*I apologize in advance for incorrect grammar prior to your reading- it's just for emphasis* :)
I read a post on Face Book once written by a parent that stated: Somebody and nobody live here in my home. Somebody broke the lamp and nobody knows who did it. I chuckled when I read this post because I have had that same experience in my home and in my work environment.
I delivered a wedding cake to a wonderful venue that I had never visited prior to this delivery. When I arrived, I found my assistant looking quite frazzled. "It's so hot in there!" Well, I've experienced this before, so I wasn't worried. Yet things went quite differently than I planned. Each person that I encountered claimed it was somebody's job to turn the air on. The linen wasn't on the table and somebody had misplaced it. When we asked for hot water nobody knew how to make that happen. Nobody couldn't give us any assistance, and somebody was constantly telling me that it wasn't their job. We asked could we crack the door because it was approximately 109 degrees in the venue, yet nobody had the authority to do it. Needless to say, the once frozen cake began to melt and it was crunch time. One layer of the five tiered cake slid right off the front as I was stacking it right into my assistant's hands. Now, I am reconstructing the cake on site. Early arriving guests, servers and the caterer looked in horror as they wondered how on God's green earth was I going to fix this cake! As we finished the cake, my assistant says, "I feel the air - 40 minutes late!"
Well, in retrospect, I could have handled things differently as well. I am usually not one to ever complain, but adjust because I do understand things happen. I accept full responsibility concerning my business regardless of who is at fault. However, let's learn to respect each perspective business involved in making sure the event is a huge success for our clients. We must remember they are why we are in business. After all, it is our passion! If not, we may need to consider a different arena or simply put, a different career. Collecting a paycheck should never be a reason to infect the success of an event. Attitude will show in our work because it is an art, an expression of who we are and what we love to create. Our talents are gifts to be shared and given to others for their benefit. Its part of our purpose in life.
Each of us has a role to play to create the 'perfect' event for our clients. When we are late, we cause stress to another vendor who must adjust. When we think "it's not my job" or "that's their problem" we are not thinking of our clients but ourselves. Regardless of your role, let's learn to work together for the sake of our clients whether you need to adjust the air earlier, grab hot water for another vendor or drape the wedding cake table. Pointing the finger makes us look unprofessional and lacks integrity. We will never have the perfect event, but working together we can appear to from the perspective of our clients'.
Let's work towards excellence in our professions- together.
Signed somebody who cares when nobody wants to take the blame,
Points of Excellence:
1. Turn air conditioning on 1 to 1 1/2 hours prior to start time. This will allow caterers, wedding cake vendors and others' to be able to work efficiently and effectively as well as your employees. No one works well sweating and it causes irritability. More so, early guests will be more comfortable, and in turn speak well of your venue - creating more business.
2. As a cake vendor make a visit to the venue and seek out/solve potential problems. Check out everything from how you will bring the cake in to where their cooler is located. In the summer, use partial shortening in your buttercream, it melts at a higher temperature. Sweetex is a product I recommend, yet remember this must be done at the tasting stage. Don't surprise your bride and groom as they take the first bite. Take the cake in a cooled/refrigerated vehicle. Partially stack cake if possible prior to arrival. The less handling of your cake, the better. If this has not worked for you in the past, try building it in the cooler on site and move it to the table afterwards. Yes, I've done this! Place clean, cardboard rounds (or shape or your tiers) between cakes in order to prevent leaning, cracking and/or sliding. You can drive a wood dowel through the cakes for more stability. Make sure to take a travel kit: buttercream bag, off-set spatula, extra flowers, etc. Hit one pothole and half of your "bling" could be missing upon arrival.
3. As a vendor, introduce yourself to the other vendors there. Networking always is a good thing! Plus I've helped place linen and glasses when I was finished setting up- I've had a lot of referrals this way! It creates a wow (integrity) factor for your business.
What points of excellence would you add to this list?