This is as important or more important than what worked. Thankfully these were all fairly minor problems that were worked around.
1. The Bread
The only item that caused me significant stress was the damn flatbread for the gyros. I needed a huge amount. I needed it for the absolute lowest wholesale price. I couldn’t buy it here in Gainesville and bring it with me; it would mold in the week between purchasing and serving. Sams Club doesn’t sell flatbread, and the flatbread at Walmart is atrociously expensive. The restaurant wholesalers wouldn’t sell to me without starting an account, which I couldn’t do. I ended up leaving for Gulf Wars without knowing where on earth I was going to get 1000 pieces of bread.
I don’t recommend this method to anyone.
I ended up buying it from Phil’s Grill, one of the food vendors there on site. He sold it to me for a very fair price and I didn’t even have to store or transport it. It worked out well, but it could have been a huge disaster.
Unlike every other part of the plan, which had backup plans for the backup plan and an “absolute worst case scenario” for that, I assumed the lighting for the kitchen prep area and the grills would be taken care of by the decoration/set crew. I just never thought of it. I only brought one small gas lantern for the food prep area, which was nowhere near enough, and nothing for the grills. There were electricity issues and the grills never got enough light.
The lesson here is: make sure every aspect is taken care of, at least in a backup plan. Just 3 or 4 more gas lanterns on tall shepherd’s hooks would have made all the difference, or even a couple of candelabra on each table. However, once the party got going, no one was able to leave to get these things, we were too busy.
3. Not Quite Enough Hands
I knew I would have plenty of help, and I did. However, not everyone was able to do everything we ended up needing. The best example was the grill crew. When the King volunteered to crew the grill, I expected to be overrun by volunteers on the grill. It didn’t turn out that way. I ended up pulling guys from the crowd (literally- grabbing guys by the shirt as I ran by) to relieve the grill guys who were sweaty and exhausted. I wanted to switch people out every hour and it just didn’t work out that way. Another failed assumption.
The lesson here is the same as above. Don’t make assumptions. I should have made up a written schedule of volunteers for the grill with people I asked ahead of time instead of what I had to do.
Double kudos to Christoff, Gzu, and Tymmgard who volunteered halfway through the party, and especially Berric of An Crosaire, who I literally grabbed out of the crowd.