A Day In The Life Of A Waitress…

As a top class catering company, it is vital that the serving staff at events look and conduct themselves in a professional manner. We love to have a bank of exceptional staff who work for us at our events. The following is an account from a new waitress who has recently worked for us at Gildredge Manor, the wonderful country house in Eastbourne, where we spend many weekends during the year:

“This was the first time I had been waiting staff at a wedding in a long time. I arrived promptly and was shown around the lovely venue. The actual wedding ceremony was happening here as well, which meant that guests didn’t have to travel at all – how easy! The house itself was lovely, with accommodating permanent staff and a lovely atmosphere. There were lots of stairs to climb, from the kitchen right up to the serving room and then into the reception room. This was already laid out beautifully and looked just lovely. There were 6 tables in total, accommodating 50 guests. Apparently the room can take many more, so this gave everyone a bit of space to mingle and walk around each table.

Caterers for Gildredge Manor, Eastbourne

It was a warm day and drinks were to be served outside on the main lawn. Pretty tables and chairs were already set up with sun canopies. There were also various garden games laid out to keep guests occupied and having fun.

There was a choice of prosecco or orange juice as well as a great selection of beers and ciders, supplied by the bride and groom – these proved very popular! Anyone could help themselves but we were on hand to help out when needed, having poured a selection to serve.

Canapes were then served and received many compliments. They did indeed look lovely! As a first time waitress for Green Fig, I wanted to make sure all guests were served equally – a bit difficult when people keep moving around! There were two of us serving the canapes and when one platter was finished the next one was being taken around – very efficient…

All guests were then asked to take their places in the dining room for dinner. The speeches were made before the food, which was a lovely idea as it gave people time to settle as well as building an appetite for their dinner. It also gave the staff time to clear everywhere outside and get organised for the meal.

The starters were then served. And what a slick operation behind the scenes! Bearing in mind the meals were laid out three floors above the kitchen, all food went out hot as well as being beautifully presented. There were vegetarians as well as vegans at the wedding and everything was executed perfectly. Each table was served together and as soon as one table had been served, the next table of food was ready to go. Smiles on our faces as well as all the guests!

First courses were cleared, as well as bread plates, ready for the main meal. This was then served in the same manner, top table first and then each subsequent table in order. A plan had been written, showing which table had which menu choices, so there were no mistakes and all dietary requirements were accommodated. And the food looked wonderful! John, the owner and his sous chef, were calm, organised and extremely efficient. The food was laid out exactly the same for each plate and was kept hot throughout.

When the main meals were cleared, all other rubbish was also removed, ensuring the tables looked tidy again, in time for dessert. Desserts are always a crowd pleaser and these really didn’t disappoint, with either a zesty lemon pot with fruit, banoffee pie or a mixture of berries with soya cream for the vegan choice.

Once everyone had finished, guests started to drift downstairs for coffee. This was when the room was completely tidied. With all the special touches and table decorations moved to one side, so the bride and groom could keep them, as well as the flowers and extra gifts people had brought with them.

Glasses, plates and cutlery were repacked in their boxes, for cleaning, tablecloths removed and chairs and tables taken down and put away. The room was totally clear. Then we carried all crockery, cutlery, coolers, rubbish as well as anything else, down the three flights of stairs to ground level. Well what a work out! Guests at a wedding really cannot comprehend the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes for a professional and efficient catering company. I am totally in awe of the amount of first class food that was served today, as well as the well-oiled routine that just works exceptionally well.

Guests were really polite and friendly as well as being very helpful. The food and drink was delightful, with plenty of wine and water on the tables. I think everyone had a lovely time!

Congratulations to the bride and groom. I am looking forward to the next time I can work for Green Fig Catering Company.”

This is an honest account of the actual day itself. However, there is also a lot that goes on behind the scenes before the day even starts. For everything to run smoothly there’s many hours of admin leading up to the big day. John’s partner, Jo does the initial meeting for couples and produces a personal Event Sheet. She will work with them to produce their ideal wedding breakfast and then book them in for a tasting of the menu they’ve chosen. If they haven’t already paid a deposit, they all do at this point!

Jo will update their Event Sheet as and when decisions are made and re-cost it all every time – so folks always know the important bit – what it’s costing them! Nearer the time she’ll work out what needs to be hired in, from the number of cloths to the number of spoons. This all gets delivered to the venue and taken away dirty the next day, so there’s no messing about or wasting time with endless washing up. She’ll also liaise with the chef to make sure all those with specific dietary requirements are being catered for adequately.

Jo will be there to lay the tables the day before and to have a final run through with the bride and groom to make sure they’re happy with everything, so that they are not disturbed on the day.