WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - When Colin Mead traded his waiter's apron for a daily planner at one of Westchesters most esteemed party locations, the first and arguably most important lesson he learned was in organization.
Coordinating events for national corporations like Pepsi and Ameriprise Financial is now just another day on the job for Mead at White Plains Restaurant 42 , where the manager regularly leads his team in planning and executing corporate parties, bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings and everything in between.
Part of what makes [42 Restaurant] unique is the scale of it. We can have four different events taking place at the same time, he said.
And with some of those big-time events packing in 250 guests, it's that much more important to pay close attention to detail.
The more information you can put on paper [the better], having the appropriate questions and items to discuss, the level of organization comes along with that, he added.
Despite even the most efficient strategic planning though, Mead has figured out that sometimes accidents can happen. The trick is to keep cool under pressure.
He recalled one wedding at which the Sweetheart table held with two Waterford crystal champagne flutes. Mead instructed the rest of the waitstaff that he was to be the only one to handle the glasses to ensure they were properly cared for, but one shattered after it was accidentally knocked over. His solution: immediately ordering a replacement set on his personal credit card. It came in while the couple was on their honeymoon and they remain unaware that there was ever a problem to this day.
Meads idea-building talents are not just limited to management, though. Growing up on a farm in Dutchess County, he recognizes the importance of eating locally grown vegetables and makes sure local produce from the White Plains Farmers Market is worked into the menu at Restaurant 42.
I think about the details Im able to handle and process now versus three years ago; Im able to look at things with a much closer eye and figure the big stuff out, he said.
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