(Closed) Catering Negotiation Help?

posted 6 years ago in Food
Post # 4
2286 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Central Park

Your menu seems very bare bones, I dont see how to trim it. I would just be honest, tell him my budget is xyz and this is what I’m looking for. Can you give me any cost cutting suggestions or help me fit into my budget? If they don’t have any ideas or won’t come down on price then tell him you’ll need to pursue other vendors since your budget is firm. He’ll probably be willing to come down if he thinks you’ll walk away. Just be polite and honest, you don’t need to try to trick him into a discount or anything. Most vendors, in this economy, need all the business they can get.

Post # 5
349 posts
Helper bee

My job frequently includes arranging catering for events at a large state university. It usually works in my favor that state budget cuts were widely publicized in the media in our area.  When a quote from a vendor I really want to use comes in a little high, I usually email something like “Thanks so much for the quote.  This sounds delicious but is about $5 per person higher than our current budget.  Can you suggest ways we can make this work?”  It gives them the option of recommending substitutions to achieve the savings, or occasionally gets me just what I want so that they get the business they need.  Not sure if that would work for a wedding, since most caterers assume they have you hostage, but hope it helps!

Post # 6
2906 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Can you just have one vegetarian entree and maybe replace the tenderloin with a less expensive meat? Ham, maybe? Roast beef?

Post # 7
2286 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Central Park

I just thought of something. It’s cheaper to have them cut the meat ahead of time than to have carving stations because they’ll need a person to stand there carving. At least that’s what my caterer told us when I said I wanted honey glazed ham. She’s carving it ahead of time instead of on-site.

Post # 8
853 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@TexasAggieMom:  I agree with this.  I don’t work with caterers, but I work with contractors and often times the best way to get the price to go down is a couple of options.  As TexasAggieMom mentioned, sometimes the best way is to be upfront and honest with your budget and have them work as a teammate to find an option that is more budget friendly.  I would definately recommend this because then it’s on them to work for your business and you’re not just going to roll over and pay the wedding premium.  I would also recommending getting a second (or third) quote from another caterer to establish a baseline price if that’s possible.  You may end up with a better deal that way.

Post # 9
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Having a carving station is more expensive then presliced meets- you have to pay the person standing there slicing it.

Passed apps are often more expensive then a cheese tray or something similar- they are time consuming to make individual bite sized items and you have to have staff to serve it.  

Other things to think about- does this price include sodas/teas/non alcoholic drinks? 

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