Your Event Catering & The Triple Constraint Theory
July 16, 2016
Picture of the triple constraint theory drawn on blackboard showing constraints on catering and event projects

If it’s fast and good, it probably won’t be cheap!

What on earth do Canapes have to do with the Triple Constraint theory?

We’ll keep it short don’t worry!   Any event is a project and while enjoying a glass of wine at The Street Food Collective recently, (Miss Moonshine’s Buttermilk Chicken…do it!) we began musing over the challenges of event production and that no event escapes the Triple Constraint.

The key constraints are Scope (of the project, what you get), Time, Cost.

For your event they’re The Brief (what you get), Timings, Cost.

Changes to one of these three key constraints almost always affects the others, or impacts on the quality of your event.  So:

  • Add a choice of main?   It will take longer to service, or more staff and therefore $ to service.
  • Reduce the cost?  Something from the “What you get” list will be removed or compromised, or timings stressed (not enough staff).
  • Need fast meal service and clearing?  You’ll need more staff and therefore $.
  • And likewise, are timings non-essential?  Let your caterer know – it will reduce $, or you could add something to the “What you get” list.

We all know this intuitively but it can be a good tool to help focus on what is important as your event evolves…as it nearly always does!  It’s also a good thing to keep in mind when you get 3 quotes across your desk.  Have the suppliers understood what was important to you?  If one is materially cheaper than the others, what might they have compromised on?  Don’t just say “Yay!” be clear about what you’re getting (Scope) and that there are enough staff to meet your timings.

So back to Miss Moonshine’s…finish up with the doughnuts with caramel sauce and don’t share it!


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