Working in the event industry, we oftentimes hear the term French Service but what exactly does the term mean?
The concept arose from the elegant style of the French court, le grand couvert (the great cover) and provides a unique and personalized seated dining experience for the guest, as the meal is plated at the table - not pre-plated in the kitchen.
Two types of French Service:
Cart French Service: This version involves tableside food preparation and assembly, where unprepared foods are brought from the kitchen to the dining room on a gueridon (a cart) and then the final preparation is completed at a side table in front of the guests. For heated foods, a rechaud would be used.
Banquet French Service: The food is prepared in the kitchen - and the servers will serve the food to guests from platters with tongs (from the left side). The platters are then kept in front of the guests to replenish.
Of course the service staff who are providing this type of service must be fully prepared with skill and knowledge to offer such a finessed experience. Typically these roles would include:
Chef de rang (the main server): Tasks would include preparing, serving food, serving the beverages, and presenting checks. Techniques would be tossing, mixing, presentation, saucing, deboning, carving, and flambeing.
Commis de rang (assistant to the main server): Tasks would include taking orders from the main server, bringing food to dining room, serving dishes prepared by the main server, and clearing the tables.
Dining Room Captain: Seats guests and oversees the service.
Cocktail Server: Serves beverages.
Wine Steward or Sommelier: Trained professional providing wine and food pairing knowledge.
Hopefully these notes will help next time you're wondering, "What exactly is French Service?"...
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Now that awards season is in full swing (with the Grammys at Madison Square Garden essentially in the backyard of our Midtown NYC office!...) and trade shows and expos in effect all year round, many event planners and industry professionals may delve into the task of finding event staff for large events. Check out our quick reference below that may help during this planning process...
What roles are needed?
For trade shows or expos (such as those at New York City venues like the Javits Center or The Metropolitan Pavilion), you may need:
Registration Staff / Greeter / Guest Services Staff
A staff member in this role will register, greet and/or assist guests, attendees, or event participants. The suggested number of staff widely varies for this role, as it depends on factors like number of entrances and/or workshops for staff to guide guests towards, just to mention two examples.
Promotional Model / Brand Ambassador
The responsibilities of this role include: Creating brand awareness and positive impressions of the product; distributing product samples and promotional materials; and actively drawing in customers to an event table. The suggested number of staff widely varies for this role as well.
Coat Check Attendant
Checks in/out coats and bags for guests. Our suggested quantity: 1 attendant per 75 guests. This number of course will change according to seasons, type of event, and venue needs.
When a large event is catered and/or serving food and beverages, our go-tos are:
Captain (Catering / Bar / Venue)
Assists with overseeing timeline, service, staff, menu execution, rental details, floor plan details, etc. Follow the finalized catering plan. Alongside/directed by event planner/caterer, etc.; Assists with managing staff. Our suggested quantity: 1 Captain per 25 guests.
Server / Waiter
Assists with floor plan set-up and break-down of catering rentals ordered for the event; Serve and bus according to finalized catering plan. Suggested quantity: 1 Server per 25 guests.
Makes drinks for guests per finalized catering plan; Set up/break down bar(s). Suggested quantity: 1 Bartender per 50 guests.
Assists set up/break down of bar(s); Replenishes bar during event. Suggested quantity: 1 Bar Back per 75 guests.
Sanit / Porter / Bathroom Attendant
Responsible for rental organization, sanitation, cleaning and / or restocking restroom amenities. Suggested quantity: 1 Porter per 75 guests.
We hope this quick reference helps as your planning is underway. If you have any event staffing questions at all, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org - we're happy to be your event staffing resource!
When planning an event to launch a new brand or product, there are many variables to consider: venue, decor, catering menu, beverages, and staff - just to name a few. During this phase, you may wonder if hiring a Brand Ambassador is important. Our staff provided this service at a recent brand launch in New York City, where they encouraged guests to get involved with interactive stations throughout the event, kept the energy up - and made sure to spread the word about the new brand.
So what does a Brand Ambassador do at an event?
What are the characteristics of a Brand Ambassador?
So perhaps the next time you are hosting or planning a product launch, you may want to consider a Brand Ambassador - they may be just the right final touch for the event to get give your brand awareness a jumpstart!
During the holiday season, both planning and attending events are two very popular activities! The type of event can range as wildly as one's imagination can stretch. When planning for a sit-down meal, the type usually falls into two general categories, either Formal or Informal. And when setting the table for a meal in one of these categories, we like to refer to the below Place Setting Guidelines to get each element just right!
Plate: Usually the first thing to be set on the table - set with the napkin on top of the plate.
Two Forks: Set to the left of the plate arranged according to when you need to use them. The dinner fork, the larger of the two forks, is used for the main course; the smaller fork is used for a salad or an appetizer.
Dinner Knife: The dinner knife is set immediately to the right of the plate, cutting edge facing inward. (If the main course is meat, a steak knife can take the place of the dinner knife.)
Spoons: The soup spoon goes to the far (outside) right of the dinner knife; the teaspoon or dessert spoon, which will be used last, goes to the left (inside) of the soup spoon, next to the dinner knife.
Glasses: Drinking glasses of any kind — water, wine, juice, iced tea — are placed at the top right of the dinner plate, above the knives and spoons.
Service Plate: This large plate, also called a charger, serves as an underplate for the plate holding the first course, which will be brought to the table. When the first course is cleared, the service plate remains in place for any other courses, such as a soup course, until the plate holding the entrée is served, at which point the two plates are exchanged. The charger may serve as the underplate for several courses which precede the entrée.
Butter Plate: The small butter plate is placed above the forks at the left of the place setting.
Dinner Fork: The largest of the forks, also called the place fork, is placed on the left of the plate. Other smaller forks for other courses are arranged to the left or right of the dinner fork, according to when they will be used.
Salad Fork: If the salad is served after the entrée, the small salad fork is placed to the right of the dinner fork, next to the plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the forks would be arranged (left to right): salad fork, fish fork, dinner fork.
Dinner Knife: The large dinner knife is placed to the right of the dinner plate.
Soup Spoon: If soup or fruit is served as a first course, then the accompanying spoon goes to the right of the knives.
Butter Knife: The small spreader is paced diagonally on top of the butter plate, handle on the right and blade down.
Glasses: These are placed on the right, above the knives and spoons. They can number up to five and are placed in the order they will be used. When there are more than three glasses, they can be arranged with smaller glasses in front. The water glass is placed directly above the knives. Just to the right are placed a red or white wine glass. Glasses used for a particular course are removed at the end of the course.
Napkin: The napkin is placed on top of the charger (if one is used) or in the space for the plate. It can also go to the left of the forks, or under the forks if space is tight.
Photo Credit: www.silentcapturephoto.com
It's that time of the year! Post-Thanksgiving and Pre-New Years and holiday parties are the place to be! Our server and bartending staff had a great time passing hors d'oeuvres and pouring libations to keep the good cheer going at a recent New York City cocktail reception.
When planning for these events, a host may wonder how much food and beverage is the right amount to serve. Below are a few of our quick tips:
Outside of typical meal hours
5-6 types of hors d'oeuvres; Plan on each guest eating 1 or 2 of each.
During typical meal hours
8-10 types of hors d'oeuvres; Plan on each guest eating 2 or 3 of each.
• Each guest will drink an average of 2 drinks the first hour; and 1 each hour thereafter.
• A one-liter bottle of alcohol yields approximately 22 mixed drinks.
• To accommodate any non-cocktail drinkers, estimate one bottle of wine per 8 guests.
• One 750-ml bottle of Champagne fills six regular Champagne glasses. The amounts listed in the chart below account for how much Champagne guests will drink from the bar. If you plan to have a Champagne toast, you will need to purchase additional bottles—you only need to pour about a third of a glass for a toast, so plan on 1 bottle for every 10 guests.
• Garnishes: Plan on a 1/2 lemon and 1/2 lime and two each of olives, cherries, and onions per guest. This means that if you have 24 guests, you'll need at least 12 lemons and 12 limes plus 48 each of olives, cherries, and onions.
• Plan on one and a half pounds of ice per person. This will provide enough ice for drinks as well as any ice baths for wine or beer.
Just as many of our fellow colleagues may feel, we take great pride in our work in the event industry. Finding just the right service staff for each of our clients' events motivates us to keep going. Making our clients happy and hearing positive feedback after an event inspires us even more! Many thanks to this particular client for leaving a Google review when he needed a few extra hands for his private dinner.
"As a chef and business owner, having a good team is essential for me. I recently produced a private event and needed some additional hands. I reached out to Tapuz for a few extra cooks and some servers. Everyone showed up on time and ready for action. I will absolutely call them again next time I need any event staff!"
Looking forward to many more events together in the future!
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Working in the event industry is fast-paced -- and that's why we love it! But even though things around us are happening quickly, we can't forget about safety. One of the most common mistakes while working at an event is lifting something incorrectly, which unfortunately can result in a serious back injury. Since our industry is so physical, we definitely do not want this to happen!
A few pointers to keep in mind:
When preparing for an event and ordering glassware, general rule of thumb for quantity is to order 1.5 Glasses / Per Person / Per Hour. And of course, always best to err on the side of more not less. Below is a quick reference for the most-requested types and sizes:
All-Purpose; Red or White Wine
Sparkling Wine, Champagne
Water, Iced Tea, Soft Drinks
Martinis / Drinks Served “Up”
Liquor With Carbonated Mixers
Liquor “On The Rocks” / With Ice
LOOKING TO SIMPLIFY YOUR GLASSWARE ORDER?
Opt For a Stemless All-Purpose For All Beverages
Since we are in the event business, timing is extremely important.
Here are our Top 5 Time Management Tips that we like to share with our staff:
1) Work backwards.
If you need to be somewhere at 7pm, then you really want to be there at 6:45pm to find parking or the best walking route to location. To be there at 6:45pm, you will need to allot 30 minutes for driving or being on the subway, which means you need to be out of your door and in the car or on the subway at 6:15pm. To do that, you need to be ready at 6:10pm so get in the shower at 5:10pm (if it takes you an hour to get ready).
2) Be realistic.
Get practical. Don't give yourself 30 minutes to get ready if it takes you an hour.
3) Set a timer.
It's easy to get carried away doing something, but this is part of being realistic. Know yourself. Set a timer so that one activity or obligation doesn't overlap another.
4) Don't bite off more than you can chew.
If you commit yourself to too many appointments in a single day, then you'll be late to everything. By appointments I mean anything - a meeting, a phone call, a task on your to do list, any activity that requires your attention. Avoid spreading yourself too thin.
5) And the most important motto for event professionals: Expect the unexpected!
This idea is very important if you're stumped about how to be on time, and a very effective time management tip. Always give yourself some extra time. There could be traffic or you could misplace your keys or whatever! The point is that unexpected things almost always happen, so expect them and give yourself some extra time to deal with them.