Post # 1
So, when I sat down with the caterer the first time, I gave him an estimated guest count of 75 people. Now, after all the RSVPs have been confirmed, our actual guest count is 60 people. Do I pay for 75 or 60? We are having a buffet style dinner. How does this work?
Post # 3
@First-times-a-charm: It depends on the language in your contract.Many caterers have a minimum- whether that is a minimum # of guests at so much a plate, or a minimum $ amount.
If it is a minimum $ amount and you have less guests, you can usually upgrade the menu.
Post # 4
Most of the caterers I talked to had a date specified in the contract that they needed the final head count by. It was usually about two weeks before the event and once they have that number you have to pay for that many.
Post # 5
The caterer should give you a date (a week or so) before to get the final count. Doesn’t matter if it’s a buffet, they charge per person.
Post # 6
So, I have finally heard back from my caterer. He says that he does not adjust his prices for fewer guests. But if I was to have guests over the stated number he would definitely charge upward. I tried to point this out, that is why it is called an estimated guest count, and that is why I have to give him a final definite guest count one month before the wedding. He still says no. I am a little scared to argue with him. He keeps telling me he is giving me all of these “extras” at no extra charge. If those ‘extras” had been charged initially I would have been expecting them and would not have any problem paying them. I dont want any “bad behavior” with my wedding food so I left it at that. I told him I obviously do not agree with him but I would look at the contract later and discuss it again at another time. Now what do I do?
Post # 7
It could be because the prices he gave you were based upon a certain minimum. Because regardless of how much food he makes for you, there will be some costs that don’t change, like the time of staff to cook the food, cooking 15 pounds of mashed potatoes takes about the same amount of time to cook 20. In my former life I coordinated events as part of the work, and most of my caterer prices were based upon that, a garaunteed minimum. So they would say $25 for 50 people, and if I went under 50 people it would cost $30 a person to ensure that they make enough money to make it worth their time.
Edit: Usually if it is based upon a minimum, it is in the contract. Perhaps there was miscommunication somewhere