event planning

Delight Your Guests!

Delight Your Guests! 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

When you invite someone to be your guest, customer or client, that invitation comes with responsibility. The responsibility falls on you to provide quality, interest, passion and commitment.

At Pedrotti’s North Wind Ranch, we have made it part of our daily mission to delight our guests. We take this to heart and encourage you to do the same, regardless of what your mission is on a daily basis. Commit to the customers and clients you serve and show them that you are dedicated to creating a great service, product or experience. Keep in constant contact with your clients and always make sure you are on the same page with them. Your visions may not always perfectly align, but it is important that you understand what their expectations are – and then, you should work to exceed them.

Mistakes happen and you may experience some kinks in the planning and preparation for your client’s final product or experience. Therefore, it is also important to maintain an open line of communication.

Go the extra mile for your guests, clients or customers – whether it is a party you are planning, a project you are researching, a product you are developing or a cake you are baking. Show them your gratitude for the business. Thank them often and of course your own team and support system. When you are on the road to accomplishing your task-at-hand, take advantage of the diverse talents and abilities that you were bestowed with and put your best foot forward. With the “whatever it takes” mentality, you are sure to create a delightful experience for your guests.

 

Some things will never go out of style

Some things will never go out of style 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Apple released the iPhone 4s yesterday, much to the dismay of those hoping for an iPhone 5. While I am an avid iPhone user myself, I can’t help but wonder what drives our society to crave the latest and greatest in all areas of our lives. It’s unavoidable. As long as we continue to buy the newest in technology, corporations will continue to market and sell it. It got me thinking about a few things that will never be updated and how much I appreciate their simple charms that don’t need to be updated:

Rock n’ Roll – Punk, alternative, metal or progressive, call it what you like but good ol’ Rock n’ Roll will never go out of style. Whether you’re jamming in your car or cleaning your house, any classic rock anthem is sure to get at least some part of your body moving.

Blue Jeans – I can’t think of another article of clothing that I would rather be in than a classic pair of denim blue jeans. Levi’s and Wrangler ads consistently depict the classic look as a symbol of the American lifestyle. I don’t think the easy look of jeans and a t-shirt will ever go out of style.

Baseball caps – You want to know the best accessory to go along with your jeans and t-shirt? A baseball cap. As long as the great sport of baseball is played, players, fans and even those who aren’t fans, will sport the too-easy look of wearing a cap. How can you update the cap? You can’t. It’s perfect.

Watching and playing sports – One of my favorite childhood memories is sitting in the living room after an amazing Thanksgiving Day lunch and watching football with my family. After the turkey coma wore off, we would all go in the backyard and toss the ball around. From playing catch to a game of flag football, everyone was outside playing a sport and having a great time.

Home-cooking – I can’t think about a Thanksgiving meal without salivating at the thought of recipes passed down through the ages. Generations of tried and true methods of mixing, pouring, seasoning and tasting leave every family with the perfect meal on any special occasion. The best part of it all is that it brings any family together at the table to enjoy tradition.

Some things (the best things) will never go out of style and to update them would just be a crime. As updates in technology leave us in the dust, we should all just throw on our pair of jeans, watch a football game and dream of the joys of our grandmother’s kitchen.

The Steps to Planning an Event

The Steps to Planning an Event 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

There’s no better feeling than crossing something off of your to do list, but as the old saying goes, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” One of my favorite parts of hosting events in San Antonio is seeing an idea on paper brought to life through teamwork and careful planning.

It all starting with planning – Sit your team down and discuss the bare bones of your event. A good start would be to answer the who, what, when, where and why of your event in the planning stage. Don’t think about specifics so much because that part will come later. I recommend using a brainstorming technique where all members of the group contribute ideas. Be sure not to exclude any ideas.

Next thing to think about is logistics. Can the event take place with the time limit and budget given? Logistics is a good time to start crossing off items that require more resources than what are available. During logistics, a team should also think about the number of attendees. (We suggest over-estimating on the amount of guests you have, nothing is worse than running out of food or supplies!)

After the logistics are set, time to organize! Take all of the information you’ve brainstormed and the ideas that have passed the logistics test should be plugged into a timeline. Organizing your event will help ensure you don’t forget anything. After you’ve organized you event, you should know what will be needed for each activity throughout the night.

All that’s left now is to execute the event. This is when all of your careful planning and organizing pays off. Make sure you stick with your plan, keeping your event on time will not only ensure it ends on time, but your guests will appreciate the easy flow of the party. Your job as a host doesn’t end as soon as the party begins. You’re allowed to have fun, but always keep in mind food refills, new guests and the overall energy of your event.

After it’s all over, be sure to look at what worked and what didn’t for the next time you host. We hope that these simple event planning tips will help you to become the host or hostess you’ve always wanted to be!

Making a Great First Impression

Making a Great First Impression 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

You only get one so you better make it good! This week as July makes its first impression on us, we’re taking a look at what makes a good first impression.

Unfortunately, you can make a bad first impression on someone before you even meet them if you’re late. Always be on time. The person you are meeting with will appreciate not having to wait for you. Go ahead and plan to arrive a few minutes before the meeting to allow time for travel. If you’re on time, you’re already starting your first-time meeting off on the right foot.

Before you even open your mouth, chances are you’re already being judged inadvertently on your professional appearance. This doesn’t mean you have to look like a fashion model to make a good first impression, it means that you should present yourself appropriately for the occasion. You should ask yourself if the appearance you are giving off is the impression you want to leave. For example, if you’re going into an interview, make sure you are dressing for the job you want.

So what now? You’re on time and you look good, but remember your face. Are you smiling? If you walk up with a huge positive smile on your face, c whomever you’re smiling at will likely return the gesture. Just make sure your smile is genuine and not too fake or forced. The next steps are to stand tall and with confidence, make eye contact, smile and greet the other person with a strong (but not too strong!) handshake.

After your initial greeting, it’s time for the tough part: Making small talk. To avoid lulls in the conversation, make sure you’ve done your research. Most professionals post a small bio on their website, educate yourself on their interests and you won’t find yourself without conversation.

I hope that this little tutorial will help you make a great first impression and we hope everyone has a wonderful summer season!

Attitude Makes the Difference

Attitude Makes the Difference 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

When I was growing up, my high school principal used to close the morning announcements with a quote, “Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours.” I always heard this mantra and thought it was cheesy, and in the morning, I was definitely not thinking about how I was going to make my day great.

As I got older, I realized that the attitude we choose at the start of each day truly does make a difference. If I woke up every morning and thought, “Alright, here I go again, same ol’ thing,” my day would start out with instant negativity. When I’m speaking to guests, I know that they would prefer to hear a fresh and upbeat voice rather than a reluctant and sour one. I want them to know that I am excited about their project or event, and all it takes is a little positivity. Although it’s tough, I have to wake up and say to myself, “Today is going to be a good day.”

Here are some tips on creating and maintaining a positive attitude:

Waking up early – One of the easiest ways for most people to start their day off right is to wake up earlier than normal. If we give ourselves plenty of time for a healthy breakfast and ample time to get ready, there’s no feeling of being rushed.

Exercising – While you’re up early, engaging in a little light cardio gives your body that extra kick to get it going in the morning.

Listening to positive music – On your way to work, play your favorite dance album, or anything that gets your body moving. You can also listen to podcasts of inspirational speakers for a mini pep-talk in the morning.

Make lists – It sounds daunting, but if you make a list of all the things that need to be accomplished for the week will not only get you more organized but the feeling of accomplishment after crossing a task off your list just can’t be beat.

Be thankful – Last but certainly not least, be thankful for all the things you do have. Surround yourself with the positive people in your life and appreciate them for their friendship. The very act of focusing on what you are thankful for will help you maintain your positive attitude

So get out there, start your day with an early morning workout, listen to your favorite album, check things off your list of to-dos (and actually do them) and be thankful for everything you have. Maybe my principal was right, making each day a great day is my choice.

Southern Hospitality

Southern Hospitality 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Ever think that you should have been a cowboy? Maybe we should take some tips out of their handbook.  While waiting for a friend to meet me for lunch the other day I realized that often times reminding people about that southern hospitality that Texas is known for can make a world of difference on their perception of a place, and it doesn’t cost a dime to win over the hearts of your customers.

It was a simple act; the hostess would greet people by opening the door for them and directing them to another young lady who would then take them to their seat with a sincere and welcoming smile. My surprise was in the delight on the faces of guests coming in. It seems like such a simple thing to do, but it pleased the customers so much. It takes no time out of your day, but in today’s fast-paced business world, many people overlook tasks like this and forget that the small steps are what take you that extra mile.

I spent the rest of my day making it a point to hold the door open for someone behind me, and the appreciation on the faces of those people was a reward in and of itself. We open the door for people coming into our house, so why would we not extend that courtesy coming into our business, or our home away from home? Giving customers that individual attention will only improve your company’s reputation in the eyes of a community.

Open that door with a big Texas hello and remind people of that southern charm.

Deciphering the Dress Code

Deciphering the Dress Code 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Today’s topic is something new to the blog – event attire. I took it upon myself this week to learn about and get feedback from a number of ladies for this week’s blog. I am thankful for the assistance on fashion and its jargon from my co-workers around the office! Don’t worry, there are tips for the guys, too. Here we go…

Your company’s party is this Friday and the dress is business casual, your daughter’s sweet sixteen is in a month and the theme is ‘Hawaii 5-0’ and your cousin’s wedding is this weekend and the invitation says black tie optional. How does one know what is appropriate for each event? With these few simple definitions and examples, you’ll always be dressed to impress.

Business Casual

-If you work in a not-so-conservative office, voila! What you’re wearing is the perfect example of business casual. Comfortable slacks in linen or khaki, mixed with a dressy top or button down is a classic look that works for both men and women. For women, if you are meeting co-workers outside of the work place for an office party and the dress is ‘business casual’ look for slacks or a dressy pencil skirt in darker shades with a fancier top with a sheen and bright color. Heels are optional and with all the great styles in flats and boots, you can mix it up without feeling the pain at the end of the night.

-Guys can take care of business casual with jeans, a button up and a blazer – or the popular button up and khakis look. And you can get away with a polo shirt sometimes, too!

Black Tie or Formal

-A ‘black tie’ event calls for a more formal type of dress. Men are to wear tuxedos or suits and women are to wear up-scale cocktail dresses, evening dresses or dressy separates. Appropriate footwear includes dress shoes and heels.

-If an event just calls for ‘formal’ attire, a tie isn’t always required, but if you’re a man and you are wearing a tie, go ahead and add the jacket, your date will appreciate it.

-‘Black tie optional’ gives you the option of wearing a tuxedo or formal dress, but it alludes to the formality of the event, meaning a dark suit and tie would be your other option. Women wear cocktail, long dresses or dressy evening separates.

White Tie or Ultra-Formal

-A ‘white tie’ event is the most formal an event can get. Men need to be in full tuxedos and women should be in long gowns or very dressy separates.

Semi-Formalor After Five

-Tuxes are not required, nor are long dresses. An evening wedding (after 6 PM) would still dictate dark suits for him, and a cocktail dress for her. Daytime semi-formal events mean a suit for him and an appropriate short dress or dressy suit for her.

 Cocktail Attire

 -For women, this means short, elegant dresses and dressy heels. Depending on the event, the dress can either be a little more showy or subdued. If the dress is in solid or dark shades, go for a shoe in a great complimentary color to give your outfit a focal point. For men, stick to dark suits and (clean) dress shoes.

 Festive Attire

-‘Festive attire’ is usually seen around the holidays. For her, it means to choose looks with a bit of sparkle, lively pattern or animal print. Dark jeans and a sparkly sweater would be a perfect outfit for an office holiday party. For men, try a knit pull-over in reds, greens or blues with khaki or denim slacks and you are good to go celebrate the season with your co-workers.

Theme

-For adults, theme parties can really go either way. Do you have friends that go all out for Halloween? Then yes, feel free to dress up to your heart’s desire. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing a classic Halloween costume then just go for little touches that allude to your costume. Women, pull out that classic black dress that you’ve only been able to wear to a few occasions, buy some cat ears and a tail and you are good to go. Guys can get away with just about any mask or wig. If your budget it a little low, you can also go to a party store and buy some clip-on vampire fangs and with a little blood and a shirt you don’t mind getting dirty, you’ve got an original costume that it sure to turn some heads.

-If you are a parent hosting or chaperoning a themed event for your child or teen, I wouldn’t recommend dressing up too much. If it’s a Hawaiian-themed event, no one really wants to see their mom (or dad!) in a coconut bikini. Just stick with staple pieces leis around the neck or a Hawaiian flower in your hair. When it comes to your dress to your child or teen, less is more.

-There are many other theme options, but these are just a couple to consider.

Well, there it is. Anthony’s thoughts on fashion – never thought you’d read that, did you? But I hope you enjoyed.

Are you making a change?

Are you making a change? 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

We recently polled some folks on our Facebook page about their new year’s resolutions. What did we hear back? The typical answers – eat better, lose weight, save money. These are all great resolutions and great goals, no doubt.

But we all know that the gym is packed to the brim for the month of January, and seemingly, the crowds fizzle to the norm by mid- to late February. While these are resolutions are personal resolutions, they can be applied to the thought of professional resolutions, as well.

Here’s a thought – rather than make resolutions that are seemingly made to be broken – why not make lifestyle changes?

Many years ago, Mahatma Gandhi told us what we need to do, “Be the change we wish to see in the world.”

Though Gandhi’s quote has been quoted to the point of becoming a cliché, it is something that should be implemented in our lives on a daily basis, both personal and professional. From a hospitality purview, we must adapt and make changes daily, literally.

So, what is the change we want to see?

Well, in the realm of hospitality, we want to change each event to be tailored to each of our clients’ interests and desires. We want to change any problem we see during an event and turn it into a solution. We strive to change the negative and turn it into a positive.

We want to change any poor experiences that someone may have had with a past vendor or venue and provide the most optimal service and experience. It is our goal to change the wrong to right, the bad to good, and the unsightly to beautiful – because our ultimate endeavor is to please every client, customer and guest that graces our presence.

Change is constant. It’s not a resolution you make once a year, especially in business. It is making adjustments, learning from failures, correcting mistakes, creating progressive paths and fine-tuning the smallest details to ensure that the change is leading to greater things and constant success.

So instead of a resolution this year, how about a change?

 (And a sidenote to our Facebook respondents, this in no way takes away from your noted resolutions. We are absolutely cheering for your success and hope that you can make the changes you need to succeed with your goals in mind! Go get ‘em!)

Foe to Fan

Foe to Fan 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

With a constant changing of wants and needs, 100 percent customer satisfaction is something that is incredibly hard to accomplish. There is always something a customer can find wrong with a prodcut or service. It is in our mindset as humans to always pick out the imperfections. We are constantly on the lookout to report things that are going wrong – rather than right.

Do not let this fact deter you or your employees from trying to make a foe into a fan of your company – and doing everything in your power to master the art of brilliant customer service.

Customers are commonly dissatisfied not specifically with price or product, but by a past experience that has given them a reason to nitpick. Many “difficult” customers become that way because of previous occurrences, which may not have even been your company’s fault to begin with. However, we do know that whether it was your fault or not, they will find a place for the blame. Here are a few tips to better help you turn that foe into a fan:

Take Charge of the Situation – It is easy to get trapped when a customer has complaints, but take a deep breath and stay calm. When customers find reasons to complain, this is a sign that they want and need to be heard. If you stay calm and let them voice themselves, they will respect that you took the time to listen and address any  issues – and that you remained composed throughout the process. Give them a reason to cheer rather than jeer. Make them a fan.

Importance – Every customer wants to be tended to and know they are important – because after all, they are important. Following up with customers who feel they have been wronged is a professional and effective way to turn that befuddled customer into a happy customer. There are a number of companies and services who do not make their customers and clients feel important. Dare to be different and cater to the importance of each consumer. They are the essence of your company’s well-being.

Give More to Get More – Giving a customer more than they paid for is often a good strategy to transition a one-time customer into repeat customer and cheerleaders for your company. Customers are accustomed to getting what they paid for, so if you give them more than what they paid for you will see a world of difference in the customers who keep coming back for more.

Making the shift from foe to fan really revolves around the basics of listening and paying attention to the details. Make all the positive difference you can for everyone that walks through your door. You are sure to see those faces coming back for better experiences time and time again.

Satisfied?

Satisfied? 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Customers shop to be satisfied. Sometimes they are satisfying a need, and sometimes they are satisfying a desire. When it comes to business, the main goal is frequently to keep the customer satisfied. Seems simple, right?

The customer is coming to you to fill that desire, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that it is only the product that they desire. Many customers are seeking to fulfill a desire more than the product itself. The staff is an important key to maintaining the satisfaction of the customer. You can have an amazing product, but with horrible customer service that product will never meet its true potential.

There are some key ways that you can keep a customer satisfied:

Promises – Companies can make many promises to its customers, but a great company is a company that can keep those promises. Make sure that any promises you make you can follow through with – this is a vital way to customer satisfaction.

Goals – It is always good to set goals not only as a company, but also encourage your co-workers and employees to set individual goals. Much success comes from setting goals and ultimately, achieving goals. Goals are very important to give direction in an organization.

Expectations – Always try to exceed expectations. If you can exceed the expectations of the customer you will ensure the satisfaction of that customer. Many companies have become well-known and highly recognized by exceeding the expectations of the customer which can lead to long term customers.

Attention – Pay attention to the needs of the customer. Sometimes their needs might not coincide with the business, but if you meet their needs they will constantly be satisfied. Although the bottom line is that profit is the key to success, without the customer you have no profit. The needs of the customer should always be the top priority of the company or business – particularly in the entertainment and event planning industry.

Value – Make the customer feel wanted. Value the customer. If you don’t, it will not be long before the customer or client parts ways with you. Show each individual client that they are significant and you appreciate his or her business. Give your customers the royal treatment, and provide an experience or a product that they will want to share with others. The dedication to a valued customer is not something to be taken lightly.

More than likely a customer can access your product or service from a variety of places. What is important is that you satisfy the wants and needs of the customer to ensure that they choose your product over the competitors. Show them your value by appreciating their value.

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