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The Country Enterprise Handbook
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Cooking
...For Paying Guests
>..For Functions
...For Pubs
...For Retail

To cater for functions requires a different style of cooking.

The arrangement of food is all-important. You may also find that it is necessary to provide dishes and plates. We have provided this kind of food for several people who did not feel able to produce the kind of food required but wanted to do the rest of the venture. This meant that they advertised for the business, made the arrangements and organised any china and cutlery needed, and staff as required. They ordered the food they required from us and collected it on the way to the event. This kind of sharing of responsibility can work very well in allowing people of different talents to make use of one market. It is always essential to remember that for the people for whom you are catering this is a very special event. When you are producing the fourth dressed turkey and sixth veal and ham pie on a hectic pre-Christmas Saturday this is easy to forget. It is always worth aiming for repeat business. Families that have weddings also have christenings, businesses that celebrate Christmas one year will do so again the next. If you have produced a really good table and the party was a success, the repeat business will be yours.

The biggest annoyance to many people employing caterers is when they see that you have overcatered for the event. Although nobody wants to run out of food, it is always horrifying to see great quantities being removed after the event. Although the customer will already know what he is paying, this clear evidence of waste loses many people repeat business. If you are new to catering for numbers, you may find that this is your biggest headache. If you cannot stand the thought of undercatering then at least keep your back-up supplies out of sight. The customer will appreciate if you explain that you always have an emergency back-up in case of ravenous appetites. He will not appreciate seeing two half-carved turkeys being removed when one clearly would have done.

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