What do service staff provide, what do I need to provide?

Blue Ridge Event Staffing is primarily a staffing company and what we are providing is People and Time. We do offer some services like Delivery, Consultations, and Disposable Products, but most all the Materials and Tools need to be provided by you, your venue, your planner, or your caterer.

We have created a handy CHECKLIST to assist our clients as they plan their events. Please download/ print/ bring it to meetings with your planner and use it as you move through the planning process and source all the tools and materials you need.

Why do I need so many staff? We are just eating off paper plates.

Over the years we have developed guidelines for acceptable server/guest ratios. We take into account: your guest count, the type of dinner or bar service you have requested, the level of service from your caterer or venue, and the amount of additional logistics your event may require when we recommend our numbers. Even if you are using disposables as long as guests are eating and drinking, guests are leaving a mess, and we are here to make sure that mess is taken care of so you get your deposit back. If you like to learn more about how we make our recommendations, please read: Determining Your Event Needs.

Why do I see 90 minutes of set-up quoted?

All professional vendors arrive early, we are no exception, for any event, wedding or small party, it is standard for set-up to be complete before guest arrival.

Think of your event like a theater production. All the actors and stage hands arrive early to set-up, so that when the audience arrives, the production is ready for the performance.

Similarly, our staff show up 90 minutes before the start of each and every event for general set-up and orientation. (Yes, even buffets. Yes, even casual laid back events.) They are then able to meet with the host/planner and learn the layout of the event space, find the supplies they need to get set-up, execute that set-up, and troubleshoot as needed.

We also want to be considerate of the space you have chosen by allowing our staff adequate time after an event to leave the venue as they found it, or often times, better. That is why you will also see 60 minutes of breakdown quoted.

In this 90 minutes of set-up you could reasonably assume staff could: take a dining room in which tables and chairs were set up by a rental company or the venue and set all tables with linen, and place settings. You will need to provide a template table so staff know how you would like it to look. With a diagram and table numbers they can assist in getting your tables numbered and set flower arrangements. Our staff do not have time to add decorative touches, construct items, or assist with furniture set-up. We are happy to provide this service, but it is not part of the initial estimate unless explicitly discussed.

“But we will have it all set up”?

You are going to be busier than you imagine. Your wedding planner is going to be busy. They have decor to arrange, family and friends to charm, vendors (including us) to meet with and direct. Setting tables, prepping the buffet and managing the nitty gritty details of food set-up (in formal wear) is not going to be a priority for them, for us, it is.

What does Blue Ridge Event Staffing need to succeed?

The staff will need a well lit workspace with a water source. This needs to be a special consideration for those planning weddings outdoors or in non-traditional spaces like breweries, barns, or vineyards. Bartenders will need a bar station provided, if there is not a bar station at your venue please ensure one is rented with your rental order, or we can add this to your invoice with us.

Catering Equipment. Your menu will require equipment either provided by the venue, rented by yourself, your planner, or some clients will choose to use disposable catering equipment. The equipment needs to include adequate items to keep food warm. Bowls, platters, baskets and serving utensils for all sides, condiments and other items like pitchers, drink dispensers, etc. If you need help determining what you need, we would be happy to help. Please ask for a rental consultation and an office member will review your menus and provide you with a list of equipment to make an order or to add to your existing rental order.

Access to trash receptacles. Some venues do not have adequate trash receptacles for the amount of waste a large event produces. In these cases it is incumbent on the client to make provisions for trash removal. In most cases BRES staff arrive in their own vehicles, we do not ask our staff to remove trash in their personal vehicles.

Details. The more information you can offer the staff, the better. Your staff greatly benefit from having a copy of the following in advance:

  • Menus with portioning notes, assembly notes if needed.
  • Timelines.
  • Diagrams of dining room/buffet line set-up
  • Advance notice of any special considerations. Stationed champagne toasts, hor’s d’oeurves, cake cutting, supplies, extra set-up/breakdown needs, etc.

For Weddings

An event planner or day of coordinator-  BRES requires that you have a professional to manage your event. Too often when events have no planners it falls on the other vendors to fulfill that role. We are happy to recommend colleagues who are day of coordinators or planners.

I have paid for staff for the day, so I can get them to do whatever I need, right?

Not exactly, please refer to our Scope of Service Page, below, for an outline of staff duties. Office staff will need to sign off on additional duties. However these must be written into your invoice. This written record ensures we have the appropriate tools, time, and staff to accomplish all your event goals. It also ensures expectations are communicated to staff appropriately.

What about Tipping?

Please see our Tipping Article in Resources regarding our most frequently asked questions about tipping event staff.