I can honestly say that I don't have a ‘typical day’ as every day brings numerous different challenges in the world of event catering and party design. My days can be filled with anything from meeting new clients or visiting a new venue, to having catch-ups with our heads of departments at our exclusive venues, to spending all day in our production unit supporting the head chef and kitchen team. It could also be all of the above in one day! However I hope the following breakdown will give you a glimpse into my world.
Generally I arrive at our head office and production unit around 8am. Getting my priorities right I pop the kettle on for a cup of tea before settling down to check through my emails. After checking my inbox, I check our info inbox, as this is where most of our enquiries are sitting. I like to see what is coming in on a daily basis and flag up any urgent enquiries to the team. I use this ‘quiet time’ to jot down and play around with ideas for new menus and to finish off the menus for quotes that have come through from clients.
By around 8.45am the ‘quiet time’ is officially over as the phones have started ringing and the rest of the team have arrived in the office. My team are from diverse backgrounds with different and individual skill sets. Without my team the business would not function or grow and I cannot stress enough how much I value them (although I am probably guilty of not telling them enough!).
I will try to grab 10 minutes with my office manager and my PA and this is the perfect opportunity to give them both a list of stuff that I have thought about overnight. Once a week we have an operations meeting which involves the kitchen team, the event management team and the back of house team. This gives us a chance to de-brief on last week’s events and also to look at what's coming up during the following week. This meeting is key as we discuss the events in detail so everyone knows what everyone is doing. All logistics of the upcoming events are discussed and as we travel the length and breadth of Scotland and into northern England this can get quite complicated at times. Great communication between the different departments is vital and the key to our success when you’re not working in one fixed venue.
After this I could be off to meet a new client to discuss their special event, or visit a new venue. Our special service starts at our initial meeting with the client. Their dedicated event manager will work with them throughout the process, building up the relationship and in turn the client’s confidence, and will be there running the event on their big day, be it a wedding, special birthday party or corporate event.
By midday I am normally looking at new menu ideas and working on quotations with my events team. I also use this time to look through profits and losses for our exclusive venues with the head chefs and restaurant managers at Glenturret Distillery, Carlowrie Castle or Glamis Castle.
I use the afternoons to swing by one of our valued suppliers and growers. I am constantly looking at new local sourcing opportunities and I’m incredibly passionate about showcasing Scotland's natural larder. Over the years I have built up great relationships with some of the best producers in their fields and we have total traceability from farmyard to plate.
I will most probably be found running a kitchen for an event we’re managing, possibly for a dinner for 700! Arriving on site in the late afternoon and organising the team with the sous chef on site.
The National Museums of Scotland is one of the many venues we work in across Scotland. We work in a lot of Heritage sites including National Trust of Scotland properties. We also manage a lot of high profile private and corporate parties. Every location we work in is different and has different service delivery issues. I always do a site visit before we work in a venue or a private house so that we’re as prepared as we possibly can be before the event.
More often than not I end up arriving home in the early hours of the morning. I have been very lucky to have a very understanding wife and family that supports me.