(Closed) Is it expected to provide meals for vendors?

posted 11 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
Member
10282 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

I personally think not feeding them is kind of rude. In our case our photographer will be with us for a total of 8 hours and our DJ for 6. If you were in their position, wouldnt you want to be fed? We havent booked our DJ yet but our photographer does not have anything regarding meals in his contract but we will be feeding them regardless. 

Some venues that we checked out offered alternative menu options for the vendors (like turkey sandwiches) ours however doesn’t. We will be giving our vendors the same entree choices that we give our guests but their meals will be cheaper since they won’t include the open bar or salad. I think its like $25-$30 per vendor which is such a small price to pay to guarantee they do a great job. Like Corgi said, a full vendor is a happy vendor.

Our venue also has a separate room off of the ballroom where the bar is located (this is also where our cocktail hour will be). Our vendors will more than likely just eat at the bar as soon as we start eating so that they can get back to working before anyone notices they’re gone. Besides, I would prefer not to have any pictures of me stuffing my face with my delicious chicken cordon bleu anyways. 

View original reply
@sassy411: Expecting your vendors to bring a “bag lunch” or something of the sort is a little crazy to me. 

Post # 18
Member
128 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

If I would have included the vendors in my head count it would have amounted to about 55 dollars a head.  I instead picked up Boxed Lunches from Panera Bakery for the vendors and the small kids that ended coming…..We ended saving about 800 dollars.  We had 7 kid and about 10 vendors.  I was so happy we did this….it was very practical.  The sandwiches were HUGE, TASTY and FILLING…there were a couple of left over and I had one the next day for lunch.  It included chips and a huge ass cookie too.

So vendors were fed and we saved lots of dough….

It the right thing to do….feed them….. You’ll be surprised how much food is going to go to waste at the end of the day.

 

 

Post # 19
Member
806 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I think you should provide a hot meal if they’re working long hours for you but it certainly doesn’t have to be the $$$ steak dinner the guests are having.  My venue let my vendors pick off a short menu of options that was more like “pub grub” as opposed to the catering menu being served at the reception.

Post # 20
Member
2203 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Many vendors include a meal in their contract. But, as a PP said, it’s better to keep your vendors happy! My thoughts are that even though you’ve hired them to work for you, you’re all on the same team and want a fantastic event. So, being nice and fair includes feeding the people that are going to be around you for several hours, over a mealtime.

Post # 21
Member
10989 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

I guess I can’t understand why supposed professionals like photogs & DJs don’t think to plan their day to include a break & a meal if they’ll be working an 8 hr + event.

Putting it in the contract is certainly one way to handle it.  But I certainly have never expected my employer to feed me!

Hope the cleaning lady & garage door man aren’t expecting lunch tomorrow . . .

Post # 22
Member
10282 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

View original reply
@sassy411: Its just courteous to feed them, thats all. Your cleaning lady and door man are very different from your wedding professionals. You are relying on these people to give you a stellar performance on your wedding day. Like I (and a few other PP’s said) a full vendor is a happy vendor. To me, paying for their meal is a small price to pay to guarantee they do a great job. 

Post # 23
Member
10989 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

I guess I’m alone in this–it just bugs me.  If I’m paying my photog $200/hr & have to spend another $100+ for his dinner, I feel taken advantage of.  It seems to me, the $100 spent on the meal should be part of his total compensation.

Thus, the contracting part makes sense to me, if all parties are comfortable with it.

 How do you keep your DJ from running up a huge bar tab?

Post # 24
Member
10282 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

View original reply
@sassy411: Atleast at my venue, the vendors are only served soda. They don’t even have the option to get alcohol. 

Post # 25
Member
5398 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

It depends on the contracts you signed.  In some contracts vendors do require a meal, otherwise, it’s just something that’s nice to do.  Remember, you can always ask your reception venue to see if they have an option for vendor meals, mine did and they were 50 bucks cheaper per plate than our wedding guests and their food was just as tasty!

Post # 26
Member
2820 posts
Sugar bee

I would talk to your vendors.  Other guests RSVP so you know how many meals to get, so you should get an idea if the vendors plan to eat your food or not. I’m a bit confused as why more vendors don’t bring this up if it’s going to affect their job performance and I think it’s good that your vendor is direct about their expectation.  Also there’s lots of meal restrictions people have so you don’t want to waste more $$ if they’re not going to eat it anyways and pack their own stuff. 

I think it’s definately courteous to provide a meal for long hours but I’ve heard stuff from vendors like ohhh, they didn’t provide enough vegetarian options with the meal so I was hungry all evening.  Honestly, I think that’s the vendors fault and not the bride and grooms fault but since not everyone is open about food expectations I would ask them yourself for the ones that don’t have it mentioned in their contract.

Post # 27
Member
1932 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

View original reply
@sassy411: I can’t imagine why a professional that you hired would find it appropriate to drink any alcohol.  I think there is a big difference between paying for their food and paying for their alcohol.  It was assumed that none of the people we hired would drink any alcohol at our reception – it is unprofessional behavior and has the ability to negatively impact their work.

Post # 28
Member
803 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

i actually think reading some of these responses are pretty funny.  sure, they could bring their own food – where exactly do you plan on them putting it?  what, a sandwhich with cheese and a yogurt??  food they have to reheat?  where would they keep it cold or reheat it?  i can tell you that any good vendor isnt going to bug your caterer to store their food.  they can leave it in their car…ok, and then leave your reception potentially missing something unplanned and important to photograph or fix.  or, like a “normal” job, they can take a break.  just drop everything and leave your wedding for 35 paid minutes to go pick up food.  and then if they missed a shot you wished they had gotten, you’ll be upset with them.  guess whos fault that would be?  yours, not theirs. 

my photographer was at our wedding for 10 hours.  our coordinator did about 16 hours.  feed them.  i dont care if they’re there for 6 hours.  feeding them keeps them in your immidiate vicinity and not missing a beat – totally able to be on their feet.  plus its just nice.  do onto others…remember? 

most caterers give you a discount for vendor food since they wont be drinking. 

Post # 29
Member
18627 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Our photographer was with us from 4pm to 11pm.  He slipped off to eat during dinner and we didn’t miss him then (who really wants pictures of them eating dinner anyway?).  I think that you need to provide at least something for any vendors to eat since they are there for a long time and with the photographers, they have to carry around heavy equipment which I’m sure is exhausting.

Post # 30
Member
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Umm….why would you be hiring a DJ that drinks alcohol while on the job???  Most venues/caterers offer vendor meals at a much lower cost than your regular guest meals. Most likely your vendor would receive sandwiches, chips/cookies, and water/soda.  It’s not like you’re paying for a filet mignon for them!  I think it’s horribly rude to expect someone to work for you for 8 hours without providing a short break and a meal.  

Post # 31
Member
987 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

generally vendors require that you purchase their meal so probably something that should be factored in to budget.

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