For those working in the hospitality industry, reliable supplier relationships are everything. Event planners, venue owners, and others who provide food services can benefit substantially from working with a reliable caterer.
Finding the right supplier is just the first step, though. Read on to find some suggestions for building a meaningful supplier relationship with the right caterer.
What to Look For
There’s no sense in putting in the effort to build a relationship with a caterer who won’t provide reliable service and high-quality food. Look for a company that offers prompt delivery, flexibility, creative menu options, and highly trained staff.
Event planners, venue owners, and other professionals looking for a caterer that offers exceptional service at competitive prices can visit Stamford Catering Services to get the search started on the right foot.
Communicate Expectations Clearly
Communication is the key to building a strong supplier relationship. If the catering service knows exactly what clients want, its employees will be better able to meet their unique needs.
Don’t just expect the caterer to create entirely new menu items, though. Most caterers allow some changes to buffet menus and some can accommodate guests with dietary restrictions. Expect multiple requests for menu changes to cost more and make sure to clearly communicate dietary needs and preferences well in advance.
Put It on Paper
All professional businessmen should be willing to provide written estimates and a written contract that details the ins and outs of what menu items and services will be provided. Clients should review these documents carefully to ensure that their expectations are in line with the caterer’s expectations. Perform negotiations and request changes to the contract as needed before signing so that everyone is on the same page.
Give Plenty of Notice
Event planners and venue managers should get in touch with their chosen catering services as soon as they receive a request for food service. Since hospitality industry planners and managers work as middlemen between their clients and vendors, it can take some time to pin down all the details. Making reservations well in advance will ensure that the caterer will have plenty of staff available and will be able to accommodate the order.
Keep in mind that caterers also have to work with food vendors, and they’ll also need advanced notice to fulfill large orders. Everyone in this supply chain can do his or her part by placing orders early and informing relevant parties of any changes as soon as possible.
Think of Them as Partners
Without caterers, event planners wouldn’t be able to provide their clients with valuable services. Think of these professionals more as partners than faceless vendors.
Maintain a positive professional relationship even when business is slow and stay on top of any changes in menus, business practices, and pricing. This will make negotiations and meeting expectations easier when business picks up again.
The Bottom Line
Caterers provide a valuable service not just to event planners and venue managers, but also to their clients. Thankfully, most event planners get into their fields because they love working with others to craft comprehensive plans and ensure that their clients and all their guests have a good time.
Treat caterers and other vendors, suppliers, and service providers with respect, communicate expectations clearly and make sure the client pays up on time to maintain a positive working relationship.