(Closed) No Tasting before Signing a Contract with Venue??

posted 7 years ago in Food
Post # 3
Member
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

This seems a little backwards to me…at least for free. Otherwise, why wouldn’t couples run around saying they were looking for a free tasting, getting a free meal and never intending to get book a venue.

My experiences:

1. Place 1 wouldn’t hold a date without doing a tasting. A tasting for them was 1 appetizer per person, 1 entree per person, 1 dessert per person and any drinks we wished to try. It cost us $75 and if we booked with the location, the cost would be deducted from our final bill.

2. Place 2 was a caterer. They had their own venue but also provided catering for other venues. They offered one free tasting each month to couples wishing to try their services.

3. Place 3 did not offer a tasting before we signed our contract. I ended up booking this place anyway and have my tasting next month. I still won’t be able to taste hors d’ouvres before the wedding as they’ve informed me that it is too difficult to make just 1-2 of the appetizers, so we’ll be tasting main course only.

Honestly, I’m not really stressed about it. But then again we’re having pretty standard chicken/beef/etc. at the wedding…nothing crazy fancy. I wouldn’t be worried about it, especially if you love the venue.

A few options.

1. Look around for reviews…if they are outstanding, the food must at least be decent.

2. Offer to pay for a tasting. Perhaps that will help?

3. Can you go there for dinner as a person off the street?

Post # 4
Member
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

We contacted 13 caterers in San Diego for our wedding. None did tastings prior to signing. This is pretty standard! You should go with them based on reputation and price – you’ll have a chance later on to sample a variety of dishes, and choose which are your favorites.

Post # 6
Member
274 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

In my city, tastings are offered before the booking.  What happens if you don’t like what they give you?!?!

One caterer offered the tasting free, another charged $25 per couple, the last did not offer tasting.

First caterer was very good and ultimately booked with them as they were the cheapest.  2nd caterer has great reputation and were priced at about $1500 more than the first.  Some of the things we tried were great…others tasted like cardboard.  Since the 3rd caterer did not offer tastings and were twice as high as first caterer that made our decision easy…We went with the cheapest caterer. 

Post # 7
Member
7587 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

Where I am it’s always after, except for when they have open houses. Have you checked to see if they do anything like that?

Post # 8
Member
1501 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We didn’t do a tasting, and we won’t be.

Post # 9
Member
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

Our reception is on a boat, and they refused to do a tasting. The few reviews they had weren’t great either. One even said they thought all the food was from Sam’s Club. We decided to suck it up and pay the $8/pp to have an outside caterer come in and do it who had amazing reviews, and a tasting. I was just way too uncomfortable paying so much for food I had never tried!

It was nice, because things we thought we would like: Chicken Satays with Sweet Onion Sauce.. were horrible, and things we thought eww gross no way: Bacon Wrapped Dates.. were incredible!

Do you have the option of using an outside caterer?

Post # 10
Member
1545 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

We went to their open house and did a tasting and saw it set up before we did the contract. Than we contacted them right away and booked.

Post # 10
Member
2116 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

@HaveGroomWillTravel: My venue does all of their tastings during jan/feb (the “off” season) with no exceptions- since Kingy and I are in Australia, we never got to taste the food, we had to send my mom and brother! But we booked last June anyways, we read great reviews about the food and my mom/brother weren’t disapointed so its all good!

 

Look online for reviews, it’ll be helpful!

Post # 11
Member
646 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

The thing about tastings is that they are generally a little bit misleading anyway… Food that is made for 2 people immediately before serving tastes A LOT different than food that is made for large numbers of people and is held before serving.

I couldn’t taste before (or at least didn’t ask to) at my venue, but I wasn’t going to change regardless.

Most caterers will arrange a tasting before hand. Here, its $65+ per tasting per person, though… Which gets expensive!!

Post # 12
Member
6824 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

We never did a tasting but I have had the food from the place we are using before so I know it will be good. 

Post # 13
Member
4547 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

We didn’t have the option to do a tasting either. However, DH’s parents are members of the country club we got married at, so we ended up going there for dinner one night to try the food.

Post # 14
Member
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Our venue had great menu/food reviews.  We booked without a tasting, about 10 months before the wedding.  We’re going to do our complimentary tasting about 5 months before the wedding.  It seemed standard for Boston from what my married friends indicated. 

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