Coping with Clients

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by chef david simpson, Nov 1, 2000.

  1. chef david simpson

    chef david simpson

    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    10
    Last night I did a 350+ Halloween Bash for the Actors Guild in Burbank, and everything went wrong that could go wrong. First, my chefjackets didn't arrive until 30 minutes after the event started. Next, my bartender was late and everyone was complaining. Finally my assistant was "starstruck" and wouldn't pay attention to his work.
    Oh,man was I mad! My future Clients won't ever ask me to do this Halloween Bash or anything for that matter, ever again.

    What do you think I should do to redeem myself? And how long should I wait befor I call?
    I know how to deal with it,I just want some other opinion to approach it a better way.

    Chef David
     
  2. isa

    isa

    Messages:
    3,236
    Likes Received:
    10
    If the client did say she wasn't happy a discount is always nice either on that event or her next one. If you give her a gift certificate for future use chance are she will use it and you'll have a chance to change her mind on your work....


    Sisi
     
  3. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    63
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    Woooo "starstruck" and no booze....not a good combo. Immediately call, apologize and offer a cocktail party for 30-50 (whatever you're Ok with or a private dinner for 12)
    ......word gets around. Sorry it happened to you. Better yet ask what you can do to redeem yourself and have options your ok with on the tip of your tongue if she asks....of course if she says give it all to me laugh and say I'd love to, but how about..... [​IMG]

    [This message has been edited by shroomgirl (edited 11-01-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by shroomgirl (edited 11-01-2000).]
     
  4. chef david simpson

    chef david simpson

    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thank you Shroomgirl, your right about that and I am willing to do whatever it takes, but unfortunitly I have already given them the option and their not biting, so I'm going to the next step. Beg forgiveness!
     
  5. judy

    judy

    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    10
    A chef I worked with maintained it was best to go over the top with the apologies. He would put up to the place of business in a very obvious mode of transport, with his company name plastered all over it and out would come very smart chefs bearing the best platters of finger foods or luscious cakes. He would stride in front and be very vocal in his distress at a job not done as well he he would have liked.
    it worked. The people felt important and it left everyone feeling good.
    i think if you are very sincere people get over it quickly.
     
  6. chef david simpson

    chef david simpson

    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thanks Judy, but I don't quite understand what your talking about.
     
  7. chef david simpson

    chef david simpson

    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    10
    THANKS EVERYONE, I WORKED IT OUT. IT WAS'NT AS BAD AS I THOUGHT.
     
  8. m brown

    m brown

    Messages:
    1,839
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    It usually is not as bad as you think. Glad to hear it worked out.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. m brown

    m brown

    Messages:
    1,839
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    This reminds me of a benefit I was working and my partner called a noted
    celeb by his "character" name and acted a bit goofy.
    My policy is to treat people like the guests they are and not the celebrity
    they are. I think you should respect folks, not fall all over them.
    Even if your knees give out!
     
  10. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    63
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    I'll remember that when I see Kevin kline in St.Louis tomorrow....NOT
    It's funny how some restaurants run to our local gossip columnist an how some keep a wonderfully low profile.....I know which one I'd go to. And it's interesting that I really LIKE the chefs that keep a lower profile, the others are hotdoggers.

    [This message has been edited by shroomgirl (edited 11-03-2000).]
     
  11. kpollard_2000

    kpollard_2000

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    10
    Sorry Chef David..This topic should have read "coping with caterers" not coping with clients. After a night like that I would understand that they would not want my business again...I would still feel obligated to repay them some way, even if the job put me in the red. Good service is very important to me.
     
  12. chef david simpson

    chef david simpson

    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    10
    There's a rule in catering and this is to treat all clients the way you would treat yourself. I'm really not interested in who someone is, just how much money they want to spend and what they like to eat.
    Sometimes I get the perks of being a caterer in Hollywood and sometimes I get nothing. the fact of the matter is,is that I get to cook and meet some interesting people.
    I do remember the first time I catered a movie set I seen my favourate actor. Oh,man I thought I was dreaming, it was the best experience I ever had.
     
  13. nick.shu

    nick.shu

    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    my first instinct when dealing with "higher profile" ppl would be to treat them with dignity and respect without fawning.

    Iam not a important or famous or even rich person, so when once a person was serving me made a mistake and took it over the top to the point that it got annoying by constantly apologising etc, imagine how you would feel if that became a constant as well as being surrounded by "yes men".

    pretty annoying huh?.
     
  14. chef david simpson

    chef david simpson

    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    10
    Oh man, you said it! There's only so much you can do. I know my boundaries and I wouldn't cross them. What I did was send some flowers to them with a written apology, stating that under the conditions of mistakes that were made, how I would do them deferent and how I can better serve the next event. Given the chance to do so.
    I got a note via E-mail from a department head saying how she thought I was being to harsh on myself. And looks forward to the next event later this month.

    Imagine that!
     
  15. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    63
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    [​IMG] Good for you!
     
  16. nick.shu

    nick.shu

    Messages:
    618
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    bravo zulu mr Simpson.
     
  17. chef david simpson

    chef david simpson

    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    10
    Can I answer this one later please? Lots of questions, not enaugh time. Can you break it down for me Sans Souci chef?
     
  18. chef david simpson

    chef david simpson

    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    10
    Well my friend I came to answer your questions. So here goes.
    1. I settled on going to extreme caution when it comes to handling their guest list. What I mean is making sure that my cooks will be ordered to not constantly stair at their guest. It freaks them out. I know sometimes they can't help it but come on, get a grip!
    2. I learned alot from that evening. Not to hire bartenders with a lapse of memory, to hire cooks with some experience in handling this type of catering, and to not forget my chef coats next time!


    Will answer more later.