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TSR Blog

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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How to: Setting a Bar For Your Event

Paul Fielding - Wednesday, December 19, 2012

You would have to say that 90% of private home events in Melbourne, Sydney, or probably anywhere in Australia, make use of some kind of bar or drink station. If you're considering setting up a bar for your upcoming event, below are some suggestions on how to make it most efficient.

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Equipment:

Most important- glasses! Think about what you'll be serving from your bar. If you're serving beer, you can safely assume that 95% of the beer-drinking population will be happy drinking straight from the bottle. Skip the beer glasses. You'll need different glasses for sparkling wine, table wines, soft drinks, and cocktails (if you're serving them). If you have 60 guests expected, think around the following ratios:

  • 45x sparkling glass
  • 30x wine glass
  • 100x soft drink/water glass (or 45 soft drink and paper cups for a water station)
  • cocktail and/or short glasses for mixed drinks, 1x per style of cocktail you're serving
If you want to save on glasswear, consider buying cans of soft drink or small bottled water. Guests and children then also have the option to help themselves. Also have an ice bucket with scoop, some large jugs (for pouring waiter, juice or mixed drinks such as punch), a wine/bottle opener, a dry tea towel and a damp cloth. Tubs/eskys are ideal for home events, as is lots of ice!

Presentation:

A simple, white cloth is a must for any table, with a drape long enough to cover the sides. This keeps your tubs and eskys hidden from sight. A market umbrella, flowers, fairy lights or wine display will only add to the setting.

Line up a third of each glass ready for service, with the remaining glasswear close by for easy replenishment. Display one of each bottle that you're serving so that guests are aware. Some hosts even print beverage menus for their guests to choose from. Good fun!

Your ice bucket and opener will be placed on the bar close to the service area. Cloths and tea towels should be kept out of sight.

Alcohol:

Up to you, party planner. You probably have a plan, and we could suggest a few extras, but for now, let's keep it simple. Any private event would go well with the following selection:

  • sparkling wine
  • 1-2 white wines
  • 1-2 red wines (more if you prefer in Winter)
  • 2 beers plus a lite beer- eg 1x local (Crown/VB/Little Creatures), 1x import (Corona/Peroni), 1x lite (Cascade/James Boags)
  • sparkling and tap water
  • coke, zero, one other alternative
In addition, consider something original for your guests:
  • punch or 'bulk' cocktail
  • cider
  • mocktail or mineral water selection
  • something for a toast (whiskey, Moet, novelty Cosmo)
  • a quality selection of tequilas, vodkas or rums (variety essential)
  • cocktail lessons
Tips:

The most important tip is to over-estimate glasswear and ice levels. So often they run out. Drink trays are good for guests on arrival. Try to begin the night with empty bins and recycling. Don't drive home! Finally, get some help: hire waiters Melbourne.

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