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TSR Blog

Corporate Event Catering Melbourne- Why Choose a Corporate Event Caterer?

Paul Fielding - Sunday, February 23, 2014

Should your company use corporate event caterers? Yes, but only the good ones.

Corporate event catering is used by companies all over Melbourne to provide an easy and affordable way to dine employees or clients. There are many benefits to using corporate event catering to your company. Companies that hire corporate caterers for business events show that they value their clients or employees and show the appreciation of their service. It also boosts morale and productivity and can be an important team building exercises between employees. Clients also feel special when they’re being treated to a special catering event. Providing these catering services to your employees or clients is known to build a stronger relationships and develop trust and loyalty which has a great impact on businesses in the long term. Happy and satisfied employees work harder and stay in their positions longer than unhappy employees in similar positions and current or potential clients respond well to the preferential treatment.

Corporate event catering can also be a great way to launch a brand new product or service. By hiring professional corporate event caterers in Melbourne you can reach your potential clients in a way that conventional advertising methods are unable to do. Current or future clients will be impressed by the lavish catering displays and the professionalism of a corporate event. Corporate event caterers can help you plan and execute an incredible event for your clients. For caterers in Melbourne with a team of dedicated executive chefs and highly-trained staff there is no event they can’t cater that doesn’t receive immense benefits from corporate catering.

One of the biggest benefits to corporate event catering is that everyone’s needs can be met and the options are limitless. Whether you simply want an easy sandwich lunch or an elaborate reception with a restaurant-style catered meal there are options for everyone with event catering. Using corporate event caterers in Melbourne also removes the need to place expensive and intricate orders with local restaurants and ensures your business receives the quality food and reliable service for a fixed price that it deserves. Corporate event catering is an easy way to provide meals that cover all your bases and don’t leave any employees or clients feeling left out. Groups of any size can be catered and there are many corporate event caterers in Melbourne who are more than willing to fill the most special or unique order. Employees and clients will be very impressed by events that are properly catered and the simple success of a catered event will crossover into the success of your business.

If you’re looking for a corporate event caterer in Melbourne it’s important to do your research beforehand. Many catering companies provide a wide range of fair and affordable service to meet of your specific or unique requirements. Be sure to negotiate everything with the company you choose to ensure you’re happy and that they can satisfy your catering requirements. There are hardly any disadvantages to using a corporate catering service in Melbourne. Your employees and clients will be highly impressed if you choose the right one!




Finger Food Catering Melbourne- How to Cater to a Foodie Market

Paul Fielding - Sunday, February 09, 2014

How do you select a menu that will satisfy every guest you’ve invited to your special event? How do make sure they leave muttering “I think that was the best food I’ve ever had at a wedding”, as they share a taxi home. Be it a wedding, engagement, or corporate event you find yourself responsible for, let us explain a proven menu selection and format derived from our years of finger food catering Melbourne that will inspire and delight your guests or VIPs.

The city of Melbourne is known for its passion and love of food. This makes it hard to satisfy everyone, and choosing a specific catering package is pretty tough. Fortunately finger food catering, known also as canapé, substantial canapé, or ‘roving’ menus, solves this problem, and works to cater to everyone’s needs.

Variety is King

The Chinese and other Asian cuisines are famous for it- choice. Sharing 3, 4, even 8 dishes in a single setting, and tasting many different dishes.

With finger food catering there is literally something for everyone. There are a wide selection of finger food catering options available in Melbourne and it’s important to have an idea of any specific flavours or themes you’d like to see in your menu. Finger food items are great for private parties because of the variety of options and the fact that it’s fun to try new food. In the corporate market, finger food catering ensures guests are free to mingle and network as they eat, and the food even become a talking point or ‘ice-breaker’ for people meeting for the first time.

Suggested menu format:

  • 2-4 chilled canapés (inc 1x veg, 1x seafood)
  • 4-8 warm canapés (inc 1x veg, 1x game, 3x other protein)
  • 1-2 substantial items
  • 1-2 sweet canapés

Economics

With a domestic kitchen, limited space or a unique setting chosen for your event, a menu may be tailored highlighting delicious, yet easy to prepare items featuring fresh seafood or Asian salads. Conversely, create a 10 or 15 piece feast fit for any ultra-VIP event, and show your guests the range of produce and cuisine Melbourne is famous for, much like a 3-hatted chef would do via a degustation.

With the absence of cutlery, crockery, and varied kitchen equipment (not to mention the chef labour!) usually required to prepare and plate a seated banquet, your finger food catering will not only present your guests with a varied spread, you’ll save A LOT of money on equipment hire and cleaning fees.

Wait staff require much less time to set up for a canapé event, and similarly require almost no time to pack up. An excellent option if you have a time limit for guests to depart or for a venue to be vacated.

Suggested food amounts (items per person):

  • 6 pieces- late afternoon or early evening event (no substantial), approx. $25pp
  • 8 pieces- moderate eaters, in lieu of seated meal (1-2 substantial), approx. $40pp
  • 10+ pieces- good eaters, in lieu of seated meal (2-3 substantial), approx. $55pp

Client Input

Many food catering companies in Melbourne will be happy to put together a custom package for you as well if you’re unable to find something that suits your needs. The finger food catering options are quite endless. There are lactose free, gluten free, nut free, vegetarian, vegan, and healthy options among countless others to choose from for dietary specific guests or groups.

In Melbourne you can find a variety of companies with great packages and fair prices. With all the advantages of finger food catering it’s hard to imagine why anyone would choose anything else! We hope this knowledge has been useful- if you have any feedback or an event you would like to discuss, please contact us today.


*pricing estimates include chef labour, but may be subject to GST and delivery. Please contact us if you require specific quoting or pricing.


Guest Post: How to Find a Hospitality Job in Australia

Paul Fielding - Friday, February 07, 2014

For people from abroad, finding a way to earn a little income while seeing the continent of Australia means locating a job. Within the hospitality industry, there are many positions which are appropriate for temporary workers. Choosing part time work means that the hours are variable so that you can probably work as much or as little as you choose. Working in a hospitality job is a great way to learn about a particular part of the country. Here are some tips you need to know about working in Australian hospitality positions.

Although there are many types of work available in Australia, within the hospitality industry, approximately one of every eight people find work. People work as bartenders and bar workers. People are needed to prepare food and serve it in restaurants and cafes. There are wait staff needed for celebratory events and corporate catering functions, including within a boardroom or conference room. Chefs at various levels, including head chefs, chefs de partie and sous chefs are found in operating kitchens of all sizes. Baristas work in coffee houses and sommeliers are able to find work in fine dining establishments. Other hospitality related jobs include customer service, valets, concierge and butlers.

The pay for this type of work is generally good. Tips are not as common as in other parts of the world, but are becoming more acceptable. The usual rate is ten percent. Three types of pay are found. Casual work, permanent part time, and full-time salary pay rates. For the casual worker, the first category generally offers the best reimbursement rates. Some employers of permanent part-time and full time employees provide generous benefit packages.

Jobs are found in locations throughout the country. The best paying jobs are in the cities of Sydney and Melbourne, either with waiter hire agencies or similar temporary wait staff hire services. There are also many positions available in Queensland, from Cairns to the Gold Coast. There are also a few jobs at resort locations such as on the islands. These jobs are open almost year around. There are employment peaks around major sporting events in all areas of the country.

There are some regulations involved with working in Australia. If you plan to work in a bar, you will need a training course for serving alcohol. In many of the states, this certificate can be obtained online, which means you can obtain the registration before leaving home. You will need the appropriate visas. In some states, you need to register to work in casinos or where gambling occurs.

Finding the jobs is probably best by working through an agency. You can apply after your arrival through one of the many agencies. Online access is available for most today. You will need to maintain your correct status where the visa is concerned.

Working in the hospitality industry in Australia can be an easy way to earn your keep and extend your stay beyond a tourist status. The work is pleasant and requires little experience for the casual worker. It's a way to learn more about the country while covering your day-to-day expenses.

Natasha, from Singapore, joined us in 2013, and is very passionate about helping fellow international casual and professional hospitality staff find quality work and conditions on which to stamp their skills.   

Corporate Catering- Introduction to Event Planning and Operations

Paul Fielding - Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Setting up a successful corporate catering or finger food catering event is not a simple task. If you are involved in the hospitality industry, or new to a role in planning or booking corporate events, you know that a large event requires a level of planning that is only possible when there is a skilled and experienced staff in charge of the operations. Every detail of the event is planned and implemented from decorations to clean up. Coordinating all of the elements requires experience, connections with service providers and some creativity as well.

A corporate catering event may be part of various occasions. These include holidays, both public and private. The event may be a corporate gathering for training or rewards such as sales performance. When a company has an event to celebrate a successful year of business, hiring a corporate caterer to handle all the operational details ensures that it will go smoothly. 

The size of the event doesn't matter, in one sense. Corporate caterers can as easily arrange an event for a dozen dinner guests as for a gathering of 40,000 people. The level of planning varies somewhat, but the principles are the same. People who come to an event want attractively prepared and presented food, seating, facilities for sanitation and equipment such as sound systems available. In addition, there must be staff to do the food preparation, serving and cleanup. 

Because of the talents and skills of the catering staff, menus can be exciting as well as easy to prepare. Certain types of meals are more popular with large groups, but they are not the only options. Even large groups can be fed innovative and well-prepared dishes in an efficient manner. 

Choosing a theme for the event is often a first step in the process. The theme may be limited by the location, but everything else ties into the theme. Coming up with ideas for a theme requires creativity. In addition, the corporate caterer must stay within a budget. The food, decorations and even the entertainment will all relate to the selected theme. 

Arranging for an adequate number of people to do the food preparation, cooking and serving of food. Trained waitstaff are desired when there are many people to be served. The more casual jobs such as setting up tables and cleaning up after the meal doesn't require the same type of skills, but does require efficiency and a recognition of the characteristics of the job. 

Events can take place indoors or outdoors. Each of the locations has its own challenges and limitations.  Weather related challenges can be a problem outdoors. Indoors, there may issues with noise levels, space and temperature control. If the guest list is limited, there is usually a need for service personnel such as security officers. 

Hiring an individual or firm to handle corporate catering and event operations ensures that the entire program will proceed in a well-planned and organized manner. A host of details go into planning of a successful event. It is best to obtain the services of a knowledgeable and experienced planner to handle the organizational details for the event.

If you require any corporate catering in Melbourne or Sydney, be sure to contact us today. 

Open letter to non-TSR clients...

Paul Fielding - Friday, December 20, 2013
The pre-Christmas Friday. Generic emails from the CEO, managing partner, the ladies now on maternity leave. Those retiring, those just starting. "Refresh, rest, recharge, and see you in 2014 for another killer year!" Is it time to drink yet?

Then there's the hampers from the clients. And suppliers. And more emails. Seriously, is it time to drink yet??

We can tell you two things. One, TSR's clients have been thanked. Not just today, but on every occasion that to us they allocate their valuable time and business. And each in their own way- whether a handshake in the kitchen, or over dinner 2 weeks ago, they know their value to our business, and how much we enjoy servicing their's, no matter how large, small, daily, or inconsistent.

Two, we will not rest. We will reflect, re-energise and plan. No rest, because we don't want to rest until your business is enjoying our hospitality and corporate service. Until your goals are aligned with ours in providing Australia's premier boardroom catering package to your clients, partners and staff.

We'll spend your time off thinking of ways to show how we can improve on your current service. You may wish to align with a more sustainable supplier? We have no bricks and mortar, or printers. Our footprint is what we leave in your elevator. You may want a menu with no 2 dishes the same? Or an exclusive menu for your site? We source from small local meat, seafood and produce suppliers and markets- you may wish to do the same. As business owners, we're suited up with our waiters daily, teaching and encouraging the next crop of boardroom specialists, whilst still learning a thing or 2 ourselves.

Yes, it's time to drink. It's time to celebrate, have the rest, have the family time, and reward yourselves for a great year. And when you come back to work in Jan or Feb, looking for ways to re-invigorate your business as you have re-invigorated yourself, you know where to find the solution that can not rest, until your hospitality service is the best it can be.

Staffing Consistency Solution- Venues for Hire

Paul Fielding - Monday, November 25, 2013

This time of year the remnants of different caterers, wait staff agencies and event companies lie in the most obvious (and some a little less) of places around venues and event spaces for hire. Running sheets pinned or taped to kitchen walls. Copies of timesheets and menus strategically supported between boxes, utensils or glasswear. Cutlery and crockery mixed up, unpolished, in empty or overflowing cupboards that weren't full yesterday. More concerning, invoices or detailed quotes making up part of an event file.

Venue owners and managers have it tough enough keeping up with multiple events, cleaning, bump-ins and outs, especially this time of year. If there is pool of caterers coming and going with their own wait staff, equipment and paperwork, maybe it's time to consider hiring out the venue with a wait staff team and event supervisor as part of the package. A more and more popular decision with venues around the city, the option is popular for 2 main reasons- consistency and revenue. More specifically:

  • time poor venue managers have the support of a dedicated supervisor, ready to open, close or turn-over the space to your exact preference.
  • to share and teach the layout of the venue and operations to ensure all equipment is maintained and replaced exactly where it belongs.
  • to stop answering the same questions day after day for casual front of house staff- "where is the...?" "where do these go?" "what needs to be done before we leave?", etc.
  • to advertise a formal wait staff service as a value-add to clients, and instant revenue stream to the business. Most caterers charge around $45-50 p/hr for wait staff, invoicing over $500 for every 50 guests. Our client's average profit using this approach is 30% of generated revenue.
  • access to a dedicated pool purely on demand- no events? no staff costs.
With the support of the right agency, this is a win-win situation. Improved service to clients, venue standards upheld, more time for venue management to concentrate on growing and managing their business, and profit that may never have been considered. Certainly enough for the holiday most are counting down to in January!  

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7 Tips to Improve Boardroom Service

Paul Fielding - Thursday, November 21, 2013
1. Invest in Nespresso. 
An investment in a better coffee, substituting any type of filter/plunger coffee. Less labour to set up than a coffee station, especially in larger numbers, and less to pack away. Quality remains consistent, where other vessels may drop in temperature and quality after a mere 10 minutes. Stock with Bio paper cups for an internal/less formal meeting/training session.


*Tip: leave your machine/s on trestle tables or permanent trolleys if you have the storage. Wheel wherever is required an keep fully stocked for instant set-ups.


2. Ice the iced water.
Not rocket science right? Too often still water in jugs is straight from the tap, where in Sydney especially is probably 6-10 degrees. Clients/guests notice a frosty glass when poured.


3. Stock up.
Bite the bullet, and have enough of everything! Cutlery/crockery/plates. If there are different sets for formal/internal/staff floors etc, have enough and keep them separated. Donate the remnants of old settings to staff kitchens or the Salvos.


4. Pay less for agency staff, and tell your full timers. 
Why wouldn't senior permanent staff be frustrated by your company paying an agency twice their wage for a couple of stop-gap waiters, with half their experience? Ease the tension and balance up with the same quality, at a significantly lower rate.


5. Communicate.
Work on hand-over and briefing procedures. Something can always be improved. Inadvertently boost morale and break down kitchen/floor/AV/IT/shared services divides.


6. Keep improving the coffee.
Now that the plungers are history (thanks point #1), offer formal events, breakfasts, morning/afternoon teas and sandwich lunches espresso coffee. Many people will still refuse anyway, but importantly the one's that accept won't forget. More importantly, your table is free from pre-set tea and coffee cups, as every boardroom in 2013 should be.


7. Bubbles.
For the budget-relaxed, a carbonated zip tap is a great labour saving tool. Reduces bottle waste, fridge space and weekly ordering of sparkling water. Just wish we invented it...  



What's your tip to add a little polish or efficiency to your operations? Tell us by tweeting @TSRHospitality or email paul@tsrcorporateservices.com.au and we'll add it to our list, with a full credit of course! Thanks for reading.

Cutting to the Point

Paul Fielding - Thursday, August 08, 2013

Sandwiches. Points of sandwiches. Can't go wrong with them, can't run a corporate catering business without them. But imagine hosting 4-5 lunches per week, even with rotating daily ingredients, isn't it time to step up the traditional sandwich lunch from 'default' to something better?

Below are a couple of ideas we've developed with corporate clients, aimed at showing people that a sandwich doesn't have to be the cheapest or easiest menu for their less formal internal or client lunches. 

1. Asia

Taking inspiration from Australia's love of Asian street food, soups and sushi, we're now offering clients choices such as noodle boxes, pho and bento boxes, within the relative budget allowances of a typical sandwich lunch. Even a basic hokkien  noodle with fresh greens and a simple sauce is being received with far more excitement than an Asian twist on a sandwich or wrap.

Though Winter is coming to a close, a hot serve of pho full of poached chicken, rice noodle, mint and coriander is a much better way to enjoy your lunch meeting- just remove the tie to be safe...

2. Buffet

With a little more of a Western twist, why not try a buffet including a protein choice, with 2 or 3 varied salads? Lamb cutlets, Tasmanian Salmon fillets and roasted Chicken may feature as the hearty element of the buffet, with a combination of healthy and luxurious salads ranging from green beans with chili, beetroot and feta, to a creamy quail egg and baby potato featuring on our current menus.

So the next time your corporate catering needs require a change-up, give us a call!

Hire Wait Staff for Wedding

Paul Fielding - Tuesday, February 05, 2013

As you're putting together your wedding, you've realised you need a professional presence to ensure important tasks such as serving guests beverages, serving and clearing tables, preparing and roving finger food, and most importantly, event cleanliness, are taken care of. You need to hire wait staff for wedding...

Every weekend across Melbourne, brides and wedding planners are assessing options to either create an extravagant gala, maybe in the bush, a hired venue, or even their backyard, or maybe a low-key wedding to which the service of wedding waiters for hire makes a perfect alternative to "auntie's help" in the kitchen. If it is the latter, auntie, sister-in-law, best friends and bridesmaids may say they're happy to cook and serve on the day, but we can assure you that when it comes to ensuring drinks are cold, people are fed, and glasses are topped up, they have been known to go missing! Not to mention when it comes time to cleaning up dinner!!

Hiring professional waiters for your wedding keeps catering costs down, with our wait staff trained in food prep and service. If it's a VIP event you're looking to bring together, again, the hire wait staff for your wedding are accustomed to corporate and private event life all over Melbourne, and bring years of experience to an event that perhaps will require the presence of someone in a supervisory role.

We have looked after backyard weddings, marquees, 'off-the-grid' special sites and VIP galas with our wedding wait staff. Phone us for a quote and more information specific to your plans.   



Wait Staff Personnel of European Restaurants

Paul Fielding - Tuesday, January 08, 2013

After a little interest and a little research based on wait staff hire Sydney and the different roles wait staff play around the world, we've condensed our reading and research in to a glossary below. Much of our reading came from one source, which you can read about here. In Australia, you will certainly find a hierarchy within restaurants, particularly fine dining, but it's very refreshing to see the black and white career path of a professional waiter from this revered European dining culture.

Maitre d'hotel is the main man (or woman!). They are the manager of the restaurant, and responsible staffing the shift, training, greeting guests, and managing any issues. They are the main link between kitchen and floor, and ensure quality standards in food and service are met. Here in Australia, it is commonly known that the "Maitre 'd" may be the head waiter, or primarily responsible for greeting guests and managing bookings, however there will almost certainly be a restaurant manager on shift they report to.

The Maitre d'hotel will have up to 3 Assistant Managers on shift to support them. The AMs will look after important tasks such as greeting guests, managing tables and bookings, perhaps assisting wait staff at the pass, answering phones or preparing bills and accepting payments.

The Sommelier, also known in Australian fine dining restaurants, is responsible for the wine list. They will source and stock a selection of wines to compliment the restaurant and its menu, and whilst on shift, recommend, open, test and pour wines for guests. Not restricted to wines in Europe, they will also look after their range of apertifs and digestives.

Working with the AMs, 2-3 Station de tete waiters seat guests, explain the menu, and take food orders. Having only 2-3 staff responsible for taking food orders should allow the kitchen respite between tickets, and promote a smooth service period.

Next in the brigade is Chef du rang, 1-2 of whom are allocated to each Station de tete. Their role is table side dining on the Gueridon, and they do most of the serving. Each Chef du rang may have the support of a Demi Chef du rang who will assist with serving, setting perfect tables, and maintaining and stocking the Gueridon.

As with a kitchen brigade, a Commis will do the ground work. Allocated 1 to each station, it is their role to ensure the cutlery is polished, stations are stocked, tables are cleared and re set properly, and napkins are folded. They will clear plates from diners, but not serve.

Is there a restaurant or a market in Sydney for such a brigade? In the Aussie fashion, we may be too relaxed and not focused enough on service traditions/professionalism to carry out such specific roles. Our wait staff hire Sydney encompasses factors in all of these roles, but not so specifically broken down. If you would like to read any further info regarding wait staff hire in Sydney, please visit by following the link.




    
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