Post # 1
Hi all –
Just recieved a quote from a caterer that’s just a little too high – around $50 pp without serverware (plates, glasses, etc) and without alcohol. I’m looking to get food and serverware for that price. I’d like to knock around $5 off pp, does anyone have suggestions? I’ve indluded a rough summary of the proposed menu below for reference. I don’t even really know how to start orr what to say! Thanks bees : )
4 apps, 2 passed, 2 stations, only 1 with meat (and one station is just veg and hummus)
Buffet with turkey and tenderloin carving, two vegetarian entrees/sides (pasta/polenta with cheesy sauces), salad, vegetable, bread and butter on the table.
Serving vessles included, not personal cutlery, plates, glasses, etc.
Post # 3
Bump? Trying to respond to him tonight – I know some of you are still up!
Post # 4
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
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
Can you just have one vegetarian entree and maybe replace the tenderloin with a less expensive meat? Ham, maybe? Roast beef?
Post # 7
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
@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
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?