The Caterers Corner
Board meeting luncheon "protocol" Caterers Corner: Board meeting luncheon "protocol"
By Msmjp (Msmjp) on Monday, March 10, 2003 - 08:39 pm: Edit

Hi everyone, been checking out your excellent advice, and thought I'd consult the seasoned professionals for some insight. I will be providing a served lunch for 10 board members and attorneys at the annual board meeting for a very large corporation. Upon visiting their headquarters, I found out that they will be eating immediately after their meeting, at the same table as the meeting was conducted. The tiny kitchen is RIGHT there by the boardroom- drop- even-a-knife-and-everyone-will-hear-it close! My questions- how and when should the table be set? Once they finish and are ready to eat, should the server actually set places and just kinda work around them, or bring out everything as needed? I hope this doesn't sound too goofy, but I've really never done a meeting of this nature before and want to be prepared. Tried to research the subject but no luck. Thank you for any help you can offer!

By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 02:23 pm: Edit

If you can set up the table before the meeting great!
If not, you might have them take a 5-10 min. break after the meeting in order for you to set up the table.
Ask the host's preference!

By Msmjp (Msmjp) on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 09:01 pm: Edit

Thank you, Chefmanny, great idea! I didn't know if that would be acceptable or not.

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Tuesday, March 11, 2003 - 10:15 pm: Edit

Working lunches are best sereved using rolled silver ware and coffee/drink stations. It's best to stay away from the table except for clearing.

By Msmjp (Msmjp) on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 - 11:03 pm: Edit

Cheftim, thanx, I had def planned on using the rolled silver, the stations can be incorporated as well.

By Mbw (Mbw) on Thursday, March 13, 2003 - 12:40 pm: Edit

How did it turn out?

I recently did a VIP board meeting where most of the participants were being flown in from Europe. The company was a large financial firm, and you could FEEL them losing money by the second. We're are talking millions in losses per day I would imagine. This guy acted like he had more money than GOD, but god was gaining fast. The office mgr had scheduled us to arrive for setup at 6:30 AM to serve by 7:30. Our menu consisted of hot potatoes, bacon, and fresh scrambled eggs as well as all the basic continental options too.

Nice boardroom, side "executive" kitchen (and an executive pisser too!). Basic office setup.

When we arrived at the loading dock in the pouring rain at 6AM, security told us there was no one upstairs, and that the loading dock didn't open until 7AM AND "NO we can not come in the front to use the elevators that WERE in operation."

HM?? The client insisted that arrangements had been made with security, and that SHE would be there to let us in.

7AM we had access to the building, we did the set up ASAP and I was delivering the first batch of fresh eggs to the chafer by 7:35.

The big bass was furious!!! (The boss was too)

"We were supposed to be serving by 7:30 you're late!" he says.

#1 blame someone else:
"Sorry we are doing what we can your personal secretary made a mistake it is her fault."

#2 Whip flip, and smile:
We ARE ready to go right now, and here is your first batch of yummy fresh scrambled eggs. If anyone enjoys their eggs a bit softer, or likes them well done, just let me know, and I will make them right up.

#3 give a clue:
Gee its only 5 minutes lighten up.

#4 Advanced clue AKA "reality check" (or stop check as they case may be)
Look buddy your portfolio may be worth several million dollars, but right now to ME you are only worth 4K, no more no less. We are sorry you are so freaked about a 5-minute lag get over it. Your guests have and they are enjoying all this great food right now. Please move I have work to do.

#5 Confront, and divert:
I am so sorry, we know we are late, but we had a problem with security this morning, and we were unavoidably delayed. Please accept our apologies.

Myself I opened with a #5, and followed by a an ongoing #2 act. It may have been the fault of the Bosses PA, but I didn't want to get her fired.


BTW The second day the guests had relaxed, and when we served breakfast their board room had more of a country kitchen feel. I also learned that if you explain to a Frenchman, or ANY European for that matter, that a dish is low fat he will either look at you all puzzled, or avoid the dish, and thank you for your warning.

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