Posted by Ned Baker on January 02, 1998 at 09:34:16 :
My business has been going strong here on the coast of southern Maine and New Hammpshire now for many years and one big reason that I can keep the competition away, besides good food, is by my guarantee. I tell my customers, in writing, that I will not run out of any item of food that they have ordered. If I do, they do not have to pay for the entire event. I have never had to pay off on this guarantee, because with my experience, I have made sure to never run out. I also make sure that I charge enough to cover the cost of all the food. Since I have kept accurate records for each event over the years, I am confident that I will have the proper amounts on hand. Before anyone would start this policy, you must keep track of what you have used for many events so you will know what you will need to cover yourself, and base your prices on the average amount. There have been a few times that I have come close to running out, but have always managed to save myself by planning in advance what I would do if it were to happen. Mike Roman once wrote in a column that one of the most important things to do for catering was to now the location of the nearest store to any event that you do. This small piece of advice has saved me from paying on my guarantee several times. The restrictions that I have are on "open invitation" gatherings or on restricted budget jobs where the customer tells me they are willing to pay less for a certain amount of food. This would be for some grand openings, office parties, etc., where they don't know what their turnout will be, and have a limited budget. I would like to hear from other caterers who use this type of guarantee, or any other types that are out there. Since none of my competitors will dare to give this, I win many bids that I may not have gotten for some reason. If you are willing to do your homework, you won't get hurt.