Post # 1
to save money we decided to go with a local ethnic restaurant that is well established and has done various catering gigs in our area for at least the last 10 years. They have been responsive on phone and email, etc. But when they sent us the contract, the only thing in it was the price of food per person and the labor charge! There were NONE of the other terms and conditions we talked about in it. This makes me nervous. Is there any way I can come up with all this language myself? Obviously they run a fine business but I’d like to have stuff in writing and I know I’ll forget something.
Post # 3
Since I’m also having a problem finding a caterer—who will even return emails or phone calls, I would suggest you speak with them that you want everything in writing. Just make a list of what you have spoken about, sit down with the caterer and do a re-write. If they aren’t willing to do that then I would look elsewhere. When stuff isn’t in writing then you have nothing to stand on if something comes up and could get the wool pulled over your eyes. Good luck!
Post # 4
Maybe you can find sample caterer contracts online and use them as a guide? I can’t imagine there aren’t some wandering around the internet. Curlysue’s idea of just making a list of what you talked about is a good jumping off point, too.
Post # 5
Thanks, Curlysue, I guess I’ll try to come up with the important points myself! I guess this is what happens when you try to avoid the full service option….
Post # 6
my caterer’s contract covered the legalese fine but none of the details that I wanted – so i appended a 1 page document (it was less than a full page) to it. then amended the original contract to note that the appendix was part of the commitment. check that they’re ok w/ the appendix then attach and execute.
Post # 7
I like the idea of either finding another contract online or just adding an ammendment (that they acknowledge) that includes all the details you’ve discussed. If it were me, I wouldn’t sign anything before I knew that all the specifics were included.
Post # 8
I agree that you should amend. They probably just don’t have a ton of experience with writing wedding contracts. Good luck dear!
Post # 9
Have them add it on. You really want to make sure that everything you talk about ends up on paper. Just in case. They probably figure they know they won’t change their mind on you and are honest people so they felt it wasn’t necessary. Hopefully =]. I’d rather have it there to reference, though.
Post # 10
As a small business owner (in the wedding industry), I have a fairly short contract. People have a negative reaction to a super-long wordy contract. A contract is not going to prevent problems, nor does it actually protect you or them from being sued. People sue regardless. (My FI is a lawyer.) They are more of a way to make the client feel better. However if your caterers are responsive and have a good reputation, that is more important than any contract! A long contract does not insure good service! The only thing you need to ask or include is a refund policy if something happens on their end. Lastly as a (very) small business owner, I get business by word of mouth, so I insure every client is happy and go the extra mile, that is the benefit of using a small business opposed to a big company!