It’s Not What You Expect, It’s What You Inspect

Bill Hansen


Bill Hansen Luxury Catering and Events Miami Florida

A colleague of mine who once worked for one of the major foodservice distributors told me how all clients were charged maximum prices on one day’s worth of invoices and not one customer noticed. Not one client caught that their invoices contained higher prices than what they were guaranteed. I know this number represented well into the tens of thousand dollars’ worth of invoices….and everyone paid top dollar and didn’t even notice that they did.

And from my 45 years of experience in catering and clubs, I can tell you that I’ve met hundreds of foodservice operators who claim they check all of their invoices, but I would bet significant money that they don’t. And this is not because they don’t want to. It usually boils down to the lack of time. As caterers, we need it now and we need it fast. “Just get it here as soon as possible” is the common cry. Clients change their orders, guest counts go up the day before the event or your regular supplier doesn’t have what you need and you need to buy from someone else at the last minute.


Check This Out


Switzerland in the

The Spring

Canada in the

The Fall

If you’re like the majority of folks, you will say the preceding says “Switzerland in the Spring and Canada in the Fall” But look again…that’s not what is says…”the” is used twice for both countries and seasons. So take some time and really examine your invoices.

I challenge you to make time to carefully scrutinize each and every invoice. I promise you that if nothing else, you will be able to better negotiate your prices if you take the time to look at them. Ask your suppliers questions. I found a discrepancy in the price I was paying for salmon. Also, our major food distributor double charged me for tilapia. One vendor charged me sales tax on a resale item. This was all in one week.

When I teach at Florida International I usually ask the following questions and request that the students raise their hands if the answer is affirmative:

So Here Goes Class…

How many of you have ever been bitten by a mosquito? All hands go up

How many of you have ever been bitten by a no see um? All hands go up

How many of you have ever been bitten by a bumble bee” Some hands go up

How about a wasp or a hornet? Some hands go up.

How about an Elephant? No hands go up.


What is the moral of the story? It’s the little things that get you!

So what those invoices carefully….