Did you give your vendors a meal choice?

posted 7 months ago in Food
Post # 2
5716 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

Wow I think that is a really unfair clause in the contract.  Most people just serve a vendor meal which is plated hot food but not the $100 guest plate.  

Our photographers will have our guest meal but only because we are slightly short of our minimum number.

If you are giving them all a guest meal then you might as well ask what they want, no point spending money and it going to waste if they are a vegetarian or can’t eat red meat. 

Post # 3
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Same as PP above, most venues offer a “vendor meal” which is slightly different and way cheaper. Our regular meals were $120 a plate and we paid for 5 vendor meals at $45 each. Ask your venue what they can do. No need to feed a vendor a $120 steak in my opinion. 

Post # 4
6820 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I gave them a choice. We fed them the same as our guests, our caterer charged 50% for vendor meals. Our only vegetarian was one of the bartenders lol. 

Post # 5
3450 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

We offered vendors a choice and they had the same meal as guests, but we also had a small wedding where the food was not $100+ a plate. If we’d had a bigger wedding with pricier food and I saw that in a contract, I’d go with another vendor. You can provide vendors great food without spending $100+ on it like for guests. 

Post # 6
2527 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

They should be offered a choice as well. I would just simply send an email to all your vendors asking their choice and a response date (when you need your catering numbers by for example)

Our vendors at the same food as our guests as well, but we had a buffet so they just chose what options they wanted themselves. 

Post # 7
7416 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

The reason it’s in the contract that the vendor gets the same meal as the guest is because people try to cheap out and feed their photographer (or whoever) a cold thin little turkey sandwich.  Give the vendors the same entree choices as the guests and when you pass it along to the venue, count the vendors separately. Your caterer probably has a reduced rate for the vendor meal since the vendors generally only get the entree, not the dessert, coffee or bread services and maybe not the starter.

Post # 8
4568 posts
Honey bee

Just to chime in on the clause being unfair comment – I can see why they worded it that way.  You can’t demand a hot meal if they are having a luncheon serving cold foods, but you can at least ask to be treated as well or equivalent to the guests to guarantee a full meal.

Not every venue or caterer interprets “vendor meal” as a hot meal or even a full meal.  I’ve worked quite a few weddings where the vendor meal was a cold box lunch or they just had a pizza delivered and it was cold by the time all the vendors got to eat (and not everyone wants to eat greasy junk food).  There used to be a Facebook group of photographers and other vendors who would post the meals they were given and the number of people who tried to get away with not feeding them or feeding them like the few leftover scraps from the cocktail hour or a cheese sandwich and a sad looking apple was shockingly and depressingly high.  And some of these vendors were putting in 8-12 hour days following people around all day.  Apparently feeding vendors a full preferably hot meal is not common sense to a lot of people so clauses like that protect them from the people without common sense.  If your venue/caterer has a cheaper yet roughly equivalent vendor option (i.e. they still get salad/sides but are given chicken and pasta instead of the filet and lobster the guests are getting) a lot of vendors will accept that if you negotiate the clause in advance.  They are just trying to make sure they aren’t given scraps and actually get to eat a full meal.

But if there are options, then yes, I would give them a choice and ask in advance. 

Post # 9
2452 posts
Buzzing bee

We’re giving ours a choice from the guest meals (fish, chicken, and vegan).  

Fortunately, our caterer’s vendor meals are simply the same as the guest meals only she offers a discounted price.  However, if her vendor meals were something less, like cold sandwiches or otherwise not a proper meal, we would have offered our vendors the actual guest meal.  I feel like a happy, well fed vendor is likely to do a better job!

Post # 10
1475 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

We didn’t give them a choice. They got the chicken dish that was one of the options for our guests (the other option was fish) as well as potatoes, green beans, salad and bread. Our venue charged a little less for the vendor meals since they weren’t included in the headcount for apps and liquor.

Post # 11
655 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

Ours had the same choices as the guests but our venue charged a reduced rate for them.

Post # 12
302 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2020

Our photographer and anyone else will get a meal that everyone else is eating.  We haven’t gotten down to the details if the meals for vendors will be cheaper as we are going with an outside caterer, but I strongly feel they should have what everyone else is eating.  I want them to be happy and well-fed!

Post # 13
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

My photographer/DJ is a vegetarian so he is definitely getting a choice! I am also letting his assistant choose her meal too. I feel like it’s reasonable to feed your vendors the same thing you’re feeding your guests, but that’s just me 🤷🏻‍♀️

Post # 14
7435 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

annabananabee :  I honestly don’t think it is common sense. I had no idea this was a thing before the bee. I figured they would bring a meal like most other people do for their job. I bring a lunch and occasionally my job involves me basically following people around for 12+ hours but I would not expect that the client would provide my lunch. I would probably find it easier to do a job like this eating finger type foods rather than sitting down to a full meal anyways.

That being said, I saw a post about it on the bee and offered a choice of meals to my vendors at which point, all but one turned it down. I understand why a photographer would want to be fed but I don’t think it’s necessarily something a bride would just know. So to that point, I do think it’s fair that they put it in their contract if that’s what they expect like you said. If someone thinks it’s unfair, they can just go with someone else.

fourthnoel :  I would give them a choice. Why risk paying for something they won’t eat?

Post # 15
558 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2020 - Summer Camp!

Definitely ask. Vegans, vegetarians, and gluten allergies are pretty common nowadays. My photographer is eating the same as us, but we’re having buffet-style food so it doesn’t make a difference (BBQ). 

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