Perhaps a term used in catering and event planning, “ballet service,” sums up the importance of a well-coordinated event. It specifically refers to synchronized meal service, where a line of servers places a meal in front of each guest at the same time. It takes timing, coordination, planning – and grace. Every guest is treated equally as everyone receives their food at precisely the same moment.
The same might be said about a good relationship between venue event planners and caterers in Los Angeles. They share a client, they share space – and they share the outcome. How an event flows and meets the needs of the corporate or wedding party will reflect on both of them. Clearly, they need to have a good working relationship. And it’s more than just contracts and logistics – they need to have that chemistry to make it work.
What defines good chemistry? It’s a certain something that defies technical explanation as much as it’s hard to describe why some people have good, long-term personal relationships and others don’t. At best you can observe what happens between the two parties to see if it’s going well.
For venue-event planner/corporate caterers in Los Angeles, some of those characteristics would include the following:
Right menu and service for the right space – A funky, edgy venue might be perfectly suited for taco bars and self-service buffets, but the caterer would be wise to plan a more sophisticated menu and sit-down service in a higher-end location (quite possibly including that ballet service described above).
The caterer really knows the venue – By this we mean that the wedding catering company doesn’t simply book the event long distance and show up for the pre-con meeting (when all vendors, florists, the DJ, and others gather a day or two before the event, akin to a wedding rehearsal). An astute caterer will know the art gallery, hotel, or converted mansion first hand, either from past work or because they took the initiative to visit early in the relationship.
The venue planner knows good food – Certainly the walls, chairs, tables, entry foyer, restrooms, and dance floor are essential parts of the event success. But fine catering involves the aromas, the complementary mix of menu items, as well as how each is presented. Why should this matter to the venue planner? He or she has to respect it, arrange the venue to allow fast service of particularly delicate dishes and sometimes make arrangements for alterations to kitchens and holding areas to accommodate it. Most important, the planner will delight in what is being served as much as the caterer.
Can a client take responsibility for making this relationship work? Not likely. Better that he or she inquire about past collaborations to see how well things worked.