Day of Event Preparation Guidelines

Packing & Pre-Event Duties

  1. Loading – team members will pack the van with the items once they read the BEO and meeting completed. Be sure to pack the van smart, properly, and effectively to protect against breakage, rolling, and things falling over on each other.
  1. Observe – make sure to pay attention to what’s happening in front of you at all times. Every time you lift something, pick up something, or move something in the van, pay attention to what’s going on with that item with respect to other things surrounding it.
  1. Basic Responsibilities Pre-Event & Loading: When you arrive at our office this is what’s going on and these are the tasks you will be assigned to do:
  • Culinary Team People  _____________________________________
  • Food & Beverages Leader(s) ______________________
    • (Pre-Event) Loading Food/Bev For Event into truck
    • (Event-Completion) Loading Food At Event Location
    • (Arrival back to office) Unloading Food From Truck
  • And Inventory & Equipment Leader(s) _____________________
    • This person does not leave the truck and checks off all items as they come into the truck from the packing checklist
  1. Reading BEO Sheet & Event Documentation: Review the BEO. After reading BEO staff will do tasks as needed but not limited to, helping to load the van with equipment, taking inventory with a checklist or taking instruction on what to do at the event. Read the BEO sheet: IF SOMEONE ASKS WHAT’S GOING ON YOU NEED TO KNOW.

Carpooling & Getting To Event Site

  • Depending on the type of event we do and it’s distance from the office, carpooling will be happening where we all ride together in one vehicle. If the company mini-van is not needed to load things prior to departure, or will be used prior to leaving the office to event site, servers can all ride in the mini-van to event location. 

Venue Arrival & Unloading

  1. Unloading The Van – (List People Here) ___________________________________
    1. Unless time is against us and all hands have to be on deck to unload.
  2. Securing Food Items – (Food & Beverage Leader(s)) ______________________________
    1. One of the first things that should be taken care of upon arrival at an event location is the proper temperature management of food and drinks. Cambros are not ovens; they just keep holding temperature for a certain timeframe. Cambros have to be removed immediately from van/truck and placed in kitchen area
    2. Cold Items – Ice bucket/cooler are to be brought from van/truck and items to be cooled must be removed and placed in fridge for IMMEDIATE cooling (if applicable).  Beverages, cakes, desserts, appetizers, salad items, dressings, drinks, or any other item that was in the cooler needs to be placed in refrigerator.

Power Setup

  1. Mini Convection Ovens – (List People Here) ___________________________________
    1. Heavy Duty Cable for Mini Convection Oven – HEAVY DUTY Orange/Black 50 foot RIGID extension cable (indoor or outdoor use, maximum amps 15, 300 Volt Capacity, and it has a 12 gauge rating). This cable is to power the mini convection ovens ONLY. Try to run this cable from outside of the building, into the area where the mini convection will be used to prevent overloading the venue location’s circuit. Or run the cable from a circuit that is not carrying too much load; get with venue management.
  1. Light Duty Cable for Carving Stations (if needed) – these cables are for the carving station lamp setups and for smaller electrical load items at catered events; NOT FOR CONVECTION OVENS. These basic orange extension cables are 50 ft in length, ( indoor or outdoor use, maximum amps 13, 125 Volt capacity, has a 12 gauge rating, maximum 1625 watts)

Setting Up Kitchen Area & Maintaining Food Temperature

  1. Establish Designated Areas In The Kitchen – take masking tape with a black marker and label designated areas for their purposes. By creating a visual system it helps the team function better so we’re not putting things all over the place in the kitchen at the event site. The smaller the space the more creative and concise things have to be.
    1. (List Person(s) to do this):  ____________________
      1. Bussing Area
      2. Food Prep Area
      3. Beverage Setup and Creation Area
      4. Crate Holding Area
      5. Clean Plates/Dishes/Flatware
      6. Appetizer Prep Area
  1. Food & Beverage Handling – team members responsible for the preparation and handling of food must adhere to strict health department regulations on food safety. This includes ensuring that food remains at safe temperatures during the event and replacing “buffet line” in a proper manner.
  1. Plating Salads (if applicable) – we also need to designate someone to plate salads to get ready ahead of time when it’s time to place salads on tables:
    1. (List Person(s) to do this):  ____________________
  1. FOLLOW GUIDANCE OF TIMING FROM FLOOR CAPTAIN OR CATERING MANAGER ABOUT WHEN TO PUT DOWN SALADS ON TABLES. Plated salads get stored in our proofing box or in the refrigerator in the venue (if available) until serving time is given by Floor Captain/or Catering Manager. Plated salads get placed on tables before guests enter reception area – USUALLY SALADS GO DOWN ON TABLES DURING COCKTAIL HOUR WHEN GUESTS ARE ELSEWHERE. CHECK WITH FLOOR CAPTAIN(s).

Guest Table, Buffet, Beverage Area Setup

  1. Buffet Area – must be setup with necessary items such as: (List Person(s) to do this): ____________________________________________________________
    1. Sternos
    2. Chafing sets (putting water in the deeper pans)
    3. Food pans are brought in the kitchen when it’s time to load up food
    4. Dinner plates get placed on buffet lines UNLESS INSTRUCTED OTHERWISE
    5. Bread baskets get fluffed underneath linen
    6. Putting out necessary food utensils for the appropriate food to be served 
      1. (flat spoons are for non liquid food items, slotted spoons are for food items that are “liquidy” and have “juices”.) 
      2. The buffet area requires (2) 90 x 156” banquet linens for the two tables that make up the buffet line; if there are two buffet lines we will require (4) 90 x 156” banquet linens. Use additional linens for fluff.
  1. Beverage Area – needs to be setup with the appropriate glass dispensers based on the amount of beverages being offered to client.
    1. Beverage area includes cocktail napkins, disposable cups, beverage signs and the glass dispenses. Always put glass dispensers on heights (the crates) with fluff. Please use a crate it came in for height so the crates for the beverage area, stays over there when it comes time to pack up.
  1. Linen (if applicable to venue) – linens need to be put down on these types of tables typically:
    1. Guest tables (60” or 72” rounds usually req. 120” or 132” rounds)
    2. Buffet tables (Banquet tables / 4ft or 6ft usually req. 90” x 156” or 90” x 132”)
    3. Cake table
    4. Bridal table (half moon, 4ft, or head table) 
    5. Gift table
    6. Unless venue is providing linens, we put down linens that we bring
    7. You may want to ask the floor captain what linens are rentals and what linens belong to the company
  1. Table Setup – These are some of the items, if not all/but most of these will be placed on tables by staff during event setup: 
    1. silverware, chargers, napkins, glassware, etc – refer to BEO sheet. 
    2. Salad plates stay in the kitchen area for plating and don’t go on the tables unless specified. 
    3. Dinner plates go in buffet lines.

Serving Food and Passing Appetizers

  1. Passing Appetizers – requires prepping on the white platters and ample time for them to warm up in the mini-convection ovens. 
  2. Appetizers will be removed from the aluminum pans and then placed on half sheet pans to be warmed up/or cooked in the mini-convection oven;  
  1. Replenishing Platters for Appetizers – we need people replenishing platters in the kitchen. Put plastic disposable gloves over your white gloves if you’re to replenish your platters. ALWAYS CHECK WITH KITCHEN STAFF AND UPDATE THEM WITH HOW FOOD IS BEING CONSUMED ON THE FLOOR SO WE KNOW WHAT FOOD TO PUT OUT NEXT. Always give the kitchen status updates when passing food with regards to how many people ate so far so we know what to refill and what to pause on. All other items not listed here, please LISTEN OUT TO DIRECTIONS FROM KITCHEN STAFF.
  1. Serving Appetizers & Serving On Buffet Line – staff are to wear their professional attire with white gloves when serving and presenting food to guests.

Buffet Service & Opening Up The Buffet Line 

  1. Clearing Dirty Salad Plates – clearing salad plates need to happen before we even open up buffet line.
  1. Plating Bride and Groom Plate ONLY – we only plate bride & groom; all other guests go up to the buffet line to experience our manned buffet setup. The plates are on the buffet line so please inform the guests of this information. The only time we plate the bride/groom & bridal party is when they are all sitting at a head table together with the bride and groom. Please make sure you follow up with kitchen staff if they’ve talked to the bride about what they want on their plate. 
    1. PAY ATTENTION TO THE NEEDS OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM; AS WELL AS THE BRIDAL PARTY AND THE PARENTS OF THE COUPLE. (see “server etiquette” section for details on how to handle head table)
  1. Calling Tables – after groom and bride are fed, we open up the buffet line to guests. Each table will be called up one/or two tables at a time to go to the buffet tables to prevent crowds from forming on the buffet line. A designated person will be assigned to call up tables; usually the Floor Captain or the Catering Manager will handle this. 
    1. Once all guests have been served please use counter clicker to get total guests in attendance.

  1. Manning Buffet Lines & Serving Guests – the number one rule we have for serving on the buffet line is this: SMILE and be COURTEOUS. When uncovering chafing pans pull them straight up towards you so water from condensation does not drip all over the linens on the buffet line. Sometimes if there are 3/4/5 food items on the line we may use limited amount of staff, so be flexible and willing to step in when you can. Many times guests will ask to have more food that what you present to them during the first round of serving on the buffet line. The response to that should be handled with courtesy, professionalism and WITH A SMILE. Kindly respond by letting them know that after this first round of food, they are free to come back and get more. If there’s a food item on the line and they refuse to have an item kindly honor their request. We man the buffet area during the first round of guests. After everyone has been served we leave the buffet area open for guests to come up and serve themselves. Once we are done serving the first round of food, staff needs to immediately walk the floor in the reception room checking on guests, asking if they are ok, and re-filling their water goblets with water. CHECK ON OUR GUESTS.
  1. Disabled Guests or People Who Struggle With Mobility – we plate any handicap or disabled guests who have mobility challenges to access the buffet. This is not to be abused by guests so CHECK WITH COORDINATOR or LEADERSHIP TO KNOW HOW TO HANDLE THIS BEFORE YOU PLATE FOOD. IF WE START PLATING FOOD FOR GUESTS WITHOUT CHECKING WITH TEAM, SOMETIMES PEOPLE USE THIS AS AN EXCUSE SO THEY DON’T HAVE TO GET UP — then everyone starts to use this and our team manpower gets bogged down plating food and not serving guests on buffet line.
  1. Special Meals – sometimes guests request special meals during our consultations, vegetarian or kosher/hallal food. This is WHY READING EVENT DETAILS ARE IMPORTANT!!!! and everyone knows what’s going on in the “special food request by bride” in the event details sheet to know to handle this. Usually special meals are plated and brought to the specific guests who ask for them such as a (vegetarian, vegan, etc). If there are special requests of what to put on their plates from the buffet line always check WITH KITCHEN STAFF FIRST. CHECK ON OUR GUESTS
  1. Running Food & Replacing Food on the Line – they’ll always be someone who is running food to the buffet line that will be working in tandem with the KITCHEN STAFF and BUFFET LINE. When there aren’t two buffet lines we have to always remember to portion things out properly so we’re not running out of food when we have two buffet lines. TALK TO LEADERSHIP ABOUT THIS.
  1. Pouring Water Goblets with Water – as guests are seated in the reception area eating after and before the buffet line opens, we are to making sure those water goblets have water in them.

Clearing After Dinner

  1. Clearing After Dinner CHECK ON OUR GUESTS after dinner is served we’ll make a few rounds to see if people need anything and also being looking around for plates to clear. Don’t clear someone’s dishes without asking them first 

Preparing Cake Plates

  1. Prepare for Cake Plates – wash and prepare salad plates to be used for cake serving later on in the event. We don’t bring double plates to save on space and dirty dishes.
  1. Prepare Small Forks for Cake – make sure to wash and dry small forks for cake experience later on in the event so we have clean forks when the cake is ready.
  1. Placing Cake Down For Guests – usually two things happen regarding cake passing for guests:
    1. Either place them down in front of guests. THIS IS THE COMMON WAY.
    2. Or we set it out on the buffet table. Always ask KITCHEN STAFF how to best serve cake per event.
  1. Clearing Cake PlatesCHECK ON OUR GUESTS. See if they need their cake plates cleared and see if they need water. ALWAYS ASK BEFORE CLEARING and DON’T ASSUME. ALWAYS ASK.

Tearing Down & Cleaning Up Guide

  1. Packing Plates – plates belong in black crates marked with the appropriate naming of what belongs in there; depending on the timeframe we have, type of kitchen we have access to, we will wash plates and put them in crates – dinner plates will always be packed in stacks of 20s.
  1. Dirty Cutlery – belongs in clear tubs with red covers; we transport our cutlery back in these bins covered as they soak in hot water to loosen up food.
  1. Dirty Glasses – belong in crates that are marked with what is to go inside of them – DIRTY ONES FACE UP
  1. Dirty Linen and Napkins – are separated and belong in clear plastic bags; we’ll always tell you if the linen on the tables belong to us. But the buffet linens always belong to us unless otherwise told by LEADERSHIP NOT TO TAKE THEM because they may belong to the coordinator, venue, or a rental company. Napkins should be bagged separately and server gloves that are used should be in bags with napkins so the people cleaning them can find them
  1. Chafing Sets – are to be emptied of food and water – remaining food is to be boxed up; the only time chafing sets are to come back dirty with food is if there’s no time to wash them or no kitchen access.
  1. Menu Frames – Card holders are also to be placed back in the bag in which they came (the décor bin as stated above)
  1. Juice Dispensers – to be rinsed, dried and placed back in the box/crate
  1. Leave Venue Space & Prep Area(s) Clean – sweep and/or mop floors
  1. Garbage Removal (if venue policy) – carry out garbage and keep work areas clean, dry and free of hazardous equipment and supplies.
  1. Observe, Ask, Check – check floors and surrounding areas in the venue for loose items that belong to us and ask your team if “this item belongs to us“. PACK THINGS BACK SAFELY AND PROPERLY.
  1. Chair covers (if used at an event) – are NOT TO BE PLACED IN THE SAME BAG AS THE TABLE LINENS!!!!!!!!!! Place in SEPARATE clear plastic bag.
  1. Napkins & Sashesare also placed in its own bag 
  1. Glassware – are to be rinsed and placed back in the same crate faced upwards
  1. China – plates are to be rinsed and placed in the crate in which they came inside of the plastic bag not on top. DO NOT PLACE THE DESSERT PLATES WITH THE DINNER PLATES (LARGER PLATES)
  1. Flatwareis also to be rinsed and placed in white bucket with red top. Failure to do this will cause this flatware to rust and make it hard for food to come off the cutlery so please keep them soaking until it’s time to clean them.
  1. CenterpiecesFloating candles are to be removed, water removed from centerpieces dried and placed back in the box, which held them. Make sure they are wrapped back in the boxes they came from; and not clanging against one another.

decorative beads, glass frames with menus, buffet menu signs, candles, etc on OUR TABLES, are to be placed back where they came from

Unloading at Office

  1. Dishes and glasses and cutlery are to be placed near sink for washing
  2. Cutlery is to be left soaking in clear bins with red covers
  3. All food Cambros are to be emptied and checked for food; no food is to stay in cambros
  4. Sanitation bin is to be opened and checked for items needing to be cleaned and removed from staying in there
  5. Server vests returned in garment bag with bow ties placed back in clear zip lock bag in the sanitation bin
  6. Linen bags are left in the front of office for pickup 
  7. We have a rotational schedule regarding unloading once we return back from the office so please share the workload.

For questions or concerns about anything not outlined here, please make a note of it so the Relations Manager can adjust documentation to improve communication about this process. Send an email to or 407.256.4487

Powered by BetterDocs

Leave a comment