Big Event Fail: A Menu Mix-Up


Lauren Rullo

We all experience failures on the job. It happens to the best of us.

When we fail, the important part comes afterward, when we analyze what happened, learn what we did wrong, improve from our mistakes, and share those lessons with others. 

Our new blog feature, Big Event Fail, is a way for us to help Tripleseat customers share their moments of crisis and lessons learned to educate members of the event management community. And it might also provide a little relief to event managers who have experienced the same things and realize that they’re not the only one who botched an event schedule or messed up the menu.

Lauren Rullo, the Senior Sales & Marketing Manager at Weber Grill Restaurant, experienced the horror of a menu mix-up while working at a previous restaurant as a sales coordinator. While the experience was stressful at the moment, the result did not end up being as bad as she thought it would be. Rullo recounts her story with us here:

“For my event fail, we printed the incorrect menus for an event, and it was not realized until after the staff had taken the food order. To make matters worse, the items on the printed menu were a much higher price than those on the contracted menu.

“To quickly react to the mistake, I admitted fault and called in a ‘forgiveness favor’ with the chef. I then threw my hair up with my keys, put on an apron, and did whatever I could to help the chef whip up the items that were ordered.

“I was honest with the host of the event about the mix-up and told her that we would honor the contracted prices with the printed menu items. The host was very understanding and did not give me any issue at all. Luckily the group had a speaker, so that allowed us to buy a little extra time to get the food together.

“From this experience, I learned that it pays to have a good relationship with your chef team, and to be forgiving of mistakes that they make, because eventually, you will need to cash in that favor. At the end of the day, we are all a team, and it is not about placing blame. It is about owning your mistakes and working together to find the solution quickly.”

Want to share your Big Event Fail?
Join Tripleseat’s Party People community on Influitive and submit your story through the Big Event Fail challenge. You can also connect with other event professionals online, attend our in-person Party People happy hours, and unlock opportunities for awesome prizes!

Get more advice from the event planning community
Our EventCamp videos feature some of the top experts in events, restaurants, venues, hospitality and marketing. Check out the sessions on our EventCamp website – click Sessions on the top of the page to access the videos.