If you gonna charge R400 a plate then here are some pointers

On Saturday evening the Longhair and I sauntered along to an evening of dining under the stars compliments of her boss who had booked a table for ten.

Now this was an evening dedicated to raising funds for charity with just about everything sponsored from the food to the wine on the table. Dress was formal and the ladies went all out. For the men, formal is so easy – just put on what you wore to the last funeral you attended and you are good to go!

The concept is stunning – dining under the stars on the field of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

BUT – lets look at my gripes:

  • Speeches of close on an hour long.
  • Images of starving unhappy children on the big screens.
  • Only TWO bottles of complimentary wine for ten people.
  • Whenever I ordered a Fanta Brown I had to provide the waitron with the cash before she would fetch the drinks.
  • No possibility of running a tab at all.
  • I didn’t see any debit/credit card facilities.
  • I didn’t see any stars at all as the stadium lights were too bright.
  • No-one lit the magnificent candelabra on our table.
  • A wholly not appropriate starter.

Lets face it – people and companies that are willing to spend R400.00 a plate are already sold on the idea of supporting a charity and probably wish to use the event and it’s prestige value to thank valuable employees – not to hear and see how kak sleg we all are through audio and visuals of starving kids and good deeds.

Cut the speeches out completely please – welcome people to the event and provide soft music and facilitate an opportunity for people to network. Deep down we are all competing snobs who hate to see someone earning more than us or giving more to charity to us – THIS is why competition is a good thing for charities. The best way to do this is to have ONE person from the Community Chest to work the tables – greeting, making people feel special and subtly pitching the next event or for a face to face meeting to discuss ‘future partnerships’. Weza had the right idea, with a bit of work it will bear fruit.

Don’t bother to ask some head honcho hob nob who is more than likely to not pitch up – tell me that you have four free Fanta Browns for me and I will pretend to be anyone you like and sit at the head honcho hob nob table. The Longhair and I will then work the shekels out of the rest of the peasants present in double quick time – a man and his Fanta Brown cannot be parted for long!

For the love of all that is mighty allow people to run a tab – before the event ask your attendees if they would like to place a certain amount down to cover their bar tab and then, THIS IS VERY NB, make sure you give them their change at the end of the night. OR provide electronic payment facilities. You may find that your coffers increase appreciably.

At least let people see the bloody stars.

My starter chicken breast was hard and dry – set the tone next time by placing a bit of sushi down as a starter – ask the buggers at SPAR to deliver complimentary sushi. What an easy way to impress and save time and money.

Only TWO bottles of complimentary wine? Sies, skande – if your target wallets are not just a little lubricated, how else are you going to be able to collect great gobs of cash?

I cannot praise the steak enough – everyone at the table agreed that their steaks were tender and tasty – NOT an easy thing to accomplish when you are catering for a lot of people. I may just be tempted to roll on down to Pick ‘n Pay and shake their butcher’s hand.

Don’t give up guys, events like these are always a work in progress. Lets see some of my grumbles being dealt with in the next one. Onward and upward.

of MyPE.co.za