Is my caterer being reasonable?

posted 3 years ago in Venue
Post # 2
Member
5883 posts
Bee Keeper

Yes. We used a preferred caterer as well, and the rental prices were on top of the food prices. Aside from the ones you have listed, we also had to rent all serving pieces, trays, condiment holders and steamers and chafing dishes.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  .
Post # 3
Member
2675 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - Madison, WI

I am paying around the same for my linens and the prices here looks like what I would have paid if I needed to rent anything else. My veunue provides it’s own catering and everything else listed here. They just don’t provide anything more than plain white linens/red chairs- so I upgraded those things and rented elsewhere. My total price per person came out to around $55/pp.

Post # 4
Member
11712 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Totally reasonable.  Here’s a breakdown of what ours charged on top of food:

  • Barware/Non-Alcoholic mixers (we provided alcohol separately) – $5.50 per person
  • Coffee Maker, Water boilers (for tea) -$25 each
  • Equipment (Silverware, dishes, serving utensils, pantry equipment, crescors, chafing dishes, salt and pepper shakers, waiter trays, glassware, champagne flutes) – $13 per person
  • Coffee cups, saucers, demitasse spoons – $2.25 per person

The linens I wanted were $45 per tablecloth, so I ended up buying my  own and reselling them after the wedding

Post # 6
Member
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Wow, I can’t imagine paying for those thngs! Our venue is $200 with all the linens, silverware, dinnerware, then $20 for meat & pasta buffet. I think a business should include those in the food prices since they are obviously needed. 

Post # 7
Member
7070 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Unfortunately I think that’s pretty standard. I don’t think our caterer broke it down quite that much, but there was still a nice hefty charge for all the tableware.

Post # 8
Member
9528 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Yeah, for a big professional catering company that seems about right.

We had a more casual backyard wedding so we decided to go with a smaller catering company that was flexible and let us do some thing ourselves. So I bought my tableclothes off Craigslist for $7 apiece, we borrowed all the silverware from our church, and we used hard plastic plates and cups and brightly colored paper napkins.

It really is crazy how things add up, isn’t it?!?

Post # 9
Member
213 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

totally standard! someone has to pay for the rentals, right?

Post # 10
Member
43 posts
Newbee

We are also using a big name caterer here in Chicago. However, they did not itemize the proposal down to each guests spoon, fork, salad plate, etc. The contract just states linens, equipment, glassware…

I am sure we are still paying for all of these things. I think it ultimately looks more daunting to have all of these line items listed, so I’m actually happy they didn’t include the breakdown per fork, knife, etc. Haha I think I would have your reaction as well if I saw it broken down that way! 

Post # 11
Member
1498 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

bananacar:  Our china rental was $4 per person and that includes all china, silverware, and water goblets.  Maybe it depends on where you live, but those prices sure seem high to me.

Post # 12
Member
945 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Savannah, GA

None of the caterers we’ve looked into have given us an itemized list like yours.  Most of ours included china, flatware, and glassware in their prices and otherwise it would have only been a few dollars extra per person. That seems like a lot of extra money to me just for tableware rentals.

Post # 13
Member
332 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Davis Island Garden Club

I think this is totally acceptable. Someone has to pay for the tableware, and it’s going to be the client. every caterer is different but I guarantee event the ones that “include” tableware are charging you for it. 

Lets say food is $50 pp and tableware is $4 pp. they could give you a bill for $54 pp which includes tableware. They could bill you $50pp for food and $4pp for tableware. Or they could bill you $50pp for food, $0.30 per fork, $0.60 per plate etc. it’s the same thing, it’s just itemized. 

When we were shopping for caterera the “inclusive packages” were often the most misleading. Sounds great, but after looking at the itemized bill it could cost more

Post # 14
Member
191 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

When I was shopping around for caterers and venues, I also found that the caterers charged for every single piece that was needing to be rented. I believe that after silverware and china, I was looking at $1,000 on top of food and service. This is the reason why I went with another venue that already offered the glassware, barware, silverware, and china. 

Post # 15
Member
3735 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

bananacar:  Mine wasn’t broken out but we are being charged for EVERYTHING. I’m trying not to do upgrades but will do so with linens. Good golly, they want to upcharge for the smallest thing. I think I’m in the wrong business.

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