Booking a large catering gig is a cause for celebration—it’s a major accomplishment with the potential for a great payoff (and some valuable word-of-mouth marketing to boot). You’ll have the opportunity to place your culinary stylings in front of dozens or hundreds of new guests. At the end of the night, you’ll feel the accomplishment only a job well done can bring.
But before you can start rejoicing and planning how you’ll spend that extra revenue boost, make sure you’re ready to handle these five potential challenges for caterers working a large event. With a combination of prior planning and catering business insurance, you can make sure it’s an event to remember for all the right reasons.
Last-Minute Menu Changes
You’re slated to serve guacamole-and-bacon burgers to an entire business luncheon, but there’s a hiccup: an area-wide avocado shortage in the weeks leading up to your event makes it impossible to get the volume of produce you need at a halfway reasonable price. You’re in a bind because your client contract specifies this dish. You’ll either have to work with them to find a substitute in time or risk their displeasure.
Everything from natural disasters to clients outright changing their minds can alter menu plans. As a caterer, you must be ready to think on your feet to make an event work despite the odds.
It’s no easy feat planning for a fleet of vans carrying carefully stacked trays, utensils and containers full of food. One accident on the road could jeopardize the entire affair. Make sure you have responsible, experienced commercial drivers at the wheel. Always plan for delays like construction, traffic and unexpected mishaps. And, if your van is involved in an accident, you’ll want some level of commercial auto insurance, whether it’s bare minimum liability coverage or full-blown comprehensive coverage.
Battling the Elements
Rain on your wedding day is a cultural cliché at this point. But what about on the day of your big event? You can’t serve soggy hamburger buns to drenched guests. You’ll need to prepare for adverse conditions like high winds, rain, snow, hail and more. You may need special rain gear, tents or even a contingency plan—plus property coverage to protect against financial damages.
Working with Food Allergies
There’s always the possibility a guest with an allergy or aversion to certain food will need special accommodations. As the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology notes, it’s difficult to prevent cross-contact in large batches of pre-prepared foods. The only solution is efficient communication between guests, event planners and your catering company to ensure everyone stays safe. Otherwise you could risk an unpleasant scene and even a lawsuit.
Cleaning Up and Loading Out
At the end of a large event, the guests get to leave. Your team, on the other hand, has significant cleanup and loading out to handle. It’s just as important to plan the end of the evening as the beginning to prevent damage, confusion or even a breach of contract.
Catering business insurance exists to help protect your property and finances in case the unexpected occurs while you’re working an event of any size. Explore rates and quotes for free with CoverHound!