Monday, June 13, 2011

The whys and whats of Catering & Me.

For quite a few years now different clients, associates and friends have suggested that I write a newsletter to share some of my accumulated knowledge of the catering business. I have always liked the idea and put it on my to do list where it would rise and fall in priority but never make it to publication. 

Then about a month ago I met with a very respected friend in the event/meeting planning business who I had not seen in about two years. I shared with this person some of the opportunities, trends, changes I was seeing in the catering and special event venue world. This led my friend to suggest that I write a blog. As I left the meeting I realized this was a much better way to proceed with sharing my information than a newsletter, and I began compiling story ideas.

Once I had some ideas on initial posts, the hard part became where to start. I figured "what" and "why" would be as good a place as any to start. The above begins to cover why I started this, another important "why" would be why would anyone want to read this? I hope to make this blog interesting and insightful, and for those that don't know me, I will gradually fill you in on my background and why some feel that it qualifies me to be a good information source on these topics.

Quick bio. My first job at 10 years old was alphabetizing the mailing list for the original Electric Factory at 22nd & Arch in Philly. My dad, Jerry Spivak, one of the founders of the business, paid me $1 per hour. I got half way through the letter B (about 2 weeks of work) before deciding that my school work took precedence. Since then I have worked in Restaurants in every capacity besides server, and have been a partner in one. Total restaurant experience, about 20 years. In 2000 I joined the team of Max & Me Catering and spent 8 years there as GM, then minority partner, then business development/off-premise sales.Since 2008 I have been consulting with local caterers as well as executing the catering portion of some major events outside of the 215/610 area codes. I spent about a year and a half working with Starr Restaurants Catering division, I was an outside contractor focusing on venue development and sales and I was hired full time in January of 2009. Right now I am consulting for a few different caterers and restaurants that want to do catering. I also am pursuing some other related and non-related lines of business that I may or may not share information about on this blog at some point.

I covered the "whys" and partially covered the "whats" of this blog, the other part of what is this: what is catering and thus what is the scope of total information I plan to write about.

According to Merriam Webster here is the definition of cater: 

1. to provide a supply of food
2. to supply what is required or desired

Both definitions hint at the broad, potentially huge field that catering encompasses. I think I like a definition that combines the two. Something like "to provide a supply of food in a way that is required or desired". 

I look forward to posting regularly and to getting comments from anyone who reads about Catering & Me.

Harry 6/13/2011 

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