(Closed) Food tasting tonight – NOT PLEASED

posted 9 years ago in Food
Post # 3
Member
773 posts
Busy bee

This is pretty much how tastings are done.  At our tasting we got to taste 3 apps, 2 entrees, and cake.  $100 per person is really not unreasonable for that quantity of food if you’re going with an upscale caterer.  Are the people who are coming all going to be eating the same thing, or do they each get to choose their own meals?  It’s pretty frustrating, but you have to look at it from the vendor’s point of view.  They can’t make 30 different dishes in individual portions, but they aren’t going to waste the time and money and resources to prepare full amounts of each recipe only to have it go to waste.  

Post # 4
Member
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Well, my venue told us the only way we got to taste the food was if we called early and they "saved us a plate" from a wedding (which means we ate THEIR options) or came to an "open house" where they offered all the food to all the brides every few months or so.

We did the latter and i took a Bridesmaid or Best Man since my Fiance was out of town. Good thing, the chicken marsala sucked so bad i’d have been embarassed to serve it. Their "preferred" cake vendor was also SO BAD i decided I would go with Costco.

I found a few ok items on there. My Bridesmaid or Best Man assured me it’d be better fresh, on the day OF the wedding, and if not, it certainly was about average for catering food and it wasn’t awful. Just not fabulously delicious. Then she told me, "but you’re having an open bar so it all evens out" LoL. Good luck

I think that’s a ridiculous price though. You’re already paying how much to feed all your people there? They should work this out like my location did and set aside a few group tastings.  

Post # 5
Member
108 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

While I understand Amandopolis’s points and they seem valid, my first (albeit emotional) response to your predicament was to rage against that machine. What utter nonsense! I am so sick of the word "wedding" adding additional 0’s to all costs. I mean, there are a lot of places you can go order something off a menu (where they haven’t made big batches of it, either) and get four different dishes for four people that includes four different salads and desserts and (going extravagant) even get an app. to split and pay 100-120 bucks! And we are talking relatively nice, upscale places around boston!

Good luck. We don’t even get tastings, we have to pay for our dinner when we go try something. Its so depressing.

Post # 6
Member
12 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Give them a call and see what they are willing to do for you. Tastings for four people was complimentary with my caterer, but basically we were given a limited tasting choice, just as you were. Upon further inquiry, the caterer said we could taste more dishes at $5 per person per dish- which we used to taste all the entrees we were considering. This was a good thing because we got to taste both beef, both fish, and the chicken, and even though I thought I’d serve chicken the fish was so much better (well one of them was. The other made me gag a little… but good to know now before serving my guests).

Also, the way my caterer served us tastings we did not get a full entree size plate, which is maybe what you are getting and why the higher cost – sort of like ordering two dinners for each of you in one sitting. Instead, my caterer divided up one full size plate into four small pieces so we could all taste.

Even though I was also surprised that I wasn’t able to taste more since I am putting in such a huge contract with them, I do understand it costs ingredients and labor, so I didn’t ultimate begrudge them the $80 I paid to taste the major things I wanted. Depending on how much they might charge you for additional entrees and if they are willing to let you share them, you have to make your own decision.

But definitely talk to them ASAP rather than be frustrated and aggravated.  Butter them up by noting how multiple things sounded good, and how could you work something out to taste more options and make a better decision. rather than starting in a combative conversation.

Post # 7
Member
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

i’m not sure what the norm is, but i can tell you about my experience.  my tasting didn’t cost anything (must be built into the price).

my Fiance and i were seated at a fully set table (with linens and everything) and were served our entire meal…and more.  we started with our cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres – they included our options and other examples of what they could do.  then we were served a full size portion of beef tenderloin with grilled asparagus and roasted potatoes, and grilled salmon with a lemon leek sauce.  with every ‘course’ a chef came out and explained what it was and how it was made.

then… the pastry chef came out and we tried 7 different cakes.  she talked with us about the ingredients and our options and our ideas.

needless to say, we left quite full, but very happy with our experience. 

Post # 8
Member
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

When I’ve gone to tastings {to plan charity events, birthdays, etc.} it’s always been a free tasting. Coming to WeddingBee was the first time I’d ever heard of places charging for a tasting. I do think $100 is ridiculous, especially since you weren’t able to taste all that you wanted. Now, I’m not planning to have a tasting with the venue we’re using for our vow renewal, because it’s a restaurant that we go to all the time. I just paid for a "tasting" there last week you could say. I trust their chef to come up with an amazing menu. But if I didn’t, you bet your a$$ that I would want a detailed tasting and I wouldn’t be paying $100 for it. I’m spending enough!

 

Ok, my rant is over now. Let us know how it went! 

Post # 9
Member
3332 posts
Sugar bee

Wow, I thought our tasting was pricey at $25/person!  I definitely understand your frustration at paying so much but being given such limited tasting options.  Our tasting was set up a little differently, in a buffet style with many different choices of each item.  However, the venue only hosts two tastings per YEAR, so we had to book our choices very quickly when the tasting was only 2 months before our wedding.

How did things go when you went last night?  Maybe you can speak to the vendor if you aren’t happy with your choices when you actually taste the food and they can accomodate you for another tasting?

Post # 10
Member
773 posts
Busy bee

I did just want to point out re: the comment that you can eat for $100 in a nice restaurant, that this is not a restaurant, this is a catering company.  Their business model is completely different from a restaurant.  All of their recipes are probably large scale.  It’s not like a restaurant where the cooks have all the ingredients on hand to make one portion of anything on the menu.  Also, "I’m paying so much already, this should be free," is not really a good response to the situation.  Restaurants and caterers alike operate on an extraordinarily narrow profit margin, and in order to offer free tastings to every customer, they would have to raise prices for everyone.  By charging for the tasting, they’re probably keeping prices lower for customers who choose for whatever reason not to do a tasting.

 Also, generally, if the food you try is very good, you can assume it’s probably good across the board, just avoid selecting any items with ingredients that will potentially turn off your guests (avoid the chicken in anchovy-mushroom sauce, for example).  If it’s very bad, you can assume it’s bad across the board, and choose a new caterer.  

Sorry, I worked in food service for a long time and just wanted to offer some insight.   

Post # 11
Member
469 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

Hmmm.  Our tasting was free, and we brought both sets of parents with us!  WE got to taste 10 different apps (and were able to pick 5 for the wedding), we tasted 3 different entrees (and picked 2 to serve), and 3 different dessrts (and picked 1). 

I would ask about options – you want to make sure you are abe to taste a variety of things before being forced to pick one!

Post # 12
Member
3526 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

We chose to not consider any venue that will not allow us to do tastings prior to booking them. I don’t care how good their reputation is it’s important that WE like their food.That being said of the three venues we will be visiting all three are caterers. #1 has a exclusive caterer that we are doing a free tasting with this weekend with items of our choosing from our current menu selection. #2 would’ve done a free tasting except this saturday they are catering a wedding but we can go in for lunch if we have time. #3 gives us the option to choose whichever caterer we want, which you can bet we won’t book any that won’t let us taste prior to booking.

I think that if you are spending thousands on the meal portion of your wedding you have the right to expect more at your tasting. If they prefer not to do the set tastings for tons of wedding couple at once (which is a great way to eliminiate waste) and want to charge you that’s their choice. But paying $100/tastings … that is a really nice meal at a fancy restaurant! I think a good business person would be able to accomodate you whether it’s buying some extra ingredients during a weekend they are catering another wedding and give you some options from their menu or whatnot.

Preventing unncessary waste as a caterer should be part of their business decisions, as a paying customer we shouldn’t have to worry about that for them.

Post # 13
Member
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

$100 per person?!?!  That is crazy!!!  Especially if you are paying $70 per plate for the reception dinner.  It’s not like you are going to be boozing it up.

Have you talked to your venue/caterer about the tasting limitations, and what happens if you strongly dislike one of the few option you taste? 

Best of luck and let us know how it goes!

Post # 15
Member
2324 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

I’m so glad that it worked out! Great to hear that you were happy with the food! So what did you choose?

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