“Sherm” Porter, President and chef at Sherm’s Catering, addresses the misconception that many customers have that catering is solely about food. Imagine you just started to plan one of those momentous events, perhaps the wedding of your daughter, or a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah, or even a 50th wedding anniversary for your parents. You know, the kind of event that everyone wants to be part of and that everyone will remember forever whether it is spectacular or horrific. But of course, you want it to be the best experience ever. You want your family and friends to relish every minute and not want to leave when it’s ‘officially’ over. You want to be part of the event as well, so that you can soak up every ‘ooh’, and ‘ahh’, and laugh, and sigh. You don’t want to miss anything, especially those tender little moments that can’t be planned for or put on the schedule.
So, how do you accomplish such a noble and all-consuming feat? Sherm suggests that “in today’s do-it-yourself paradigm, most of people start by figuring out how much of the planning and preparations they can do on their own. After all, it would get you totally engaged in the event from the get-go and, of course, it would save a few bucks as well.” But would it?
The median household income in the U.S. is $51,000 according to the 2012 U.S. Census. That means that your time could be worth $24.50 an hour or more. Now, multiply that rate by the enormous number of hours you might spend planning and preparing all the little details of such an important event. “People are really surprised when I have them look at this situation through these lenses,” says Sherm Porter, owner and chef at Sherm’s Catering. “I encourage my customers to think of me, a Caterer, as a General Contractor, much in the same way they would if they were having a major renovation done to their house. A Caterer, like a General Contractor, has all the necessary resources at his disposal to ensure a superlative outcome for the customer.”
DIY can be a great approach for some things we do, but Porter warns, “My customers don’t want to research and select a DJ on their own only to find that when the bride and groom make their grand entry commencing a wedding reception, that the DJ has hung a huge sign advertising his services over the entry door.” There are a great many pieces that make up a special event and “Food is at the center of it”, says Porter, “but it is the sum total of all these pieces that makes the entire experience spectacular and memorable.” People don’t come to an event as significant as this to just eat. They come to eat, to drink, to dance, to socialize, to share the moment with the family; in total, to create a memory.
Porter advises that it is the role of a Caterer to manage all these pieces, first ensuring that each element, such as music, video, photography, flowers, decorations, parking, etc. is selected according to the customer’s desires and expectations, and then ensuring that all the pieces will work effectively together to deliver the overall desired outcome. Sherm quips, “I even carry boxes of batteries (AAA, AA and 9-volt) because you never know when a photographer will run out unintentionally and end up with a disaster on his hands. For that matter, I think my truck looks more like a hardware store with all the “back-up” supplies that I bring along so that any disaster with any single piece of the event can be averted.”
Hiring a Caterer for those special events in your life might seem unnecessary if you are thinking you can do a lot of the planning and preparation yourself, but when you consider the value of your time, your time and attention during the event that will be diverted from your guests and the event itself because you’ll be busy overseeing everything and playing back-up to the unintended, but highly likely disasters that will occur, and the unavoidable stress of managing such a multifaceted experience, then hiring a Caterer, as your “General Contractor,” who can be trusted to fulfill you every expectation, is well worth it.
To learn more about Sherm Porter, visit: http://shermscatering.com.