The Knitty-Gritty @ How We Do This

When we first started doing the catering jobs as a group, it seemed really simple. Then it seemed so complex it was almost impossible. Ultimately, it's like this: Each small step is simple, but there are a lot of small steps! The really hard part is that we have to coordinate even the small steps, so that we get them done at more or less the same time.

This page will give you an overview of how we make catering together work. Other catering groups may do it differently, but right now, this is what works for us. We don't have everything right yet. We're just trying to address things as they come up.

How catering works, according to Zynga (the creators of Café World)

Our procedures
  • We pick a catering job. (Okay, technically the admins do this part. And technically, we often do two jobs at once. We don't always do the catering jobs in the same order; it depends on how many people need them. But if you never did Grandpa's BBQ, for example, rest assured it will come up again.)
  • We pick a start date and time. We try to figure out when everyone will be finished with any catering jobs they are already working on, and start the new one soon afterwards, roughly within 12 hours of each other if at all possible. (We use the time until we officially sign up for the job to start cooking or help neighbors finish up their other jobs.)
  • We try to coordinate who cooks what so we don't all wind up cooking BBQ chicken and nobody makes any ice cream cake. If you're not sure what to cook, look through our discussions on Facebook or visit our club members and see what is on their stoves, or ask!
  • Before serving anything, we check the Help Friends tab of our catering menus to see who has available crew spots, and sign up to help as many people working on the specified catering jobs as we can. 
  • Once everyone who plans to do a specific catering job with us starts it and all crew slots are full, we can start serving both from our stoves and our gift boxes. (Hold on to items you already have ready until then.)
  • Usually, we all finish up about the same time. Then we repeat the cycle.

Now that you've got the big picture, here's a list of things you need to do so it all works for you.