Post # 1
The on-site catering company at my venue sent out a letter this morning. They are adding a 12.5% food crisis levy on their food costs. They prefaced it with the spiel about how the current global food crisis is affecting their suppliers and overall they are hit with a 25% increase of food costs, so they’re ‘graciously’ absorbing 12.5% while charging all their clients this new levy.
Are they shipping in food from ICELAND?!
Um… craptacularly ridiculous OR another sign of escalating wedding costs??
I thought I would share this new development to the Hive, has anyone experienced this at all? …yet?
I’m due for a face to face meeting with the venue in a few weeks and will want to go in well-informed, with a red pen in hand ready to cut out other costs, if I do indeed have to deal with this stupid stupid additional charge. My wedding is in 4 months and we can’t go with any other caterer, we’ve already put down 50% deposit.
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2018 - The Desmond Hotel in Malvern, PA
Did you sign a contract with them? I’m no lawyer, but if you signed a contract that stated solid pricing terms, I believe that adding on this food crisis levy would be violating the contract terms. They can certainly add this charge on for new customers, but they are stuck with whatever they promised you at the beginning. That’s what a contract is for.
I could be totally wrong….. Any REAL lawyers want to chime in?
Post # 4
That sounds just crazy to me!
Post # 5
Yeah, I agree with cupcake. My caterer said that as soon as I signed the contract (which included the food costs), the costs won’t change. Just a thought.
Post # 6
We had to negotiate a new contract with our venue when we had to postpone due to a family illness. We got smacked with a 16% increase in food prices cause of the "economic status and food shortages". Wha??
But I agree with Cupcake. Once I signed my contract I’m locked into that price. See if the pricing is spelled out directly into your contract. If it is I’d be marching right down to the caterer and telling them what you are going to pay!
Post # 7
Unless they put in the contract that they withhold the right to change the prices, I would believe you’re locked in at the prices you signed.
When I was hunting down venues, the one we went with warned us beforehand that they do an annual review of prices and they would soon be raising their prices slightly, but it would be no more than $X. I appreciated their honesty and built the increase into the budget. Their adjustment came in slightly under and now we have some money to play with.
Post # 8
I think you should just deny that there is a food crisis at all, just like some people are denying the recession exists. I think its a poorly worded surcharge and you could definitely argue that they’re overracting. (think devil’s advocate here – whether or not you agree) I’m thinking there’s a good chance there is some sort of generic wording in the contract that may allow adjustments for unusual circumstances…
I’m meeting with my caterer today, so we’ll see if I hear anything similar.
Post # 9
Prices are definitely rising and it’s definitely more expensive to get food and transport it to sites, but if you’ve already signed a contract, check it very carefully for any riders that might say they can tack on these kinds of surcharges. Very shady of them to do it after you’ve already signed the papers. Food prices haven’t gone up *that* much.
Post # 10
I agree unless otherwise stipulated in the contract , once you sign the prices can’t just change. thats what contracts are for! I would look over your contract , but be polite!
Post # 11
Unfortunately there’s nothing in our contract about set menu prices. Everything was stated as "estimated billing" since we don’t finalize the menu selections until a month prior to the wedding event. Wow, what a lesson to be learned! I’m still going to go over the contract with fiancee again tonight…
Trebuchet: now that you mention it, I might recall the event coordinator saying that the menu prices may change (that was last August when we signed the contract). But I don’t think anyone would’ve forseen a 25% increase!
gaudior23: interesting strategy. I do think they’re overreacting. And what if in two months, everything stabilizes again?
Post # 12
If pricing isn’t in your contract, you are stuck with their increase, if you want to still have it there.Â Try and get something in writing after negotiating on this increase.
The food charges HAVE gone up, very significantly.Â Especially for rice.Â I think 2009 wedding catering pricing will be very different from 2008 pricing because of it.Â And food prices… don’t really go down.Â But, that being said, 12.5% is a huge raise for you to bear.Â Even if they are supposedly shouldering the other 12.5%.Â I’d ask to see some kind of proof.
Post # 13
If they do charge this though it should be on their actual cost of the food itself. So if you are being charged $100/person, let’s say $20 of that was for the actual food (I bet its less) with the remainder being for food preparation, service etc. Which means that they should only be increasing $20*.125 = 2.50 (or 2.5% increase per person). If they are trying to levy it on the entire per person charge it is really ludicrous.
Post # 14
Guess what? The caterer has retracted the levy! We sent them a very long letter stating our disappointment and how the levy was poorly justified especially since our wedding is in a couple months time. They must have received a lot of negative comments from other clients because they decided to retract it for all current bookings but will raise their prices for all future clients.
Post # 15
Congrats!! I’m glad you posted this, actually. It’s always nice to hear how things work out! They definitely made the right decision though. First things first, keep your current customers happy! Then get new ones