Dealing with Picky Guests

As caterers in the San Jose area, we know that picky guests can be part of any event. Possibly, the guest does not like the food that’s being served. Possibly this guest is one of the most important people at the event, such as the groom’s father. Possibly, he is on a salt-free diet or simply does not like most foods and the foods he does like, he only likes them cooked a certain way. Or, he is too hot or too cold, his chair is uncomfortable, the guests are too loud or he had to park too far away.

Whether in the San Jose area or somewhere else, the question then becomes, how should this picky guest be handled? Here are some suggestions:

Avoid embarrassment – Never bring undue attention to the picky guest to avoid looking rude or disrespectful. Possibly ask the person if he or she would to like to join you in a more private setting so you can better understand his or her needs and how to best help.  

Listen – The first rule of communication and interaction with a picky guest is to listen enough to understand. Being listened to and understood can sometimes work to diffuse an otherwise difficult situation. Being willing to absorb at least a little bit of his or her fears, anger and/or dissatisfaction can help.

Plan ahead of time – if you know Grandma is always cold, bring a blanket. If Uncle Bob has a bad back, know where a pillow might be. Sometimes, a buffet-style dinner is served if the event includes a lot of people with special needs diets or unique food preferences.

Do not feel pressured to cater to picky guests – sometimes the old rule, “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time” is the governing them. Just as some picky guests might choose to be this way because they enjoy the attention, others might just be unhappy people inside or outside of your party setting. For these people, again, listen to them, possibly even apologize that their needs have not been met and that this was not your intention, and then just move on, knowing you have given them as much time and attention as the situation required.

Let us help you plan your next event, all things included—even those picky guests, by contacting Handheld Catering at  (408) 692-4782.

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