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Catering for 120 guests at "the last minute"

"An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing" ~ Dale Carnegie. We did NOT plan on taking preparing catering for 120 guests at Palmer College, 24 hours before the event. However, that's the restaurant life. You have to be able to pivot and adjust as you go. Sure, sometimes it's simply not possible to satisfy last-minute catering orders. However, there are 3 factors that that make it possible to prepare and deliver on time: teamwork, over-communication, systems. Teamwork

Team work makes the dream work. The dream is to have multiple Filo locations, serving multiple communities and building relationships. None of it is possible without a crew to pursue the dream. So when a catering order comes our way the day before the event, and you also have to deliver the order, you pull the crew together, split up the preparation and attack. Over-communication Merriam-Webster defines over-communication as "to deliberately communicate more than is normal or generally considered necessary (as to emphasize important information)". Well, last-minute calls to arms require written and oral communication. Double-checking. And making sure that the crew feels comfortable with what are the objectives and how to achieve them. Systems

Engineer Edward Demings defines a system as a "network of interdependent components that work together to try to accomplish the aim of the system. A system must have an aim. Without an aim, there is no system. …A system must be managed. The secret is cooperation between components toward the aim of the organization. We cannot afford the destructive effect of competition.” The aim is clear: take care of the guests in the most efficient and effective manner possible. At the restaurant we have a system for how to sweep, how to mop, how to clean a griddle, how to prep the vegetables, let alone a system for how to take care of the catering orders. Unlike many restaurants that suffer from a complete lack of proper systems, we thrive on systemizing every aspect of the operation. That systematization makes us capable to execute in a leaner and faster manner, while taking care of the guest all the way. When you are looking for food after the gym, or for a sales meeting, product pitch or to share with your team, or family, you should be looking at whether the restaurant crew is responsive, warm and organized. This way you'll minimize the possibility of your event going awry and your guests leaving hungry.

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