Do You Have The Right Ingredients For Your Event Catering?
If there’s a person in Atlanta that knows her way around catering within an attraction that would be Natasha Cary, General Manager for Wolfgang Puck Catering and Restaurant Associates at Georgia Aquarium! Natasha’s career with catering at the Aquarium started long before she stepped into the role of General Manager. In 2005 she joined Wolfgang Puck Catering on the Aquarium’s opening sales team. In 2009, only a few short years after opening, Natasha was asked to fill a newly created position for the world’s largest aquarium at the time as the Director of Sales and Services. In a position of directly overseeing the Wolfgang Puck Catering team, she created systems and processes for the special events side of Atlanta’s top attraction.
Then in 2011, the Wolfgang Puck Catering executive team came looking for a Director of Catering and Sales and Natasha jumped at the chance to be back on the day-to-day side of food and beverage service, which she loved so much. A win-win move for her and the Aquarium, over the next three years the catering sales team under her leadership exceeded sales goals and client expectations.
Recently promoted to General Manager, we’re proud to say that we’ve worked with Natasha in many of her roles over the years. Destination South client events held in the Georgia Aquarium are some of our favorites – we welcome her as a May guest blogger as we couldn’t think of anyone more perfect to share insights on food and beverage at an attraction facility than Natasha Cary!
Do you have the right ingredients for your event catering?
It’s no wonder I found my way into food and beverage as my path. I grew up in the Mediterranean culture where hospitality runs in our blood. You don’t think about it, or talk about it, it just is; it is a way of life. My grandmother’s house was always full of family and friends, and she wouldn’t have had it any other way. When people came to her house, the first thing she asked was “can I get you something to drink?” – immediately followed by “would you like something to eat?”
I believe if you choose a profession that ignites you from within, then everything you do is elevated to another level. The difference between loving what you do and doing what you love is the difference between planning an event and crafting an experience. For me, doing what I love, helps me use the right measurement of each ingredient to bring them all together and create a recipe for success.
I strongly believe that food and beverage is the heart and soul of every event. You can have a unique venue, elaborate décor, and the entertainment may be the best you have ever heard. But if you don’t have good food to feed your guests’ bellies, and tasty drinks to sip while connecting through conversations, then you fall short of creating an experience.
Sometimes clients make compromises that affect the overall experience due to focusing only on one element of the event. You can have the trendiest food stations, mixologists crafting sexy drinks, aerialists defying gravity in a ballroom where whale sharks are on view and beluga whales steal the show; but if you favor one “event ingredient” over another you may end up with an unbalanced recipe.
At Wolfgang Puck Catering, our approach to the art of catering is more consultative in the sense that we work as a team to accomplish a clients’ overall vision. Clients can assist us by providing a clear picture of their desires and trusting us to be an extension of their team. Planners who can translate their clients’ needs and then trust that we always keep their best interest in mind allow us to create a cohesive food and beverage flow to compliment the event.
We ask that clients be open for unexpected paths to take them somewhere exciting. Why not step outside of the typical comfort zone when the opportunity presents itself? Those that allow a little wonder and imagination to be mixed in provide guests with not simply an event but an immersive unforgettable experience telling a story through food!