(Closed) Dinner Protocol for Vendors

posted 10 years ago in Food
Post # 3
282 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

Most vendors include in their contracts that they are to be given a meal — but that does not mean you have to feed them the same thing you feed your guests. Talk to your catering manager about less expensive food options for your vendors — and see if they can sit someplace away from your guests, like wherever the food is being prepped.

Post # 4
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

We just asked our vendors what they would prefer.  The photographers are eating with us – because nobody wants their picture taken during dinner anyway.  We are having the band play through dinner – so clearly they don’t eat with us – but they indicated that they will eat on their breaks.  For the band we are putting a reserved sign on one of the tables (we have 16 tables of 8 plus our head table, so it’s not so conspicuous to have a table reserved for them).  The photographers will sit with the guests.

Normally your venue will have a room where their staff eats, so if you don’t want your vendors seated with the guests, or if your vendors will be "on-duty" during dinner, your venue can probably make the staff lounge available to them.  Most venues will also do vendor meals, which are priced much more reasonably than the selections you are providing for your guests.  And of course the vendors won’t be drinking alcohol, so you don’t have that cost.

You are expected to provide a meal for them, and also a place where they can sit down and put their feet up on their breaks, should they want to get away from the guests.

Post # 5
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

it varies by vendor – many are good about answering this question up front or being explicit in the contract.

my DOC doesn’t want dinner, the catering staff take care of their own, but the photographer and assistant will eat with us like guests.

definitely check in with the vendors to see what they expect/would like and then go to your venue or caterer and check on vendor meal pricing, as CarolineG suggested – particluarly with such a high per-person cost.  As Suzanno said, the vendors won’t be drinking or most likely require the same set-up/rental costs as the rest of the guests. 

Post # 6
36 posts

Our venue offered a vendor meal option at a fraction of the cost of the dinner for our guests.  It was like a boxed lunch with a sandwich, chips, fruit and a drink.  Come to think of it I never saw either of them eat it, but I’m sure they did while we were eating.  We provided one for our DJ and one for our photographer.

Post # 7
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

As a vendor, I’m not terribly offended if we aren’t fed. And if I knew the meal cost $150 a head, I might even be embarrassed, because we’re usually shoveling it in as fast as we can, and then getting back to work.

It would be a really nice gesture to find out if there’s a cheaper vendor meal, but don’t drive yourself crazy over it-it’s not really that big of a deal, especially with the cost involved. We usually stash some snacks in our camera bag just in case.

If you do end up feeding your vendors in any sort of fashion, be sure they eat when your guests eat-at least your photographers and planner anyway. This is the down time, so nothing’s really going on that they’ll need to photograph or manage.

Post # 8
1238 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

My venue offers a vendor meal that costs $22.00 instead of the $100 I am paying for my guests.  They also have an area for them to eat in. I would ask your venue or caterer what they usuallly do.

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