by Taylor Dworak
With spring and warm weather around the corner, FIG is quickly preparing for wedding season! We are hiring. It is important to have a hard working dedicated staff to withstand some typical event occurrences - long hours, anxious brides, hungry guests, nasty clean ups – and others that may not be as typical.
Since we know everyone likes a good catering “nightmare” story, here’s one from the staffing side of things: It was a casual affair with drop-off food (prepared in our kitchen and dropped off ready-to-eat at the venue), servers filling in, and a self-serve bar. The ceremony was unique – the bride and groom created an app and in order to be “officially married” they both had to change their status at the end of the ceremony. The meal was light and diverse with deviled eggs, barbecue pork, Korean potato salad, and spring rolls. The bar was full of canned beer. The décor was eclectic and included a large, candle filled chandelier (see our helpful server holding the ladder). The crowd was a little rowdy and obviously used to weddings at banquet halls where they got a table to themselves and there was plenty of space, instead of a cramped art gallery on Halsted Street. Many beers were consumed and one guest, who had been particularly loud throughout the event, took a fancy to one of our female servers. She politely declined his advances and continued with her work. As the night progressed, the advances became louder and more unwelcome until culminating in the “gentleman” slapping her on the ass. She turned around and said (as calmly as she could), “That is not appropriate sir!” Justin, who was on-site and saw the instance, told the guy to go outside and take a breather and informed the groom. Although there was much laughter about it later, it’s times like these that we’re happy to have trained staff who know how to step-in when needed and handle (sometimes uncomfortable) situations.
It’s interesting to see the many walks of life that come through our doors wanting to enter the crazy world of catering. For some of our FIG staff, working in the service industry is their career, but for many others this is their side gig to make some extra cash, work some really cool events, enjoy delicious food, and meet interesting people. You name it we got it! Our staff members are also actors, writers, teachers, nurses, students, chefs, artists, physical therapists, musicians, dance instructors and even roller derby stars! No matter what background our staff comes from, it is important they all have training and exemplify FIG. We have regular staff training sessions – some of which are boring service courses in the proper way to set a table, but typically they are more interesting with wine pairing, cheese tasting, and visits to farms or recycling facilities (yes, we do think that’s interesting). We are so proud of our staff because ultimately when people order catering they are ordering service, not food. And, every once and a while we like to have a little fun too!
Photo by Steve Ewert/Greenhouse Loft
What are some of your work horror stories?