In a perfect world, every vendor who crossed through the gates would care for and respect the multi-million dollar property they were entering as much as the estate staff. This is almost never the case. Generally, vendor staff are focused on getting their job done as easily and quickly as possible. They have no idea that the wall they just gouged with their hand truck was 4 layers of hand-applied Venetian plaster, nor do they care.
At a recent property, we had particularly stringent neighborhood requirements and a particularly irreverent caterer who we used on a regular basis. I developed guidelines for them and presented them to the company president for his agreement. It took me actually firing them for not following the guidelines to realize I was serious. They won the business back by providing the guidelines to all of their employees and subvendors and assigning a captain to oversee each stage of an event at the estate. From that point on, we had no issues. I wish I’d done it sooner.
This is a great tool for your management kit. I’ve since gone on to create tailored versions for landscape crews, IT service staff and regular deliveries. Others are a bit less demanding, but this one was written to correct issues.
Catering Vendor and Delivery Guidelines 2015
Catering Vendors and Deliveries for The Estate must follow the guidelines below. There are no exceptions to these guidelines, as we are legally bound by them pursuant to our zoning exceptions. If your company or service is unable to abide by these guidelines, please communicate directly with the Estate Manager to seek approved alternatives.
A) All deliveries must occur between the hours of 8:00 am and 10:00 pm.
B) All delivery vehicles must be less than 20 feet in length and fit through the gates of the Estate, which are approximately 9 feet wide.
C) Idling, parking, standing, or waiting of any kind in a delivery or passenger van or bus is not allowed on 28th Street.
D) Delivery trucks and crew vehicles may park in the lower (Lot C on the map) parking area for the duration of the event if needed.
E) Overnight parking is on a case by case basis and should be arranged in advance with the Estate Manager.
F) Load out and pick-ups must occur between 8:00 am and 10:00 pm. If an event is planned to go later than that time, pick-ups should be planned for the following business day between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.
G) If a load out or pickup must occur on a Saturday or Sunday, prior arrangements must be made with the Estate Manager, as the property gates are locked on weekends. Please plan a weekend pick-up to be between the hours of 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.
H) It is expected that vendors will make every effort to protect The Estate at all times from any damage that might occur from a load in or load out occurrence. Examples of vendor efforts would include covering steps and floor surfaces, being aware of walls and door jambs, lifting heavy items as opposed to dragging or pushing them, etc…
I) Wait Staff should park in the lower tennis court lot access the estate through the tennis court / lower garden path as opposed to the main drive and courtyard. Please enter and exit through the west service corridor and lower scullery kitchen.
J) While on-site at The Estate, vendors must observe our no-smoking policy and otherwise take direction from The Estate staff in regard to service standards at the Estate.
K) There is a break room provided for event staff. All other areas outside of the scope of the event are off limits to event staff.
L) Food and beverages purchased by The Estate are the property of The Estate and should be properly stored and left in the scullery kitchen per the direction of the Event Chef. A shift meal will be provided. An inventory of consumed alcohol should correspond with empty wine and liquor bottles left on-site for our recycling.
M) Captains must have time sheets signed by the Estate Manager or Estate Staff in charge and a copy should be left for the Estate Manager.
Have these signed and keep copies on file for each vendor.