Post # 1
I don’t really know what I’m looking for here. I guess I’m just upset about the situation.
I went to a bridal expo and tried some food that I really liked. My fiance and I went to a tasting they had and he really looked the food too. So we set up a phone consult to go over the menu we would want and all that. I didn’t want to be on the call by myself because I get nervous and flustered on the phone. I was worried I would forget to ask important questions or something would go wrong. My fiancé said he thought I would be fine and left me to it. Well, something did go wrong. Or at least we think something did. After I was done telling the coordinator all of the things we would like she asked me our budget. I told her I wasn’t sure and she said the reception is usually half the budget. So I told her what half of our budget would be. I got the proposal shortly after the phone call and of course it’s almost exactly the amount I told her. We are thinking the only reason it’s that expensive is because that’s the number I gave her. And apparently she didn’t take into account that the reception budget isn’t just for caterer stuff. We have to pay for the venue and dj and I don’t know what else. I don’t know what to do.
I really like this caterer and would love to use them but the amount they want is just too much. I don’t know how to fix this. Even if I did, I’m not good at these things. I’m dreading havin to get back on the phone and possibly make things worse. I wish I’d had someone else on the phone with me or something.
Any ideas on what to do?
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Get a quote from another caterer and see if she will match it.
Post # 4
@MistySoda: maybe tell her you had a change of plans with budget and unexpected costs. email her instead and ask your FH to proofread. Maybe have her break down the food and why everything costs so much, then remove some items you could live withour or maybe cut some items in half that not everyone will enjoy. Just a suggestion
Post # 5
I hate it when that happens. And you get pressured and you just answer honestly. It should be as easy as “This is what I want, how much?” They shouldn’t be sneaky about it.
Nevertheless you can still negotiate. I probably would make a light remark about how funny it is that the quote is almost the exact same amount as what you quoted them. I’d also ask for a full breakdown of the costs. Explain that you told them your recpetion budget, not your catering budget and as such the price is completely out of budget.
FWIW SO is a client of ours and the guy who does the quotes in my office is a total idiot, one job something will cost $5, the next job it’ll be $50. Yes people have to make money, but c’mon!
Post # 6
What’s the quote she gave you, and for how many people?
I guess your really need to think about if the food is worth the price.
I found a venue that made you take their catering, for a crappy meal [hamburgers & bratwurst], they wanted $30 a person.. to get something slightly better [chicken marinara], it was $70 a person. This is WAY too high for our area, and we have decided to cater in fazoli’s, for about $17 a person.
Post # 7
Hmm tough situation… first of all.. anyone is going to ask about budget. You should probably get a number you are comfortable with before you make these calls. Whether or not catering is half of a person’s budget totally depends on the budget and type of food. We are doing a 2 item buffet (chicken and beef) with sides, salad, rolls and beverages for 150 people and it is costing us around 4,000 out of our 11,000 budget. Honestly, I would look into other caterer’s. There is probably someone else out there whose food is just as great.. Have a set number in mind when you meet/speak with them. Don’t be afraid to negotiate either. And if you are still dead set on the first, then show her the quote and tell her you would love to use her but you recieved a better quote elsewhere and feel more comfortable with that price.
Honestly, I feel like she kind of took advantage of the number you gave her though.. I would be kind of irked. Maybe though she got confused and thought you were telling her to plan a menu around that budget? If you think she is being sincere, then just talk to her and negotiate.. Maybe the menu will have to change some but maybe she can work something out.
Post # 8
It’s possible that she’s not screwing you. I just negotiated catering for a work event, and basically came to them wanting a $39 per person menu (that I’d reviewed ahead of time on their website, but assume there was wiggle room) for MAX than $35. So, of course the quote came in at $35 on the nose.
We’d have to know what you were looking for and what the price came to to really figure out if she over quoted you because she saw dollar signs, or if she’s truly trying to work within your budget, or thought she was supposed to make a menu that reflected your budget, in which case she’s doing a good job.
Post # 9
I agree with getting a quote for another caterer. Also, if you can post what you’re looking at, people familiar with the area may be able to tell you if you’re getting ripped off.
Post # 10
I agree w/ the suggestions about getting quotes from other caterers and telling them that your budget changed.
I also suggest having someone pretend to be a bride, call up and make almost the same suggestions and give a price half the price you gave as their budget and see what kind of quote they get. This way, you’ll know if they were being sneaky or not 😉
And if they were being sneaky, I probably wouldn’t want to work with them, even if they match another price quote!!
Post # 11
I’d start with an email saying something like
“After sitting down with DH and going through our budget, we’ve had to adjust some numbers. We still love your food but the original quote is out of our price range. We are looking at $________ for catering for the reception. That number will include food, drinks, (place settings and linens, servers bartenders other staff and anything else you are including) Does that sound like something your company could work with us on? If so could you send me a revised quote with the new budget in mind? I would also appreciate a breakdown of costs for the different food/services on the quote.”
I would give them about 24 hours after sending the email and follow up with a phone call, and see what they say. Keep a print out of the email in front of you and refer to it like a script if you get nervous.
Its not uncommon for brides to have to adjust budgets and revise their ideas as they plan. A lot of brides start with a number in mind, start calling for quotes, realize that their budget was way to small for what they want, and have to renegotiate. At this stage where you haven’t signed a contract or anything, the business shouldn’t have a problem with you requesting another quote.
Post # 12
@futuremrsk18: haha this totally sounds like something I would do and was thinking of suggesting it.
Post # 13
As @SapphireSun: points out, she may have done you a “favor” by fitting what you told her you wanted into what you told her your budget was. It’s hard to know without knowing what all they’re including and what they normally charge, but that would be my guess – you gave her a number so she put together a proposal that would fit that number. I would just call back (or have FI do it) and tell them you’ve gone over the numbers and have to revise that budget figure, then see what they can do.
Post # 14
@MistySoda: how much are they chatging you? our caterer is 15.00 a plate were having a served buffet roast beef and a chicken 2 entrees red potatos and veggies, they supply all the table covers decorations in our colors gift table, Dj table etc…,china,glasses coffee&tea and free cake cutting and free pouring and serving of the champane toast. its 14.95 per guest plus 20% plus 6% service charge its runnung us for 110 guest 2,300 total. what are they charging you?
Post # 15
I would just be honest and tell her that you made a huge mistake by forgetting to factor in the cost of the venue rental and other non-catering costs associated with the reception when you gave her the number and then ask her to re-work a plan that is in keeping with the revised budget of whatever amount you and your FI are able to spend on catering alone (but don’t forget to incorporate taxes, gratuities, tables, chairs, linens, flatware, etc., as appropriate, in that new number.)
As prior posters noted, I would ask for proposals from a couple of different caterers so that you have something with which to compare the new numbers you receive. (And, of course, hold onto the original proposal so that you can see what changes the vendor is making to accommodate the reduced budget.)
Post # 16
@HisNightOwl2014: Wow you are getting an awesome price! I am having a similar menu and my catering includes many of the same things are you (linens, all china/silverware, etc) but mine is like 26/per person. This includes taxes, fees and tips as well though.
The best way to see what the going prices for your area is to get other quotes.. This is always a good idea anyways.. I had the choice of letting my venue do catering or outside.. I thought it would be super easy to have my venue do it all but i got other quotes and did other tastings just to see what else is out there. it can’t hurt and that way you know if she was “ripping you off” or you may find she is doing you a favor and the food/menu you want isn’t in your budget.