If you are going to be catering a special event, or if you are expected to bring food at a special event, the idea of using the best bread maker to produce custom breads probably crossed your mind. I really cannot blame you for coming up with that idea. After all, if you know how to use the best bread maker, you know how tasty freshly baked bread could be. There is nothing tastier than a steaming loaf of newly home-made baked bread. The more specialized the recipe, the more special the bread. It goes a long way in saying that you have refined taste. It establishes in the minds of people, in no uncertain terms, that you have refined taste as far as breads are concerned.
This is all well and good, but if you are going to be catering at an event or if you are going to be bringing bread to an event, you might want to think twice. Why? The size of the crowd. Unless you have massive ovens that can crank out a tremendous amount of great-tasting bread in a manageable amount of time, you probably would be better off just either skipping the bread entirely or arranging a deal with a local baker to supply the bread. Whatever the case may be, none of these situations involve you rolling up your sleeves and doing some baking. It is not just going to happen. If you value your sanity as well as your time, you should skip baking bread altogether.
In certain situations, at specific events, you might be better off skipping serving bread altogether. You have to focus on practicality. Here are just some of the factors that would impact practicality as far as serving bread is concerned at public events.
Size of the Crowd
If you are going to be serving a huge number of people, serving custom bread is probably a nonstarter. Again, as I have said before, unless you have the logistics and the infrastructure to make this happen, it is almost certainly not a good idea. Now, if you are going to be serving bread to a small amount of people, then it may make good sense. It all depends on who these people are and what their expectations are. Now, if you are going to be serving custom bread to close friends, then this is a good idea. It gives them an extra-special touch. It communicates to them that they are very special to you.
The Purpose of the Event
If the purpose of the event is some sort of a promotional event, and there is quite a number of people, the chances of you making the wrong impression with custom-baked bread is somewhat high. Now, I am not saying it is a guarantee. I am not saying it is bound to happen, but you do not want to risk it. If the event is to promote some sort of deal or some kind of purchase, or some sort of contract, then you probably need to play it safe. You apparently would be better off going with a professional caterer.
The problem with going the extra mile as far as customization is concerned is that a lot of this turns on your intent. It all is dependent on your motivations. The problem here is when you are trying to seal a deal, the people you are trying to impress probably would not give you a break when it comes to your intent. Instead, they are looking for results. They are looking at track records. They are looking at what you are presently capable of delivering.
If you fall flat on your face when it comes to serving the food, what else can you screw up? That is how they think. As the old saying goes, “If you can’t be trusted with the small stuff, why should you expect people to trust you with the big stuff?” The same applies here.
When you make the wrong impression with custom breads at promotional events, this starts a chain reaction of thoughts in the minds of many people. They might think that you are not up to the job. They might think that you are not professional enough. They might think that you do not have the resources and capability to deliver the kind of services or results that you are looking for. In other words, they start making all these associations, and it all got triggered by the fact that you served the wrong bread at the inopportune time at the wrong event.
Do you see how this works? So, do not give them any ammunition. Do not give them any reason to make all sorts of unfair or unfounded inaccurate associations. Just take yourself out of it entirely. Leave the custom food and appetizers to professionals. That is their job. At least, when you screw up picking the wrong caterer, your potential business customers would not point the finger at you.
They probably screwed up picking the wrong caterer in the past. They would be more forgiving. However, if they found out that you were actually the one serving custom breads, and you just screwed up on the bread machine recipes or you burned some bread, then that is going to have a more negative effect. They are more likely to hold that against you. I hope you can tell the difference between these two situations.