During November 2018, the Westin Bund Center Shanghai proved its ability to deliver exceptional outside catering services, providing for more than nine events, ranging from a major exhibition, to a buffet-style service for a corporate sporting event to a tailor-made dinner for more than 3,300 guests.
Large-scale and under pressure
When tasked with providing catering services to the BAUMA exhibition, one of Asia’s largest and most important gatherings for the construction industry, the Westin team demonstrated its prowess at managing and executing large-scale events. Over three days, the hotel served breakfast, lunch and tea breaks to 1,200 people per day, all within an overall time frame of just three hours. Efficiency, professionalism and maintaining high standards were key to achieving success within such a tight timeframe.
Rising to a further challenge, The Westin Bund Center Shanghai worked within a limited area for both dining arrangements and food and drink preparation. The hotel provided sufficient dining space for 200 people at a time at dedicated booths, as well as ensuring that the food and drink produced was to the same high level for every group.
In addition, all the dishes provided were ordered on-site, with guests given two options of Western or Eastern-style dishes to choose from. With a ratio of one hotel employee for every 12 customers, this was no mean feat.
The hotel also provided F&B services for the fifth year in a row for a large-scale outdoor sports running event. Arrangements included a VIP section hosted in a tented area, accommodating 300 to 400 people, with a buffet-style option for guests, incorporating a ticketed fast food stand, for around 700 people.
The Westin team needed to ensure that meals were served to the participating runners on time, as well as handling the ticketed fast food sales seamlessly. All of this and more was achieved by preparing the site beforehand and creating dedicated areas for purchasing and serving food and drinks. The hotel’s strong record at this event over the last five years is testament to its ability to provide outstanding outside catering at a large-scale sporting-themed event.
Just last month, the hotel provided third-party catering services for an annual corporate party, for the second year in a row. It had to overcome a number of challenges with regards to logistics - such as distance, the range of facilities available and sheer numbers to cater for. More than 3,300 guests were in attendance, an increase of 600 on the previous year’s attendance.
To meet this demand, more than 500 hotel staff were primed and out in full force for the event; with no fewer than 276 tables to cater for, this was a new challenge that the hotel relished and which it met head on.
Fanny Ni, director of catering at The Westin Bund Center Shanghai said: “Besides these large-scale outside catering services, the hotel has provided catering for the opening and closing ceremony cocktail parties for the Shanghai International Film Festival, and a series of small-scale, outdoor corporate events.”
These have ranged from a buffet-style dinner for around 200 people to a company lunch, demonstrating the hotel’s commitment to cater for both large and more intimate gatherings. As the first five-star hotel in the Huangpu district to obtain a group Outside Catering certification, the Westin Bund Center Shanghai is setting the standard for high-end outside catering service for both corporate and private events.
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