Post # 1
My Fiance and I decided to go with our favorite restaurant to cater our wedding. They are top notch, some of the best food in the city- but it seems like they’re ahead of their time. In a few years, they’d be voted best in the city.
Well, I’ve worked closely with the owner/head chef during other events & it seemed so natural to go with him. He’s not only catering our wedding— we are using his restaurant as our venue.
So now I’m in a pickle… a good family friend of ours has a son who works at the restaurant said his paycheques have been bouncing. They’ve laid off a lot of staff… they’ve stopped serving lunch & the restaurant is sliding. He thinks that they’ll be closed down in less than a year.
I have a working relationship w/ this man & now I’m his customer. Should I go to him & ask him straight up if I have a valid concern? I’m already scoping out another all inclusive venue w/ a fantastic menu & view of Vancouver…
What would you do if you heard rumors that your venue AND caterer were going to go out of business?? We can’t risk not having a venue or caterer, about 50% of our guests are flying in from around the world. They’re making travel plans… our date can’t be changed.
Ugh, I’ll be so depressed if this happens. Our #1 splurge & most important thing in our eyes was our food. We worked so hard to get this fantastic menu… grrr. Stupid economy.
Post # 3
Ouch, I’m sorry to hear that! Well, do you think the owner would be honest with you? If so, then definitley have a heart-to-heart. If you don’t think he would tell you the truth, then book another venue – sounds too risky. Good luck!
Post # 5
I think you should definitely consider this a major red flag. I mean, even if he’s not going out of business, do you feel comfortable supporting a business that’s allowing their employees to go unpaid?
If you think either way you’re going to lose your deposit, I’d just go somewhere else that you can book now. Is there any way you could book another place and then wait and see, and lose out on the other place if this place pulls through? Yeah, you’ll have to pay two deposits but it may be worth it if you’d lose the deposit for your original choice anyways.
Post # 6
I’d be upfront with the owner. Schedule a meeting and talk to them. You don’t have to tell them you’ve heard checks are bouncing, etc. but you can intro it with knowing how things are tight in this economic climate, that you know they’ve closed for lunch, etc…. and knowing the financial demands of keeping a restaurant open, etc. you are concerned about longevity and wanted to find out if they plan to stay open, etc. Hopefully, you will get a sense of if the rumors are legit and/or if they do plan on staying open etc. so that you can make a decision.
The bounced checks may not be a sign of anything other than sloppy book keeping, but the restricted hours and layoffs, are a bit more worrisome.
If you don’t want to have that conversation, then I’d say book the other venue.
Post # 7
I would be upfront with him as well and let him know your concerns. You are not in the wrong to do this. I wouldnt tell him where you heard (or maybe not tell him at all) about the checks bouncing and stuff but that you have heard rumors.
Post # 8
I worry about this with all my wedding vendors! It sounds like you two are on good terms, so my first step would be to go talk to the guy you’ve been dealing with. Tell him you’ve heard rumors that checks are bouncing and that they may close down by the end of the year. See what he says. I hope he doesn’t lie! If he confirms what you’ve been hearing or trys to brush off your concerns, i’d look around for another venue and ask for my deposit back.
Good luck on the search and I hope he’s honest with you!
Post # 9
I went through a similiar thing, but it hopefully will work out. I agree that I would call him and discuss your concerns.
My catering company, which also has (had) a restaurant, was not getting back with me for over a month during the initial stages of picking out a menu. I got so frusterated that I began calling / emailing other catering co’s for proposals. I almost went with someone else.
Then I got an email from my dad with the article where the restaurant went out of business. However, the catering company is still operating and the owner called me to make sure we were still on board. I ended up staying with them and am keeping my fingers crossed that they will still be operating on the big day…in 8 months from now. Scary stuff!!!!
Post # 10
Update: After flipping on my caterer, I went with another all inclusive, better, less expensive option. Instead of $125+ a head, we’re looking at about $100/head. It’s not in the city where my mom lives or where our church is… so I won’t be having a church wedding. My mom is kinda bummed, but instead we’ll be getting married & dining on a mountain top with beautiful views of the ocean and city.
I’m going to chalk this up to a blessing in disguise. I’m NOT excited about our new menu, but I am so in love with the location and the 5 star service that I know our day will go off without a hitch! 🙂
Thanks for all your advice!
Post # 11
im glad you talked to him! I know it can be tough with the unpredicatability of businesses now. What did you say to the caterer now? I hope it doesn’t spoil any professional relationship you have.
The view of the new venue sounds fantastic!
Post # 12
haha oh GaBGal… I went bridezilla on his ass. I wrote a post about it. It was AWFUL. I sent him a note of apology & I called him repeatedly to apologize for my behavior. He didn’t get back to me until I went in for dinner… he personally brought out free lobster fritters (my absolute favorite dish of all time) and I like to think we’re okay. Either he’s forgiven me or the lobster fritters were made “special” for me with a not so yummy surprise. Blech… I don’t wanna think about it lol.