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Catering Legend Bill Hansen Talks Values, Vision, and The Tech Trend He’s Embracing in 2020

How has event design and catering icon Bill Hansen managed to stay on top in the hospitality industry after forty years? By staying true to his core values, but also knowing when to push boundaries and embrace change. 

Over the last four decades, the industry visionary has hosted four presidents, celebrities, athletes, and even a Pope. But he’ll be the first to tell you he didn’t do it alone. Behind Bill Hansen Catering is a staff of talented, hand-picked individuals he treats like family. Finding, nurturing, and retaining that staff is critical to the company’s growth and future success—but something he recognizes is more challenging as demand for top-quality people grows.

Bill sat down with Instawork’s General Manager of Florida, Andreina to talk about the catering industry and share his story. Here’s some advice he had to share to stay ahead of the curve as the industry evolves.

Success starts with who you hire

For Hansen, few things are more important than his team. Because while it’s true that you’re only as successful as your last event, you’re also only as good as the people you hire. 

A great employee is someone who is passionate; someone who wants to be there,” he says, adding, “We can train the essentials—how to pass hors d’oeuvres or pour wine and water at the table—but we can’t teach passion.” 

Of the company’s five core values, who they are as a team occupies the top four: passion, teamwork, initiative, and attention to detail. That says a lot about how important people are to their success. In fact, he adds “our fifth core value is profitability. If you have the other values first, profits will come.”

That emphasis on their people makes hiring paramount to the company’s success. But finding the right people when you have high standards takes time—and a personal touch. Luckily, Instawork can help on both fronts. 

With platforms like Instawork, high tech can also be “high touch”

Hansen understands the industry’s talent shortage first-hand, but he also knows the challenges of hiring fast vs. hiring right. “We certainly have needs for all sorts of staff in our ever-growing business, but so many caterers simply don’t have the time to groom their own.” 

That’s where companies like Instawork can help streamline all aspects of staffing while maintaining high standards. The platform offers access to qualified, local hospitality workers who have been pre-vetted by the Instawork team. It also makes it easier to schedule, book, and pay these professionals through the app, then rate them after. Those you rate highly are automatically added to a roster of preferred professionals, and given top billing for future events. 

In Hansen’s opinion, Instawork won’t replace “the human touch” in hiring. Instead, it can broaden the talent pool, speed up the process, and add a layer of accountability. “High tech will never replace high touch, but without high tech, you limit your potential for high touch.” For growing businesses, this can help them expand faster than they could before, and say yes to more (and bigger) jobs. 

After four decades in the business, Hansen knows a winning trend when he sees one. “I feel like [Instawork is] really on a roll, and I want to be part of that roll.”

Growing Your Team with Instawork

When it comes to finding quality people, Instawork can connect you with qualified professionals in your area who share the same values you do. Instawork professionals are passionate, hard-working, and reliable. And as your team grows, the Instawork Scheduler can save you hours and make it simple to book and coordinate hourly and full-time event staff in one dashboard. The tool allows you to add staff to your roster, track timesheets, and send notifications, all from one place.

Sponsored post by Instawork.

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