(Closed) Catering: Help?

posted 6 years ago in Food
  • poll: What should we do?
    Email the caterer and ask if there is any way the proposal can be reduced : (13 votes)
    50 %
    Search elsewhere, this is a dead end! : (8 votes)
    31 %
    Eat a tub of ice cream...sweet delicious desserts fix everything. : (5 votes)
    19 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    728 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    $3500 is totally do-able, especially in the South, as it says you are from. I would either write back and reiterate your budget and ask if there are ways to work with it, and/or find someone else. Restaurants are open cheaper alternatives because they don’t rely solely on catering for their profits. Some will even deliver, setup and serve. Think outside the box on caterers. Nice grocery stores, restaurants, even little mom and pop set-ups can work nicely.

    Post # 4
    Member
    1710 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2013 - Walt Disney World

    It doesn’t hurt to email them back and ask them for options to help you get down to your budget…removing some items from the buffet can do that.  Our buffet menu initially started off at $110 per head (I think), but after we streamlined some items it got down to $88 per head.

    Post # 5
    Member
    1623 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2012

    To meet your budget, that’s over $35 per person (if my math’s right).  I’m not sure the venue you chose or where you’re located in the South, but that seems very high to me.  Buffet at our nice venue (Downtown, right in the city) would’ve been between $25-$30 per person and the higher end would be including two meats, such as prime rib and chicken.  With only knowing very few details, it sounds like it’s overpriced. 

    What exactly does that buffet include?

    Post # 6
    Member
    1966 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    $3500 for 100 people seems unrealistic to me. Quote a few other caterers and see where the numbers are averaging. What would she be apologizing for? I do think she should have told you that your budget is too low for them. They probably thought once you tried the food you wouldn’t be so worried about the budget. 

    Post # 7
    Member
    9181 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

    We’re doing a buffet for 150 for $3700, so I think your budget is totally reasonable.  (Although, we’re not having a ton of different food options.)  Keep looking around, unless you are asking for a LOT of food.

    Post # 9
    Member
    9548 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I think your budget is reasonable. They should have told you if they were so far out of your budget. Honestly, it sounds like they’re being lazy and just sending stock options without individualizing it for your budget. So I would email them and tell them that those options too far above the budget that you gave them. Ask if they can alter the proposal work with your budget. You could also so that if that’s the cheapest they can offer, you understand but you’ll have to go with someone else. And I bet then they’ll work with you.

    Post # 10
    Member
    220 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    We had a venue change and when I called the caterer to see about switching the menu around to lower the cost, he took $400 off of our price and we didn’t have to change!

    Asking is the best option. If they say no, go somewhere else.

    Post # 12
    Member
    715 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2012 - W Hotel Silicon Valley

    It doesn’t hurt to ask, they’re not going to offer you anything if you don’t ask!

    When we first got quoted for our wedding dinner, it was WAY out of our budget. I worked with them for several weeks trying to adjust the menu and the pricing so it fit into our budget!

    Post # 13
    Member
    3400 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    I think it just takes some hunting around, honestly.

    Initially the cheapest catering I could find in mid-michigan was about $17 per head before tax, but now we got it down to $13 (including tax) per person just by thinking outside the box and going with a restaurant and not having anybody wait on the buffet.

    Everything included in our catering:

    Ham &/or Turkey Subs (veggies include onions, lettuce, & tomato)

    Tossed Salad (w/ 3 homemade dressing options)

    2 Soup Options ( homemade white chicken chili & cream of potato)

    Homemade Carrot Cake

    Lemonade & Coffee

    My point here is that sometimes if you think “outside” the catering business for catering, you can bring the cost WAY down, and get more bang for your buck. I never thought this restaurant would be within my budget because it’s a steakhouse and the food is amazing, but because I went ahead and asked I was pleasantly surprised.

    I can’t even fathom somebody telling me it’s going to be $70 per head. I realize that a budget like that would probably include prime rib, and I’m just having subs, but I can’t even image paying that kind of money. I’d keep looking, because I think your original budget was MORE though enough to accomodate 85-100 guests.

     

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