Event Spotlight: Annual Gala Fundraiser
Every year, the Sierra Pregnancy and Health Clinic hosts an Annual Gala to raise funds for their clinic and bring the community together. In order to bring great food to the event, the Sierra clients work with Randy Peters in a partnership that has lasted over 4 years – and counting!
The fundraiser brings together upwards of 500 individuals from the surrounding community for a semi-formal sit down dinner. It is a highlight event for those who attend it each year, and this past year was no different. Follow along as we delve into the details of culinary planning for a heartwarming community event.
A Customized and Creative Planning Process
Months before the event even started, the Sierra’s planning committee began collaborating with the Randy Peters team on all aspects of the event, including food, decor, and service.
In addition to the food and beverage service, Randy Peters Catering also supplied all of the dishes, silverware, and linens for the event.
The Randy Peters Catering team worked with the client to complete chef-hosted tastings for potential food options, gather feedback from the tastings, and customize the menu according to the client’s preferences. This process ensured that the event menu contained the exact meals the client approved throughout the planning process.
The collaborative nature of the Randy Peters team is part of what made them stand out to the Sierra Clinic clients. This fundraising gala is hosted each year by the client, with a new theme. Following suit, Randy Peters Catering brings their creativity and innovative spirit to all aspects of the event each year, offering ideas for how their services can enhance the overall theme.
A Delicious, Multi-course Dinner
The sit-down, plated dinner included multiple courses throughout the night. When guests arrived at the event, there were bread baskets at the table and a salad course waiting for them at each place setting. As the dinner continued, the guests were served their choice of a chicken or vegetarian dish.
All main courses are delivered simultaneously to each table and all tables receive their main courses within a matter of minutes. Streamlined logistics, both from the kitchen and service staff, was incredibly important to pulling off the dining experience during the delivery of the main course. During the most recent gala, the Randy Peters team was able to get the full dinner service from the on-site chefs to the 500 guests in under 38 minutes!
A Dessert-Themed Challenge
For the dessert course, Randy Peters Catering, again, had the opportunity to showcase their logistical prowess. The Gala has a tradition of hosting a “Dessert Dash” each year. For this part of the night, fifty high-end desserts were set up along the outer walls of the event space. The individuals at the table that raised the most money for the fundraiser gets the first choice of dessert from the fifty different options. The tables then progress from level of fundraised money to their choice of dessert.
To guarantee this portion of the event went smoothly, Randy Peters set up each of the platters with plates and silverware and, when necessary, a staff member to serve the dessert to the guests. Each station had to be prepared for an influx of guests at any given moment, and ensure they had enough plates and silverware to facilitate service.
Training Volunteers for Success
One of the features of the Annual Gala that sets it apart from other similar events is that the client invites volunteers from the local high school and surrounding community to work as servers for the event. This involvement helps them learn more about the fundraising cause and meet the community.
This is a huge night for the high schoolers that volunteer at the event – many of whom have never worked in catering before! To make sure the volunteer service goes off without a hitch, the Randy Peters team steps up each year to facilitate service training before and throughout this event.
The training process involves a twenty-minute training session for all volunteers, who are asked to arrive early to the venue. Throughout this time, the Randy Peters team teaches them everything they need to know to become a part of their team for the night and succeed during the event service. From which side of the guest to serve dinner to the best way to set up dessert, this training includes everything!
Even though this training process is an extra step for the Randy Peters team, getting volunteers involved in the event is always worth it. Not only does the different approach to service during this event make the event that much more meaningful to the community, it also shows how above and beyond the Randy Peters team is willing to go for the client – even during crunchtime.
Throughout the night, a Randy Peters team member serves as a captain of a group of volunteers. In this role, they are responsible for training their team members, but also for supervising them during the event, and acting in a managerial role if any errors occur during service. In other words, the Randy Peters team member is a one-stop-shop resource on all things catering for the volunteers. They step up to help with any questions that arise, and act as an invaluable resource for the volunteer group as a whole.
Service with Integrity
“I appreciate their integrity when things don’t go well. They always invite feedback after each event, and there was a year when we had some challenges and they personally came to me and talked. It was the launch pad that helped solidify our relationship…the ability to want to talk about it and make it work was what I appreciated.”
– Cary Wilcox, Executive Director (Sierra Pregnancy + Health)
Throughout the service experience, the client was incredibly impressed with the integrity and commitment displayed by the Randy Peters Catering team. Some hiccups are sometimes inevitable during a large event. However, the Randy Peters team is always ready to take on the moving parts of the event logistics and quickly address any obstacles that arise. In all cases, the catering team showed they were a crucial and reliable part of the event as a whole – and set the ground for a continuously collaborative client relationship.
With every client, Randy Peters completes a follow up to discuss client feedback. With Sierra Health, Randy Peters was sure to connect to thoroughly discuss the event’s food, service, and flow – as well as a general overview of the event as a whole. This is a crucial part of Randy Peters’ process for every client. No matter how long the follow up conversation is, the Randy Peters team is ready to discuss the occasion’s successes and think about what success looks like for future events.
What Sets Randy Peters Apart
“[They know] that we’re a non-profit and price is important, but so is the quality, so we’ve been able to work with us…so that we can make it the best meal, at the best price possible while still holding true to their roots of being an excellent catering service.”
– Cary Wilcox, Executive Director (Sierra Pregnancy + Health)
Work with Randy Peters Catering
If you’re looking for a catering service to help you throw your next fundraising event, consider Randy Peters Catering. We offer three sophisticated event spaces that can accommodate your small catering needs or large gala planning. We also provide event catering, full bar services, and personalized menus to meet your individual needs. Give us a call at (916) 726-2339 or send us a message today and let us help you plan an event to remember!