This is a job like no other .. underpaid and overworked is putting it mildly. Throw in under-appreciated and stressful living conditions as well as no life, and voila.. a family business is born! The only way out is selling it .. closing it.. or death!
If we try to sell it to you, don’t believe a word we say about harmony in the kitchen and family life .. it is all lies. My daughter just said out loud to anyone with-in earshot yesterday (very sarcastically btw) “build a catering business”.. she said .. “it’ll be fun”.. she said. (they were prepping 19 jobs this week.)
This while I made a stop out there to drop off the big coffee cambro and miscellaneous stuff from the funeral service for a good friend of mine (which my family could not attend with me, but did the catering). My daughter was able to slip upstairs in the church to take in some of the service.
Oh.. and my SUV which is THE ONLY VEHICLE of mine I have owned (that I would NOT let them put a trailer hitch on) will actually soak up 100 cups of spilled black coffee in the cargo space rug in the back. As we stood there surveying the damage, my son and I both had the same thought and said out loud.. it could’ve been worse, it could be beef juice!! nooooooooo ….
Sure I am retired.. oh.. well carving beef alongside my son for 280 guests last Saturday doesn’t really count. The lunch for 3000 at the end of the month will though.. if I survive it.
I am not alone.. most normal people lament to friends and relatives about getting together at funerals and weddings only. In the catering business.. if we attend either, it has to be because we are catering it.
We do get to see most of our friends and relatives at some point during the summer .. at the big events we book and then beg their help. That is when you get to see who your real friends are and the relatives well.. you can run but you can’t hide… forever. Changing phone numbers will work for awhile, but the kids all have phones now, hah!
Should you have a business that is not a family catering business consider yourself lucky. You get to enjoy real bread and real junk food. My ears still ring with my kids whining “why do we always have to have buns in our lunches?” “Can’t we just have Kraft dinner .. why do we always have to eat roast beef?”
Getting sick or maimed is not an option in a family business.. in his teens, my son was back carving beef at the Exhibition food booth.. just hours after having a pin slice into his hand putting up the tent. (it was only 7 stitches and wrapped up good with a plastic covering)
Oh and yesterday after my kitchen visit, my daughter hit the floor when a short circuit somewhere in a big coffee urn on a stainless steel table, with an obviously faulty plugin.. gave her a jolt as she reached in to feel if it was getting hot and working.. my god! This she related to me at the wedding site later that evening when she called.
My son knocked out most of a front tooth from an impact wrench socket that flew up and hit him in the mouth last week. Getting into a dentist right away, he was lucky they could cap it.. oh.. but he didn’t have time till after the weekend catering jobs.. so booked it for Monday.
Did I mention that was after he had spent the morning taking his dad (my Ex) to the hospital with a minor problem. The Ex had a heart-attack last fall and I can still see him lugging those heavy potatoe salad boxes into the food prep trailer on site, at an event for 5000. (two months before the heart attack)
We sold this family business several years ago to our kids.. I was of two minds and wanted him to be sure he wanted it.. this catering business is not for the feint of heart. We help them of course when they call us.. changing phone numbers is not an option.. is it?
I made him promise to take time off to have a life. Well .. they do book off one weekend each summer month and a week in August, so ok it is not quite a week. We do make money and employ a lot of people .. thanks in part to our dedication to attending and expanding our knowledge at seminars and events like Catersource.
To my dear sweet daughter… I am soooo sorry that had to happen to you again! I still have guilt from years ago when you were a teenager and we had to knock you free from that dam faulty barbeque that was rotating 100 lbs. of beef. You went in with both hands to lift that handle to check on it and it wouldn’t let you go…
I want you too know your words will ring in my ears forever .. as punishment .. ” it’ll be fun.. she said” … lord have mercy on my soul..