A concerned friend called the other day, in a state of mild panic. She had just returned from a corporate lunch, having had a wonderful time.
I really couldn’t see what the problem was, until she confessed she had been entrusted to arrange a similar work event, but had no idea how to make it as successful. “I don’t know what it was, but it just worked. How am I going to come up with something so good?” she wailed.
In an instant, I understood what she was getting at. “Get the best waiting staff you can find,” I advised, and promptly handed her the details of the incredible team we use at Hel’s Angels.
Having the right team working with you is what makes an event work. From cloakroom and door staff, to waiters and bartenders, it’s these people who make the real difference to the success of your function.
Believe me, no event just works. Behind the scenes, we’re all paddling like swans to make sure food is beautifully served on time, glasses are topped up and guests are comfortable and relaxed.
When your guests are having a great time but can’t quite put their finger on why, chances are it’s because your waiting staff are doing a damn fine job.
Don’t get me wrong, great food and well-selected drinks are essential, as is the venue’s facilities, lighting and any entertainment you choose. They all add to the ambiance, the feel, the vibe.
But none of that matters one bit if canapes aren’t adequately circulated, if meals arrive at the tables cold or – and this is the deadliest sin – staff are rude to your guests.
And it’s not just about presentation – your team should be knowledgeable – not only about the event, but also what’s on offer. They should be able to assist your guests in making the right choices, be discreet when needed and be a welcoming and approachable presence. It’s a big ask.
Staffing is one thing you really don’t want to scrimp on. Excellent waiting staff, hosts, mixologists and maître d’s are hard to come by, so when you find good ones, you don’t let go of them.
We’ve been working with Hel’s Angels for some time now, and let me tell you: they are the best.
All their staff are carefully recruited and undergo rigorous training in the art of service. They are impeccably turned out, polite, conscientious and know their stuff. That’s why we work with them time and time again.
For me working in the kitchen, it’s good to know that front of house is in safe hands. And for the host, it’s great to be able to take the credit for an incredible event – even when all know who the real stars were.