If you really want to make sure that participants never return to one of your events, here is what to do.
Hat’s off to the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, where the catering team is anything but ordinary.
An event at AT&T Stadium in Dallas exceeded expectations and offered lessons.
The crux of this Monthly Morsel is trust, when it’s earned and when it’s not.
I’m thrilled that my column smacking a bit on Dallas’ private dining scene did exactly what I wanted it to do: Get people talking.
What I’ve discovered in my years as a culinary consultant around the world is that the hospitality community in any given city can take on a particular nuance. Dallas is no exception.
Our Monthly Morsel column shares tales from the dark side, what catering managers can do to make sure they book an event and some of the major turnoffs.
The entertainment world has its Golden Globes, Oscars, Emmys and Tonys. Atlanta celebrates the world of special events with its annual Allie Awards, now in their 23rd year. The awards are designed to recognize outstanding examples of quality and creativity in Atlanta’s event industry and to demonstrate how working together for a common good can promote […]
Since the holiday season is upon us, I thought I’d write about entertaining at home. Some people look forward to this all year long; others dread it. Which are you?
Venues in the gambling capital leave a bad taste with their refusal to bend for a Sunday event. What’s a planner to do?
What’s wrong with this picture? Read this month’s morsel on “Hiring an outside caterer” and, if you can answer the red flag question, you’ll qualify to win a Starbucks gift card.
The bottom line: Restaurants, if you sell group business have a staff trained to handle the request. Most importantly, have a catering manager who will get back to the customer on a timely basis.
NACE, formerly the National Association of Catering Executives, has changed its name — but not its acronym. It’s now the National Association for Catering and Events, a move made to more accurately reflect its 4,000-plus members. Today’s catering and event professionals must be trained and knowledgeable in all aspects of event planning, design and executive, […]
Love is in the air … Valentine’s Day — Feb. 14 is here (or gone). The day we either love, or hate, or the day we would love to hate. It’s always a bit awkward for planners who have an event falling over Cupid’s holiday. Especially if your attendees are primarily men and the destination is out of town. […]
I am late (again) with writing this morsel because I just got done doing the food for the Miss California USA beauty pageant. The first thing that should come to everyone’s mind is this question: What am I doing feeding girls that are participating in a beauty contest?! Those girls don’t eat. Well, my dear readers, you are […]
I had a major corporation ask me to participate in an RFP for a 10,000+ person annual event. Most people would have been overwhelmed by this daunting task, but for some reason I wasn’t. I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to dig deep within and show this company what I had to say about […]
As many of you know, I spent 10 days in October working in Vegas for four different clients. Suppliers in this town say they haven’t recovered from the recession. If you’re like me, you’d expect them to be flexible and accommodating so they leave a positive impression that encourages business, right? Nope. Here are some […]
As we are happily heading into spring the one thought that goes through people’s minds is how do we shed our winter “coats” (a.k.a. pounds)? In this morsel, I am going to share a couple of food ideas that will leave your attendees grateful for having food options that are clever, healthy and tasty. Fruit. […]
As we are winding down the calendar year, but gearing up for professional and personal holiday gatherings, the same question gets asked over and over: What to serve on a budget? For the month of December I want to take this morsel out of the banqueting kitchen and bring it into your home for the […]
The first area planners tend to trim money from is their food and beverage budget. But how do you save money without sacrificing the experience for your attendees, avoid getting hit by hidden banquet fees and best work with the director of food and beverage and catering manager to create exceptional events? In this PYM […]
I recently did a reception in Atlanta where the past history indicated 450-500 people would be attending the annual customer party. I have done this event for four years in various cities and have kept strict group history. Because convention attendance was up this year, the client and I decided that we would increase the […]
I am going to make this morsel so short and sweet folks aren’t going to believe it. Here is the deal: When we, as planners, give a third party company or facility a budget number, this is what the appropriate vendor needs to do … RESPECT IT! It amazes me when I give someone a […]
Last week I was working for a client, hosting a Friday night reception at a charming wine store owned by a husband and wife. The wine store is in a very sweet and intimate setting that accommodates up to 50 people. During the event, I had a couple of situations happen that I wasn’t so […]
Because of this rough economy, planning events at conference centers with all-inclusive packages has become more popular. There are several reasons why, with the first being the most obvious — the budget. When everything is included in the conference price, planners can understand and effectively budget their costs. Part of the package price includes the culinary experience, but […]
As I am spending the month in Kittanning, Pa., working my father’s estate, I can’t help but drift back to the roots of this small town: farming. Since it is July and we are in the midst of “corn growing season,” I thought it would be appropriate to give you some insight on how to […]
Recently, I went to a party to celebrate the opening of a “new rooftop event space” at an Atlanta office building along with many other event planners and vendors. Atlanta doesn’t have much of a skyline, but that wasn’t what bothered me. What bothered me is that they wanted people to experience their space, atmosphere, […]
As meetings incorporate more and more green programs, the most delicious way to accomplish your eco-event goals and educate your attendees about your actions is through food and beverage. Below are tips to work with your caterers to provide green food to reward your attendees during their long meeting days. Local When building your menu, […]
Typically, in my Monthly Morsel advice columns, I talk about hotel catering. But for this Best Practices column, I want to go over what you need to think about when booking off-premise venues or restaurants for meal functions. Pre-planning exercise Before we begin, I want you to close your eyes and visualize what the event […]
I was in Indianapolis working an intense food weekend at the NCAA Final Four and I had something interesting occur that rarely happens. What, you ask? I met a chef. Well, that’s not the interesting part because it is only natural that I would be dealing a chef. But this wasn’t any executive chef; it […]
Being a food consultant and having designed menus for many years, I feel it is crucial to get on the phone and spend some time talking with the chef — especially during the design stage. Most hotel/facilities are A-OK with this once they go to rxforcatering.com and see that I live and breathe culinary banqueting. […]
As we are entering the month of February I thought it would be only appropriate to discuss the very thing many of us experience in this blizzardy winter month — ICE! Do I like it ? Yes, I do. Do I think from a culinary perspective that it gets a bad rap? Yes, I do. Do […]
Throughout the years with this column, I have written about weddings, all types of corporate parties and given tips about entertaining in the home. This month, I am going to discuss something that no one is ever really prepared for and which I’ve never seen any event professional discuss: a funeral. On Dec. 19, 2009, […]
As we round out the year, I know many of you are exhaling a collective sigh of relief that 2009 is nearing its end while simultaneously sucking in your breath in anticipation of 2010. With that being said, I want to close out my 2009 monthly morsels by writing about the Executive Chef at The […]
Buying out fine dining restaurants is something I am a big fan of for several reasons. But lately, I am a bit frustrated. I negotiated a buyout of a big-name chef restaurant in Orlando and very clearly told the catering manager up-front that I was going have some menu tweeks. The catering manager said, “Fine, no problem. […]
This month, I am tying my shoelaces in double knots, taking a running leap and landing SMACK right in the middle of Rx for Catering LLC’s well-worn soapbox. Usually I jump up here to crab about, well — whatever is on my mind. But not this month! I proudly want to talk about two happenings that I think are great…
I am sitting here writing a box lunch menu and shaking my head at the price. I know this is a four-star property, but how much does a sandwich, potato salad, chips and brownie cost, for goodness sakes? At this particular property, $32. And don’t think for a second that includes a drink, because it doesn’t. Recently, […]
Folks, there’s an insidious practice that is becoming an industry standard, which I don’t think it is fair to the buyers. So cover your ears, I’m about to start screaming … I was in Anaheim at a big-name property doing a reception for 250 people. We had some action stations that carried a $150 per […]
This month I am going to talk about décor — which requires a different form of taste than what I usually discuss. This one we experience with our eyes, not our mouths. Last month I was with a friend in a restaurant, and the décor of the restaurant was not even close to what the […]
Top of the New Year to everyone! Since we are all going to be challenged with cost-saving measures this year, why don’t I dedicate my first morsel of the year to that? Before I begin, though, I do want to clarify one talking point: Let’s not confuse cost savings with cost cutting. To me, cost […]
Rib Ranch Events and Catering, located in Marietta, Ga., coordinates with other companies to provide tables, chairs, tents, bands, balloons and bartending for special events. Rib Ranch’s wide array of menus include barbecue, breakfast, and Italian food. For more information, call 770-422-7746 or email email@example.com.
As many of you know, I spent last month working the Olympics in Beijing. For those of you interested in working banquets in China, here are some important things to keep in mind …
Groups meeting in metro Atlanta’s Perimeter area now have two more high-end catering options. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant in Dunwoody is offering breakfast meeting menus for groups of 15-80 and a lunch delivery service for parties of 10 or more. Contact Danielle Cole at 770-399-9900 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
There are times in life when I feel I have the sweetest job on earth. This past week was one of those times — literally and figuratively.
Hi, everyone, I was fortunate enough to go out of the country to do what? Nothing but eat. Talk about a dream assignment. But, I have to say it is a lot harder than it looks.
Attention Chefs and Catering Managers: This note is to you fine folks in culinary cyberland.
The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix has some unusual break offerings on its catering menu. The Healthy Spa Break has test tube shots of vegetable and fruit juices, yoga stretches and chair massages. The Native American-themed break features native heirloom popcorn, cactus candies and cowboy coffees sweetened with agave nectar. Other […]
Eat Naturally, a new catering program focused on delivering menu items that are fresh, local, organic and sustainable, is available at select Hilton and Doubletree hotels in Southern California.
The future is here, along with more technology, more networking opportunities, more budget demands… in fact, more demands for everything, including your time. 2008 may be more of 2007, but pick up the tips from our planners and you’ll be ready for a (somewhat) fresh start.
Food and beverage advice from catering expert Claire R. Gould. This month, Gould shares a cautionary tale about working overseas.
As we are rounding out the year, here is my wish list for 2008:
Buffet burners from Pineapple Hospitality replace traditional sterno warmers for chafing dishes, are re-usable and have an adjustable temperature setting. Properties that have made the switch include the MCM Grande in Odessa, Texas, and the Chateau on the Lake Resort in Branson, Mo.
F&B expert Claire R. Gould offers her tips on shaking up holiday carving stations.
Working an event recently, I did my usual schtick and said I wanted to do the bar inventory by counting beer caps. The property said they would make these arrangements … and then didn’t. What did they do? They served the beer in cans instead of bottles. What didn’t I like about this? A lot […]
Folks, there is such a thing as too much garlic. I know, hard to believe for you garlic lovers out there, but it is true in a banqueting situation.
Atlanta-based Affairs to Remember Caterers celebrated its 30th birthday with the opening of a new Midtown West facility, the burial of a time capsule, and predictions for the catering and events industry 30 years from now:
While working last month in Paris, a client treated one of my bosses and me to a dinner for two at La Table de Joël Robuchon.
A lot of companies are now offering boutique-type sodas during coffee breaks. They are more expensive then the usual Coke or Pepsi products because they have fancy names, but are they worth the additional cost?
While working in Denver this past week I ordered a deli buffet, where guests make their own sandwiches. When you do this, pay attention to the choice of meats.
Advice from our resident F&B expert, Claire R. Gould.
This month we are going to look at garnishing … or should I say the lack thereof? For whatever reason the culinary industry has gotten away from putting a garnish on the entrée plate. In the olden days (as I date myself) we used the tomato rose, the carrot butterfly, the radish rose, yadda yadda […]
Helpful advice from our resident F&B expert Claire Gould.
PYM’s resident F&B expert shares her wish list for 2007.
Tips on creating menus for vegans from F&B expert Claire Gould.
Allow me to make this as plain as day: Set up the buffet as you would put food on your plate. In other words, use common sense.
I lecture and write about trends a lot, and planners always want to know: “What is in?” I can’t stress enough how important it is not to pay too much attention to food trends. They are subjective. For example, many people think mashed potato martini bars are hot. I think they had their moment four […]