Post # 1
We’re going to be having a ton of platters from a deli at our reception. The deli doesn’t cater with a waitstaff, so we’re looking to hire them.
Has anyone ever done this? We’ve placed calls, but in our region, they’re busy with graduations and we’ve been put on a waitlist for contact. So, in the meantime, I wanted to see if anyone had any experience with hiring waitstaff for their reception?
How many people were on the waitstaff? Did they have specific duties or were you able to inform them what you wanted? And how much did it cost?
Post # 3
If you are hiring less than 5 people I would recommend contacting local restaurants that have good service and seeing if they have any servers you can hire, hire one specifically to take the lead, and the rest will have someone to follow.
Another way would be to put an add in something like Craigslist, but make sure you ask for references from restaurants or catering companies they’ve worked for. And call the number to the business and ask for the reference name, dont’ just call the number they give you…
Post # 4
I’m having a waitstaff… They come with my wedding planner. It’s 100 per server, and 150 for a bartender. I’m having 3 servers and 1 bartender. They are serving, cleaning up, making sure everyone’s drinks are filled, and since they are coming with the wedding planner I believe that they will also be setting up the tables with linens and such. It’s soo worth it.
Post # 5
Where do you go to eat out? Go there and ask your sever (provided they are doing a good job). There will probably be several who will be interested at any restaurant. I waitressed for 7plus years and loved doing weddings or parties to make some extra cash. Usually I had less work to do at a wedding then my typical dinner shift and the money was decent. Plan on giving them a reminder call a week prior, and maybe even day before if you go this route.
Let them know what they need to wear, if they work at a nicer restaurant they may be able to use their uniform from there, otherwise keep it basic. They aren’t going to want to go buy cloths for a one day job.
How many depends on the number of guests. For a deli style reception I would day 1 server for 50 guests. Keep in mind though if you want them to refill drinks, and clear plates you may want to designate one just to maintain the buffet. I would say $50.00 per server and up depending on how long you need them.
You can definitely give them a list of duties. When I worked a party I wanted to do my best and maybe get an extra tip. So I appreciated when the host was clear about what we needed to do. Let them know ahead of time if you expect them to stay for clean up and what it entails. Make sure to let them know where bathrooms, kitchen, etc is and who is your day of coordinator maid of honor etc. waitstaff get asked a lot of questions because guests aren’t sure who else to ask, so if they know who is who they can help out more.
Also make sure you have supplies for them to work with. I have gone to events where they wanted us(waitstaff) to keep the food area clean and pick up plates, refill drinks etc, BUT had no rags paper towels, trash bags, etc.
Let me know if you need any other info, hope this helps!
Post # 6
These are great tips! I appreciate all your feedback! We were looking into waistaff companies and never thought to approach a restaurant to inquire about their staff.
Post # 7
What city is your reception in?
Post # 8
What do you want them to do? Are you in a big city or a smaller city? If you tried to hire a waiter for a Saturday night for $50 in my city, they’d laugh in your face–they can make $2-500 easy on a weekend night depending on where they work. But in a smaller town, that’s decent money and they would probably take it.
If you want them to show up, put out deli platters and replenish the deli platters and take them away when dinner is over and that’s it–you can ask regular servers and college students and it should be fine if you have someone (like a DOC or trusty designated guest) keeping them on schedule.
If you want them to help set up, bus, maintain the buffet, serve cake, refill drinks and clean up after then I’d recommend hiring from a staffing service. I’ve been both a regular server and a cater waiter and catering is an entirely different ballgame. My bosses get paid $25 an hour for me when I serve and $40 an hour for when I am a floor manager (I receive a small percentage of that as an hourly wage). If you want that sort of service, you should hire at least 1 server for every 50 guests and a floor manager to make sure that things happen on schedule. Depending on what you want from them, you may be recommended to hire more–if they ask you to hire more, do it.
Standard catering uniform is black dress pants, black shoes, black socks and black apron. Some places have white button down shirt with a black tie, others just do a black button down shirt. Definitely confirm the week of–I work all the time and depend on those confirmations because it just gets into a huge jumble.
ETA: Also, if they do a good job and you hire through a service, please please tip them. Servers don’t get the wage that you pay for them, usually we get somewhere between 1/4 -1/2 and a decent tip makes a big difference.
Post # 9
@zomgwut: It’s in a smaller part of town, but there are a lot of cafes and restaurants within walking distance of our reception, so I was at first thinking of going to those places to inquire.
We honestly have not thought about specific duties, since we were originally going to ask services what they offered. Many caterers by us do not just offer waitstaff, but require full catering with food, as well. We’ve yet to hear back from some waitstaff companies because graduation parties are in full swing by me and it’s popular to have them waited.
Post # 10