Felicia Events sat down with Veronica Arriaga at Caesars Entertainment
to talk about catering and what people can expect when using catering services provided by a hotel /casino.
Felicia Events: Catering for a big corporation like Caesars must have its pros and cons. What are some of the best parts of your job?
Veronica Arriage: The resources and talent available in a large company are a big pro. Caesars Entertainment is headquartered in Las Vegas, NV. We have a large team of talented professionals I can reach out to and get advice on handling client needs I may not have encountered before. The marketing team can also assist with collateral and marketing projects. It is very nice to have a large team to pull from. The biggest con would be the large team is spread across the entire country, so it does take a little getting used to not having everyone on-site at your property. You have to work around that by being aware of any time differences and using email initially as a preferred communication platform.
FE: What does a typical meeting with a client look like?
VA: Each client interaction is very unique and the first thing I do is put myself in their shoes to figure out the best way to handle the interaction and how they would want the information presented in a way that makes the most sense. A corporate meeting planner, for example, would want pretty direct information; whereas with a young couple planning their wedding, I would take the time to really educate them on the process, since this is probably their first time planning an event. The initial meeting would involve a Q&A to get to know the client’s needs so I can get them an accurate proposal. If the client’s schedule allows, I will also tour the on-site space with them, as well as hotel rooms. Each meeting is customized to what the client is looking for but will always involve a discussion about the process and their event expectations.
FE: You do both on-site and off-site catering. How is each type of catering the same? How is each type of catering different? Which is more popular?
VA: On-site is more popular, since many clients are familiar with our properties in Lake Tahoe.
Off-site is really about developing relationships with our off-site partners as they are the ones referring us. Our off-site inquiries typically come after a couple has already selected a site for their wedding.
FE: You probably get lots of odd or unusual requests. What’s the strangest request you’ve had from a client?
VA: In my career with groups and event planning, I have certainly come across some interesting requests. Last summer, I had an Indian couple [who] wanted to ride in on an elephant as part of their wedding ceremony. After looking into the cost though, they went with a horse. Horses as part of a ceremony are actually a pretty popular request with off-site weddings.
FE: Do you have any recommendations you always make to clients, regardless of the event or venue?
VA: I always recommend clients have a good grasp on their attendance before signing an agreement. This is a good idea for the client, so their guarantee is accurate and good for the venue so they can secure the best space for you.
FE: What are your favorite off-site venues to work in?
VA: Our staff loves working anywhere with Felicia Events! We are also on the preferred lists of Lakeland Village, a lakefront wedding location as well as the Historic Valhalla Estate on the southwest shore and really enjoy catering weddings at those sites.
FE: What can clients expect from an on-site event?
VA: Seasoned professionals will work with you every step of the way to execute the vision of your special event.
FE: What about from an off-site event?
VA: With off-site events, we are working with you on the catering portion of your event. The venue would be contracted separately with the specific venue. You can still expect the same level of service though on planning the catered portion of your event as you would on-site.
FE: How can brides/clients reach you for more information? Do you have a website with sample menus?
VA: Catering Clients – please check out http://caesarsmeansbusiness.com/tools-resources/ for more information on our on-site meeting space & menus as well as room blocks. Please contact Veronica directly for a customized quote at Harrah’s & Harveys Lake Tahoe.
Also, Felicia Events would like to congratulate Veronica & Mary on a beautiful tablescape that won OVER ALL (voted on by leading designers) on behalf of the Reno/Tahoe NACE tablescape contest that was featured at the American Heart Association Bridal Show in January 2015. http://renotahoenace.net/gallery.php?p=4
Photo Credit: Brad Horn Photography
Veronica Arriaga, CMP
Catering Sales ManagerCAESARS ENTERTAINMENT
Harrah's | Harveys Lake Tahoe
P.O. Box 128 | Stateline, NV 89449
p: 775-586-6716 | c: 775-351-6353
f: 775-586-6580 | e: firstname.lastname@example.org