I’m happy to report that we at The Corporate Caterer have received some great responses to my recent post about a very frustrating issue with party leftovers. Lisa Peters, Partner and President of Randy Peters Catering in Citrus Heights, CA, sent us the following language that can be found in their off-premise event contract:
“FIELD KITCHENS & TRUCKS: Cases of food, food in the catering trucks, and very large food displays are not the property of the client. Clients are not allowed to go through catering field kitchens and catering trucks. Cases of beverages in field kitchens and trucks are not the property of the client.
LEFTOVER FOOD POLICY: To ensure the safety of our clients and their guests, it is RPC’s policy to remove and discard any leftover food after the event. Any uneaten or non-consumed food or bottled beverages left on the buffet table/food station area may be given to the client upon request. We do not recommend serving leftover food as we cannot ensure the safety in doing so, however, upon client request the above described leftover food and beverages may be taken by the client with a signed waiver form. The client will assume full responsibility and liability for the result any leftover food served and consumed, with or without RPC’s knowledge.”
Dave Chamberlain from Gaylord Catering Service in Madison, Wisconsin wrote:
“We ask our customers about the leftovers ahead of time. Would you like the leftovers or would you like us to donate them to a shelter? We also tell our customers that we do provide extra food for our staff, and that the possibility exists that their guests could be big eaters and we do not want to run out of product. We have no problem leaving food that is cooked. However, we do tell them that once we leave it, it is their responsibility to make sure it doesn't spoil. We put this into a contract also. Even for simple drop-offs we use a contract that spells everything out. We have found that this helps some after the event when you get into a you-said-they-said situation. We have been using the Caterease program for this.”
Dave also added:
“Hope this helps. As for your situation, I would have done pretty much the same thing. Ask the customer what they think is fair and give it to them; however, if I don't think that they are being reasonable, I don't have a problem telling them.”
The general member consensus was that everything possible should be explained and spelled out in writing to all catering clients. Failure to do this can cause the types of problems discussed in my recent post.
Sometimes it’s easy to become insulated from the outside world as we run our daily businesses, and that’s why The Corporate Caterer is so valuable. We are a learning center, and with members all over the country, you can be assured that someone has experienced the same challenges and issues that you face daily.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.
Have a great July catering week!