Blog #5 Out with the old in with the new…
As 2011 draws to a close and we all wait for the dust to settle, my mind turns to the Event Partners that have supported or perhaps hindered us during the past season. For whose benefit do we have a panel of caterers? From a venue perspective it’s challenging having a large list with constant changes in personnel, so continuous communication and management is necessary. However, for an end client are the differences that noticeable between the various catering brands? I don’t think so – would you agree?
Caterers of course benefit, but most mid-market caterers now offer a very similar product (some multiple brands being produced from one central kitchen). It’s great having a presence on multiple lists but surely if they have their own venues there is always a conflict of interest? Perhaps even attracting clients from a venue to one of their own? For 2012 I have revisited the Merlin Events London list and will cut the number of caterers leaving one for each market sector. This will assist both the client and the venue teams. This also enables the caterers to offer a more competitive price for volume of business. Nevertheless, I have selected the caterers with the highest approval rating rather than by cost. Cost is important but the Merlin Events reputation of offering a consistent high level of service is more important.
So the next question is, are service levels between the mid priced caterers that different?