send out a special thanks to Big Brother Smoke, Country, Professor Salt and MrsMista for helping out at a 50th Anniversary party yesterday for 250 (sort of) people. They worked their butts off and I was proud to have them on my team.

I will post pics and details later but I wanted to commend them publicly on their hard work and professionalism.

Thank you all!

HB-BBQ
08-25-2008, 01:57 PM
Congrads everyone looking forward to the pics.

Bigmista
08-25-2008, 03:14 PM
IF I don't pass out when I get home, I will post them.

Bbq Bubba
08-25-2008, 04:20 PM
Anxiously awaiting........:shock:

Professor Salt
08-25-2008, 04:25 PM
Thanks for asking me! Catering's hard work, but I enjoy it.

Bigmista
08-25-2008, 07:20 PM
It was definitely a trying day. I was running on about 3 hours sleep and dealing with the customer from hell. She was yelling at me and then yelling at my staff because we were out of coleslaw. And then beans. And then green beans.

For 250 people we prepared:

10 briskets
120 lbs of chicken leg meat (actually only cooked 80lbs.)
40 racks of St. Louis spares.
10 big cans of bbq beans
25 lbs of green beans
15 lbs of coleslaw.

I've never seen anything like it. They wiped out the side dishes but we had 1/2 a brisket and lots of chicken leftover.

My feet were killing me (actually they still are) because I was shopping and cooking all week. Plus the kitchen was about a block away from the party so we were back and forth down there. It was a tough day but all of the people there thought the food was outstanding and the service was excellent. We got nothing but compliments from the guest and the lady in charge of the church actually wants us to come vend at the Greek festival next year.

The customers were pissed because they were "embarrased" but the guests of honor (their parents) had a ball. You should have seen the Father's eyes light up when I gave him a bottle of Moet Chandon for their 50th anniversary.

I learned a lot in this. Big Brother Smoke calls it catering 201.

1. Always spell out how much food you will prepare. Not just the guest count.

2. Always prepare at least 10% more than you calculated.

3. Always have people you can trust working with you. Again my staff yesterday was awesome!

4. Make sure your servers job duties are spelled out in the contract.

5. Make sure the client understands that if you allow people to serve themselves, it's possible that something will run out. Portion control is real serious stuff.

6. Do your own head count and have someone on your staff confirm with their own count.

7. Wetnaps are a nice touch. Have some on the table but put some others in a basket and walk around to the tables and offer them to your guests. It gives you an excuse to talk to them and find out how they like the food.

The next gig will be even better. Pics will be up after I get home tonight. I'm sure BBS and Country will comment later.

Kevin
08-25-2008, 07:28 PM
Portion control is real serious stuff.



I used to be in the restaurant biz. This is very true.

Jester
08-25-2008, 09:19 PM
For 250 people we prepared:

10 briskets
120 lbs of chicken leg meat (actually only cooked 80lbs.)
40 racks of St. Louis spares.
10 big cans of bbq beans
25 lbs of green beans
15 lbs of coleslaw.

Congrats on surviving the gig man!

So did you cook all that up on your Spicewine rig?

BobF
08-25-2008, 09:47 PM
Sounds like quite a party.
Never cooked for that many people. Not sure I could.

Marsha
08-25-2008, 10:54 PM
It was definitely a trying day. I was running on about 3 hours sleep and dealing with the customer from hell. She was yelling at me and then yelling at my staff because we were out of coleslaw. And then beans. And then green beans.

For 250 people we prepared:

10 briskets
120 lbs of chicken leg meat (actually only cooked 80lbs.)
40 racks of St. Louis spares.
10 big cans of bbq beans
25 lbs of green beans
15 lbs of coleslaw.

I've never seen anything like it. They wiped out the side dishes but we had 1/2 a brisket and lots of chicken leftover.

My feet were killing me (actually they still are) because I was shopping and cooking all week. Plus the kitchen was about a block away from the party so we were back and forth down there. It was a tough day but all of the people there thought the food was outstanding and the service was excellent. We got nothing but compliments from the guest and the lady in charge of the church actually wants us to come vend at the Greek festival next year.

The customers were pissed because they were "embarrased" but the guests of honor (their parents) had a ball. You should have seen the Father's eyes light up when I gave him a bottle of Moet Chandon for their 50th anniversary.

I learned a lot in this. Big Brother Smoke calls it catering 201.

1. Always spell out how much food you will prepare. Not just the guest count.
Yep, some events will have bigger eaters than others.

2. Always prepare at least 10% more than you calculated.
I agree. I would rather have leftovers than run out of food for hungry guests.

3. Always have people you can trust working with you. Again my staff yesterday was awesome!
We have assembled an amazing staff too. We use the best for catering and call them our "A Team!" and they love it.

4. Make sure your servers job duties are spelled out in the contract.
Having someone serve the food or pick up the plates, even at a buffet, is another resource/expense. We charge extra for more than basic buffet service.

5. Make sure the client understands that if you allow people to serve themselves, it's possible that something will run out. Portion control is real serious stuff.
We catered an event where they said 160 people, then 300+ showed up. We did end up running out to buy more product (they paid for it) but if not for people serving on the buffet line it could have been even worse.

6. Do your own head count and have someone on your staff confirm with their own count.
I like that idea!

7. Wetnaps are a nice touch. Have some on the table but put some others in a basket and walk around to the tables and offer them to your guests. It gives you an excuse to talk to them and find out how they like the food.
Another excellent idea. I usually wander through, clean up left behind plates, etc and ask questions of the guests, but the wetnap idea is great!

The next gig will be even better. Pics will be up after I get home tonight. I'm sure BBS and Country will comment later.

Can't wait for the pics!

I know they are UGLY as sin, but I have started wearing Crocs while catering/vending. Honestly, they do live up to their reputation of being very comfortable when you are on your feet all day. And they clean up real easy too. My feet do not bother me nearly as much as when I wear even a good pair of sneakers.

ThomEmery
08-25-2008, 10:57 PM
Looking forward to the pics
while wearing ugly Crocs

Marsha
08-25-2008, 11:01 PM
Looking forward to the pics
while wearing ugly Crocs

I am honestly thinking of buying a second pair! :lol:


P.S. We bought a wagon for carrying food back and forth when we are not cooking right at the serving location.

Bigmista
08-26-2008, 12:45 AM
I really need to say that this gig was a referral from Marsha.

Thank you Marsha! For the most part this was a great event.

Marsha
08-26-2008, 12:52 AM
I didn't realize this was the event I sent your way. I am very sorry they were 'high maintenance'. I hate it when that happens!

Sounds like you did a great job though. And I am sure the food was wonderful!

Norcoredneck
08-26-2008, 01:06 AM
What pics are going to get posted first. The anniversary party or Thawley's bash pics? :biggrin:

Bigmista
08-26-2008, 08:53 AM
Pics are up.

http://s77.photobucket.com/albums/j67/bigmista/haidos/?albumview=slideshow

HB-BBQ
08-26-2008, 09:22 AM
Sounds and looks like it was a great event even with all of the hard work involved. Good looking grub too congrads!

Bigmista
08-26-2008, 11:10 AM
I didn't realize this was the event I sent your way. I am very sorry they were 'high maintenance'. I hate it when that happens!

Sounds like you did a great job though. And I am sure the food was wonderful!

I learned a lot of great lessons on top of that so I am definitely grateful to you!

bowhnter
08-26-2008, 11:34 AM
The food looks great! I can see why if they were allowed to serve their own, it would disapear so quick.

thillin
08-26-2008, 12:45 PM
If I was there, you would have ran out of meat first. Good looking gig.

Countryhb
08-26-2008, 12:55 PM
You done good, Mista! Thanks for the kind words. This was definitely an experience!! I really wish you could see the look on my face in that picture...words just wouldn't do it justice. 80 lbs of boneless chicken doesn't sound like a lot until you are into about the 4th hour of cooking it!!

Bigmista
08-26-2008, 01:06 PM
People were raving about the chicken Country. You deserve lots of praise!

Do you know that out of all of that food, All I tasted were a few of the green beans? I have no idea what everything else tasted like.

Bigmista
08-26-2008, 01:41 PM
Wow! I didn't even know there was a cooking for the masses section. How new is this?

Professor Salt
08-26-2008, 01:41 PM
Do you know that out of all of that food, All I tasted were a few of the green beans? I have no idea what everything else tasted like.

Same here. Actually, I got to eat a couple slices of their pies.

Countryhb
08-26-2008, 01:45 PM
NOT ONE SINGLE PIECE OF FOOD...I ate nothing that we prepared that day. I was too worried she would hack off my head with a rusty razor if I ate anything!

Bigmista
08-26-2008, 02:20 PM
Well it's nice to be able to relax for a minute. It's funny but I am more tired from this one day event than I was vending for 3 days at the Watts Festival.

Arlin_MacRae
08-26-2008, 02:37 PM
Wow! I didn't even know there was a cooking for the masses section. How new is this?

New today! <grin>

Bbq Bubba
08-26-2008, 02:41 PM
Wow! I didn't even know there was a cooking for the masses section. How new is this?

First i've seen of it! I was hoping to get a catering forum going here!

Great job guys, looks like a first class set-up! :eusa_clap

TOPS BBQ
08-26-2008, 03:16 PM
Great job guys!:eusa_clap Everything looked really nice.

Curious about the cold items. Not sure if you were in a cool climate, but did you have them sitting on ice? Being in a very hot environment, I try to find ways to keep the salads cool without revealing loads of ice underneath.

Butts-n-gutts
08-26-2008, 03:21 PM
Good job Mista

Nice way to open a new section of the forum

Bigmista
08-26-2008, 05:06 PM
Great job guys!:eusa_clap Everything looked really nice.

Curious about the cold items. Not sure if you were in a cool climate, but did you have them sitting on ice? Being in a very hot environment, I try to find ways to keep the salads cool without revealing loads of ice underneath.

We only had one cold item and it didn't last long enough to heat up.

Go for two stainless bowls one a little smaller than the other. Ice in the bigger one. Cold item in the smaller one. As it melts the food dish will settle down in the larger one.

Brian in So Cal
08-26-2008, 05:56 PM
Congrats BigMista and the crew. Wow what a spread. Was that Phil and Glen I saw in some of those pics?

ThomEmery
08-26-2008, 06:50 PM
I am honestly thinking of buying a second pair! :lol:


P.S. We bought a wagon for carrying food back and forth when we are not cooking right at the serving location.

hey welcome

Bigmista
08-26-2008, 07:30 PM
Congrats BigMista and the crew. Wow what a spread. Was that Phil and Glen I saw in some of those pics?

You did see Phil and Glen there working with us. Only reason I didn't menttion them is because they are rarely online.

Bigmista
08-26-2008, 07:34 PM
P.S. We bought a wagon for carrying food back and forth when we are not cooking right at the serving location.

I like this idea.

Country and Big Brother Smoke are threatening to never work with me again unless I buy a truck or at least a trailer. The spending never ends...

chinesebob
08-26-2008, 07:44 PM
Looks like a fantastic gig!

I know a lot of people rave about the crocs but I can't say enough about columbia hikers. They rule for long days, though they are heavier and your legs are dragging if you aren't used to them.

Did you carve for people? Saw the cutting board. I have a nice one when people are watching but I usually use a plastic cutting board set on an one edge of a cookie tray to catch the juices and bits.

I'm glad you posted this, I have a gig around this size in about a month and I've been debating on how much to prepare.

Marsha
08-26-2008, 09:13 PM
I like this idea.

Country and Big Brother Smoke are threatening to never work with me again unless I buy a truck or at least a trailer. The spending never ends...

We got one like this. You can haul heavier stuff with the big wheels. And we sometimes even haul big heavy coolers that don't have wheels and are full of meat, etc.

http://www.qcsupply.com/ProductImages/360235LG.jpg

Also, if you can afford one I highly recommend a meat slicer when cutting certain meats for big events. Oh, and then you need a generator for places where there is no electricity available. Yeah, the buying stuff seems to never end.

Marsha
08-26-2008, 09:17 PM
Looks like a fantastic gig!

I know a lot of people rave about the crocs but I can't say enough about columbia hikers. They rule for long days, though they are heavier and your legs are dragging if you aren't used to them.

Did you carve for people? Saw the cutting board. I have a nice one when people are watching but I usually use a plastic cutting board set on an one edge of a cookie tray to catch the juices and bits.

I'm glad you posted this, I have a gig around this size in about a month and I've been debating on how much to prepare.


I bet the hikers would be good for days when it is a bit chilly out and I need to keep my feet warm. :)

Bigmista
08-26-2008, 11:15 PM
Looks like a fantastic gig!

I know a lot of people rave about the crocs but I can't say enough about columbia hikers. They rule for long days, though they are heavier and your legs are dragging if you aren't used to them.

Did you carve for people? Saw the cutting board. I have a nice one when people are watching but I usually use a plastic cutting board set on an one edge of a cookie tray to catch the juices and bits.

I'm glad you posted this, I have a gig around this size in about a month and I've been debating on how much to prepare.

Nice thought but hiking boots in the middle of summer in SoCal won't fly. My feet would catch on fire! They would probably be good for events during our 2 week winter though.

We did carve the brisket for the guests. Thought it would be a nice touch.

We got one like this. You can haul heavier stuff with the big wheels. And we sometimes even haul big heavy coolers that don't have wheels and are full of meat, etc.

http://www.qcsupply.com/ProductImages/360235LG.jpg

Also, if you can afford one I highly recommend a meat slicer when cutting certain meats for big events. Oh, and then you need a generator for places where there is no electricity available. Yeah, the buying stuff seems to never end.

For this event, we could have used a golf cart. The kitchen was almost 100 yards from the serving area. I have a blister on the bottom of one of my feet. Definitely the wrong socks in the wrong shoes.

Marsha
08-27-2008, 02:28 PM
Maybe you needed one of these? :D
http://www.cruzincooler.com/main%20art/wagon/les_dog1.jpg

Bigmista
08-27-2008, 04:56 PM
If I had one it would probably be on four flats.

big brother smoke
08-28-2008, 03:47 AM
This was a great launching pad for Bigmista BBQ! I had a great time working with the crew. The most important part of catering 201 is not to revist catering 201!

Good job, Neil and company!

Divemaster
08-28-2008, 09:28 AM
Great job!!!! The most I've done for is about 125 and I know the work that went into that one. I'm impressed!

I learned a lot of great lessons on top of that so I am definitely grateful to you!

This was a great launching pad for Bigmista BBQ! I had a great time working with the crew. The most important part of catering 201 is not to revist catering 201!
Gotta love when they pay you to learn. I actually keep a log of things that went right (and wrong).

Bigmista
08-28-2008, 02:25 PM
WE are reworking our contracts right now. Things will definitely be different.

Cabntmkr1
08-28-2008, 03:22 PM
Wow! Great job, Bigmista... and thanks for sharing your story with us.
I am sure you were gracious to the woman even though she has being critical.
A big tip of the hat to you and the crew!:grin:

Countryhb
08-28-2008, 04:48 PM
I like this idea.

Country and Big Brother Smoke are threatening to never work with me again unless I buy a truck or at least a trailer
And some of these...

Those little heelie shoes with the wheel in the heel!!

Countryhb
08-28-2008, 04:51 PM
Funny the talk about Crocs. I had a pair on my feet today trying them one. HOLY COW!! They are so comfortable. Problem is, for every bit of comfortable they are, they are ten times as UGLY!! I'll probably buy a pair, but I found a nice pair of sunglasses to buy, so they won!! I didn't realize these shoes only way 1 ounce!! Too cool.

big brother smoke
08-28-2008, 05:19 PM
Dems gonna be some BIG CROCS :biggrin::tongue:

Seriously, I tried them on and did not like them potentially slipping off the heel of my feet, I amy have to re-visit them.

TOPS BBQ
08-28-2008, 05:22 PM
I saw a forum about crocs. It was titled "I don't care how comfortable they are, you still look like a dumba$$ in them". I guess being a comfortable dumba$$ beats a tired 'ol goat. I just might look into these. I'm going to try and find camoflage crocs, so that no one can see them.8)

Bigmista
08-28-2008, 06:55 PM
For me, camo colored would be grease and BBQ sauce colored.

Bigmista
08-28-2008, 07:04 PM
Dude! They have Crocs golf shoes! And some canvas ones.

Might not be so bad...

Bigmista
08-28-2008, 07:17 PM
I could get down with some of these...


Somebody asked for Camo...
http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j67/bigmista/crocs-axle.jpg

These could be my cooking shoes...

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j67/bigmista/crocs-realtree.jpg

For Catering...

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j67/bigmista/crocs-yukon.jpg

And when somebody else is cooking...

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j67/bigmista/crocs-santacruz.jpg

ThomEmery
08-28-2008, 08:44 PM
Yea I been wearin them crocs a few weeks
I was at a cook off in Texas seemed like
75% of the cooks had em on

Norcoredneck
08-28-2008, 08:53 PM
Funny the talk about Crocs. I had a pair on my feet today trying them one. HOLY COW!! They are so comfortable. Problem is, for every bit of comfortable they are, they are ten times as UGLY!! I'll probably buy a pair, but I found a nice pair of sunglasses to buy, so they won!! I didn't realize these shoes only way 1 ounce!! Too cool.

Dems gonna be some BIG CROCS :biggrin::tongue:

Seriously, I tried them on and did not like them potentially slipping off the heel of my feet, I amy have to re-visit them.
So what I am hearing is when Country gets some the will be a big croc of $hit!:wink:

Congrats on the event neil.

Countryhb
08-29-2008, 10:20 AM
So what I am hearing is when Country gets some the will be a big croc of $hit!:wink:

Congrats on the event neil.

You'd never see me wearing them at your house, Pat. Too many ventilation holes in the shoes...horse $hit might get in them!!

smokinvic
08-29-2008, 12:18 PM
Hey Big Mista. If you need more help on an event, let me know. I want to eventally start catering myself, and would lover to learn with you guys. Im a local boy, sort of....

Bigmista
08-29-2008, 12:37 PM
You got it Vic. I'll put you on the short list.

Countryhb
08-29-2008, 01:34 PM
Hey Big Mista. If you need more help on an event, let me know. I want to eventally start catering myself, and would lover to learn with you guys. Im a local boy, sort of....
Are we starting an "A" squad for Neil's catering or a defensive line?!?!

HB-BBQ
08-29-2008, 01:44 PM
Are we starting an "A" squad for Neil's catering or a defensive line?!?! Either way if you guys need an extra hand I know another guy in HB that would be a good linebacker or strong saftey :mrgreen:

Bigmista
08-29-2008, 01:45 PM
WE would have quite a bit of beef and none of it would be on the grill.

big brother smoke
08-29-2008, 08:35 PM
Bought me a pair of black ones today with the velcro heel strap!

ThomEmery
08-29-2008, 09:23 PM
stylin

Norcoredneck
08-30-2008, 06:57 PM
You'd never see me wearing them at your house, Pat. Too many ventilation holes in the shoes...horse $hit might get in them!!
That's why us Hillbillies go barefoot. Keeps the flies on lthe down low.

STX Cue
09-03-2008, 03:32 PM
Very nice spread, Mista! I can see why some of it ran out.

Sorry about the late post, been working evacuations for Gustav since last Thursday.

As for the Crocs, they are ugly, but I bought some for the days I am fishing tournaments. Four days of standing with one foot on the deck and one on the trolling motor will destroy your back. Those ugly shoes made a world of difference.