Social Life Magazine | Luxury Publication for the Hamptons

Cutting through the Clutter of Event Staffing

Cutting Edge Elite can deliver the staff you need for any event. This is the promise of the staffing company’s founders, Lucas Mendieta and  Nathan Perry, who started the business in 2008 when they were both 25. They have grown it exponentially through hard work into the top staffing agency it is today. Cutting Edge has staffed events for high-profile clients, including Chanel, Google, Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic, and Beyoncé’s      Visual album release party.

Cutting Edge Elite was founded on the principles of community and trust. By investing in staff and leading them with the highest standards, Cutting Edge can deploy competent, motivated, and unified teams capable of adapting quickly and providing genuine service for each event. Inspired by their own experiences in events, the founders aim to bring out the best in people and bring them together. Why? Because at the end of the day there is no faking a smile and attitude that impacts every guest’s experience.

Social Life sat down with Lucas to learn more about his secrets to success and to get tips on how to staff a party, soirée, or an event of any type.

Is there a magic formula for staffing an event? 

When it comes to staffing, we treat it like a, because we have to match up the staff’s personalities with the client’s and then think about how the staff operates as a team, their skill sets, strengths, and so forth. It’s very much like a game of chess where we have to position all the right players in their given spots.

How do you ensure your staff is experienced and up to par?

Our staff go through our extensive workshops. It is a long process. After the initial interview, they’re invited to an orientation where we speak more about the company, go through the do’s and don’ts and explain what sets us apart from competitors. We have a catering 101 workshop where we go through all aspects of the party from first arrival until breakdown, and what the catering terminology is. For our leaders we have both lieutenant and captain training, and then a bartending course as well. Ninety percent of trainings are taught by my business partner, Nathan Perry, and myself.

Do you have any tips for those looking to plan an event? 

First, make sure your staffing agency has employees who are W2s, not 1099s (independent contractors). Not having properly insured staff opens the door to many legal liabilities for planners, caterers, and their clients. Second, planners need to have the correct ratio of staff versus guests to ensure everything is executed properly. You should also take into consideration the layout and logistics of the event to determine how much staff is needed.

What is your personal commitment to your clients? 

We’ve built our company with heart and compassion. If I didn’t start Cutting Edge Elite, I’m not sure where I would be. I was homeless for a few years and was working as a janitor prior to getting into events, so I know firsthand what it’s like to be on the other side of the fence. So, failure isn’t an option for me. I work the events alongside my team because I want to earn our staff’s respect as well as better understand each client’s logistics and priorities.

Cutting Edge Elite