Clean it up!

This month’s Morsel is going to be a new one for me, even though the subject is something I’ve been meaning to write about for some time. We’re talking cleanliness — or lack thereof — in banqueting departments.

Last year when I was working college basketball’s Final Four at a five-star hotel in New Orleans, I had to reprimand the stewarding department more than once for polishing the chafing dishes in my clients’ VIP hospitality suite while it was open to guests!

The stewarding personal didn’t think twice about bringing in their polish and dirty rags and squirting solution all over the area in which our guests would be eating. Let alone drip on our expensive rental linens. Why was this happening?

It happened because stewarding was too lazy to do this task in the back of the house. What also upset me was that the banqueting team was milling about the room watching this without thinking (key word: THINKING) about how wrong it was.

Let’s fast forward to the most recent Final Four in Atlanta. Basically, same scenario. I had a party for 1,500 people and worked with the facilities banqueting department to do a “dry set” the day before. Their decorations included lots of glass cylinders and round glass discs.

When the banqueting team did the dry set, all the glassware was dirty. I asked why were they putting out dirty glassware. They said they’d clean it before setting out the food. Once again, sanitation, people!

The banqueting department ended up cleaning the glass and squirting liquid all over the clients’ rental linens. When I brought this basic fact to their attention you would have thought I was talking in a foreign language.

Your takeaway from this Morsel is this: Talk with the banqueting team during your planning process, share with them what you expect and don’t forget what you learned here. All necessary cleaning must be done back of house and not on the floor.

I hope this Morsel cleans things up for you!