Our Expert: Walter Vaz
Company: ZB Hospitality Group Inc.
Position: Partner and General Manager
ZB Hospitality Group is a leading foodservice provider in the city of Toronto. They operate banquet halls, conference centres, cafes, and cafeterias. They have seen tremendous growth in particular from the launch of their banquet halls. Especially their flagship, York Mills Gallery that opened three years ago. Located midtown Toronto, York Mills Gallery is a unique event venue that offers an urban-industrial loft-style space to host weddings, social events, corporate functions, conferences, fashion shows and more.
What advice do you have for someone looking to join the catering and event planning industry?
Understand the industry as a whole from the start. It is not all glamorous. It’s not all Food Network chefs that are making millions of dollars and have their own TV shows. It is a lot of hard work.
Generally people have life cycle events Friday, Saturday,, and Sunday. It’s weekend work, hard work. It’s very gratifying work but it’s difficult .
The other aspect would be to really understand the financial implications of our industry. Margins are small. You need to be very good at what you do. You have to have a great reputation. Your reputation is only as good as your last party so you have to have the infrastructure and support and place to continue operations. You have to be able to weather the storms.
How do you deal with challenging clients?
We love challenging clients. Challenging clients challenge us to challenge ourselves. Our motto is expect the extraordinary and we need to meet that mantra.
What do you do when a client isn’t satisfied?
First and foremost, as an operator, we are the most critical of ourselves. We believe that when we sign a contract and we promise whether it be food, service, decor, or any other aspect- we need to live up to 110% of what we promise. We have mistakes like any other company. You need to stand up to what you promise, so if we have a client that’s not 100% satisfied we sit down and talk to them. We need to understand why it happened before we can move forward. We need to understand how it happened and how to prevent in the future. I think you need to stand up to your product. We have since 1936, that’s why we’re still around.
Check out ZB Hospitality and York Mills Gallery for your catering and event solutions.Address: 1885 Leslie St, Toronto, Ontario M3B2M3 Phone: (416) 525 5683 Email: [email protected] – http://zbcaterers.com/ – http://www.yorkmillsgallery.com/