Bethany Neal (Position: Catering & Sales Director)
“My weeks are filled with lots of planning and organizing. Mondays are work days to wrap up financials from the prior week, payroll, sales packets, invoice payment and check writing. Throughout the week, keeping an eye on execution in the kitchen and catering coordinators who deliver the service we provide. Timing is always important with catering, being able to visualize the big picture and orchestrate the day while supporting your team that produces the events is vital. We cater an average 1-5 breakfasts for our corporate partners in a week, which requires early mornings starting between 5am and 6am. Our corporate work is very important to us, and some days we have 5 lunches going out at the same time, but on average have 2-3 corporate lunches any given weekday. Evening and weekend events follow after lunches go out and include evening socials, corporate happy hours and about 2/3 of the year we have weddings every weekend. Catering birthdays, anniversaries, reunions and showers are always a great piece of business on the weekends as well. On an administration level, I plan our next week’s events around Wednesday and Thursday, send out the schedule to staff and wrap up any final event details needed before they go in to production. We also manage our marketing, social media, sales plan and sales work throughout the weeks. Overall, some weeks keep our management team working 10-12 hours days, and other weeks we have lighter events and can work an average 8-10 hour day. While requiring lots of hard work, catering and sales is very fulfilling to me. My motto to live by is, “Its not about me, its about our guests”. Putting yourself last, building and coaching your staff, always hiring for the better and making lasting relationships with your colleagues and clients are what drive me to improve myself daily and be the best for the company I work for every day.”
(This is one of my favorite photos with a favorite wedding couple, our company is also affiliated with the Blue Moose Food Truck www.moosetruck.com)
Devyn Roberts (Position: Catering & Events Manager)
“Morning: Wake. Fulfill basic hygienic needs. Go to dryer to find presentable work clothes that I washed the night before. Rush around to try to make it out the door in time. Battle I-35 traffic all the way here as if the other cars are Persians and I am King Leonidas. Arrive to work. COFFEE. Plug into the laptop to check all the emails I received since I left work the day before. Make sure all events are in order for the day and all is running on schedule.
Late morning/Afternoon: This time really consists of making sure all the events get out the door on time. I Normally hold the event order and call around to people to make sure they have what they need, and if not, act as a middle man to the chefs on how long it will be before it is ready. Once all orders are safe and secure in the delivery vans and on their way to our wonderful clients, I retreat back to the office to regain composure. This is the stressful part of the day as we normally have multiple orders leaving at the same time. LUNCH!
Late Afternoon/Evening: This time is used for sales work (making new friends!), networking (more friends!!), working on solidifying bookings, random tasks around the office (supply ordering, cleaning, inventory), and preparing for the next day’s events. Packing out for the next day’s events is time consuming but essential in making sure our team has everything they need for success and to help the next day go as smooth as possible.
Our team here is pretty solid. We all have our strengths and weaknesses that blend together and keep us a well-oiled machine. We all jump in and help doing tasks and getting our hands dirty to make sure everything is to the guests liking. We are like a little family; we love each other, give constructive criticism when needed, and our daily interactions revolve around our big kitchen table… that we extend to our guests (you!).”
Austin Hunzeker (Position: Sales & Event Manager)
“My week typically starts at 7:00 am Monday morning when I wake up and look at Gather (The app we use to execute our events) to see what the week holds for us. There can be 20+ events that week or maybe just 2. It ebbs and flows depending on the week and time of year. I have my coffee and rush to get to work by 8:00am. Once at the office I respond to any and all e-mails I received over the weekend, and check to make sure all events for the week have deposits paid, menus set, set up notes prepped, and the guest is pleased with what we have planned. By then it’s typically around 10am and I start to clean-up and do laundry from the events we had over the weekend. I straighten up our “pack-out” area and usually clean the front part of the office, so it looks good for guests coming in for tastings that week. By 11am most of our lunches need to be heading out the door. My director, associate, and I are in the back making sure our staff is completely prepped and ready for the event they are executing that day. If we don’t have the staff that day we will do the drop offs ourselves. It’s nice to be on the operating side sometimes because you get to actually meet the client that you have been e-mailing and talking to over the phone. I’d say about 50% of the time I have not personally met the client, which is completely different from what I was used to when I was the Event Manager at Blue Moose. Around noon, we generally start discussing about what we want for lunch. Then we buckle down for Sales work for the afternoon. We do cold calls and e-mails to clients we haven’t heard from for a while and some new leads we receive from our local Chambers of Commerce. I also write Thank-you notes to every client we did events for or they held an event in one of our private rooms. Our staff usually does pick-ups around 2, so we help them unpack, do dishes, start new loads of laundry, and get everything picked up and re-organized again. By 3:00pm I start going a little antsy, so I take a 15min snack/stretch break, and then help Devyn get pack-outs ready for the next day. This can take anywhere from 15min to an hour and a half depending on the events the following day. After we do that we follow up with the last of our e-mails, make a few last phone calls, and make sure everything is wrapped up for the day. I turn out my lights and head home. At home I’m still responding to e-mails till I go to bed. Then I wake up and do it all again the next day!”