Standard Procedure

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Posted by Carl on January 26, 19100 at 09:57:55 :

In Reply to: leftovers posted by Nancy Shadomy on January 25, 19100 at 13:02:24 :

: Im always in a dilema about leftovers... is there any standard procedure? Thanks Nancy

This is an emotional issue. Leftovers. The client feels that they have paid for them so what is the big deal? Well, if you are like most caterers, you prepare more food than ordered. If they guarantee and pay for 150 guest, you may have enough to feed 175. If the 150 show up and eat, you have fulfulled your contract, the "backup food" belongs to the caterer to do with as you wish.

There are several approaches, you can put the above in your "agreement". You can state that your insurance does not allow guests or the client to take leftover food. I have found that when I put that in the contract, it causes controversy before they have even booked. So I have taken it out.

I normally will give the client "some" leftovers to satisfy them, when they have had a low turnout. I usually address it before they have a chance. I say, there are some leftovers here. I will leave you some of the items that I believe are safe or I will deliver to the soup kitchen in your name, but the chicken salad must be discarded. That usually works.

Be aware that you do not know how your food will be handled or reheated or who it will be served to the next day. "This chicken is tough, who did you say catered your event last night?"

Make it a point to "hold back" some of your back up in a cambro or cooler. They will not see that. but I have a case where after an event, the grandmother opened a cooler and saw back up of strawberries, chicken salad etc... She said, " I wants that food, cuz we have paid fors it." I said, "I am sorry but what you paid for was 150 guest, I fed 150 guest, this is the back up in case you had 200 guest, we would be prepared. Since this food has been properly handled, I can do two things, I can take it back to my shop or I can sell it to you for 200.00, I will even deliver it to your house, will that be cash or check?"
She quickly said, "Nah, that's ok"

Main thing, dont get too anal about leftovers, if they had a low turnout, they are stressed and disappointed, so be nice and give them some,(they did pay for it) But have them sign a waiver, "This food was safe when originally served, Premier Catering is not responsible for the food once it leaves the event. Please keep the food at 40f and do not hold more than ___ days."

Hope this helps.

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