Logistical issues that arise the day of the event may involve the simplest of miscommunication but create the biggest headaches. Ask the caterer these three questions for a successful event!
Question #1: What time will you arrive?
Your caterer should always communicate the time they need to arrive, unload, and begin to prepare in order to fulfill the requested start time of the event. This will alleviate any assumptions as to how long the space may be occupied by the caterer and client. For examples, if the client has only provided the caterer 30 minutes to arrive and prepare, this could leave everyone scrambling to prepare. Understanding when the caterer has planned to arrive will also alert you if they are late!
Question #2: Does the venue require special licensing?
Many office buildings in Chicago have very specific delivery rules and regulations. Most large buildings require deliveries on a cart to enter though the loading dock rather the front door. An experienced caterer will be proactive in requesting the building requirements prior to delivery. The regulations will require the caterer to request a Certificate of Insurance for delivery into the building and are typically required before delivering and conducting business. Improper licensing and insurance requirements can significantly delay the start time, or legally prevent the event from occurring.
Question #3: Can we do a walk through?
Allowing a few extra minutes for an experienced catering manager should generally suffice for any additional navigation through a new business space A major mistake a caterer will learn from is failing to request a walk through, especially if a prep area or a water source is needed. A walk through will also provide the caterer and the client with valuable facetime that will create a mutual understanding when accommodating day of requests or needs from either party. A walk through will naturally invite more discussion than a basic floor plan or a verbal description of the space.
Asking these questions will eliminate a ton of day of anxieties and create realistic expectations, both of which result in positive experiences and happy guests at your event.