(Closed) Made a mistake with the caterer.

posted 6 years ago in Food
Post # 3
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Get a quote from another caterer and see if she will match it.

Post # 4
1109 posts
Bumble bee

@MistySoda:  maybe tell her you had a change of plans with budget and unexpected costs. email her instead and ask your FH to proofread. Maybe have her break down the food and why everything costs so much, then remove some items you could live withour or maybe cut some items in half that not everyone will enjoy. Just a suggestion

Post # 5
4356 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I hate it when that happens.  And you get pressured and you just answer honestly. It should be as easy as “This is what I want, how much?” They shouldn’t be sneaky about it.

Nevertheless you can still negotiate.  I probably would make a light remark about how funny it is that the quote is almost the exact same amount as what you quoted them.  I’d also ask for a full breakdown of the costs.  Explain that you told them your recpetion budget, not your catering budget and as such the price is completely out of budget.

FWIW SO is a client of ours and the guy who does the quotes in my office is a total idiot, one job something will cost $5, the next job it’ll be $50. Yes people have to make money, but c’mon!

Post # 6
8576 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

What’s the quote she gave you, and for how many people?
I guess your really need to think about if the food is worth the price.

I found a venue that made you take their catering, for a crappy meal [hamburgers & bratwurst], they wanted $30 a person.. to get something slightly better [chicken marinara], it was $70 a person. This is WAY too high for our area, and we have decided to cater in fazoli’s, for about $17 a person.

Post # 7
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Hmm tough situation… first of all.. anyone is going to ask about budget. You should probably get a number you are comfortable with before you make these calls. Whether or not catering is half of a person’s budget totally depends on the budget and type of food. We are doing a 2 item buffet (chicken and beef) with sides, salad, rolls and beverages for 150 people and it is costing us around 4,000 out of our 11,000 budget. Honestly, I would look into other caterer’s. There is probably someone else out there whose food is just as great.. Have a set number in mind when you meet/speak with them. Don’t be afraid to negotiate either. And if you are still dead set on the first, then show her the quote and tell her you would love to use her but you recieved a better quote elsewhere and feel more comfortable with that price. 

Honestly, I feel like she kind of took advantage of the number you gave her though.. I would be kind of irked. Maybe though she got confused and thought you were telling her to plan a menu around that budget? If you think she is being sincere, then just talk to her and negotiate.. Maybe the menu will have to change some but maybe she can work something out. 

Post # 8
9053 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

It’s possible that she’s not screwing you.  I just negotiated catering for a work event, and basically came to them wanting a $39 per person menu (that I’d reviewed ahead of time on their website, but assume there was wiggle room) for MAX than $35.  So, of course the quote came in at $35 on the nose.

We’d have to know what you were looking for and what the price came to to really figure out if she over quoted you because she saw dollar signs, or if she’s truly trying to work within your budget, or thought she was supposed to make a menu that reflected your budget, in which case she’s doing a good job.

Post # 9
3688 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I agree with getting a quote for another caterer. Also, if you can post what you’re looking at, people familiar with the area may be able to tell you if you’re getting ripped off.

Post # 10
6741 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

I agree w/ the suggestions about getting quotes from other caterers and telling them that your budget changed. 

I also suggest having someone pretend to be a bride, call up and make almost the same suggestions and give a price half the price you gave as their budget and see what kind of quote they get. This way, you’ll know if they were being sneaky or not 😉

And if they were being sneaky, I probably wouldn’t want to work with them, even if they match another price quote!!

Post # 11
1026 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’d start with an email saying something like

“After sitting down with Darling Husband and going through our budget, we’ve had to adjust some numbers.  We still love your food but the original quote is out of our price range.  We are looking at $________ for catering for the reception.  That number will include food, drinks, (place settings and linens, servers bartenders other staff and anything else you are including)  Does that sound like something your company could work with us on?  If so could you send me a revised quote with the new budget in mind?  I would also appreciate a breakdown of costs for the different food/services on the quote.”

I would give them about 24 hours after sending the email and follow up with a phone call, and see what they say.  Keep a print out of the email in front of you and refer to it like a script if you get nervous.

Its not uncommon for brides to have to adjust budgets and revise their ideas as they plan.  A lot of brides start with a number in mind, start calling for quotes, realize that their budget was way to small for what they want, and have to renegotiate.  At this stage where you haven’t signed a contract or anything, the business shouldn’t have a problem with you requesting another quote.  

Post # 12
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@futuremrsk18:  haha this totally sounds like something I would do and was thinking of suggesting it. 

Post # 13
357 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2005

As @SapphireSun: points out, she may have done you a “favor” by fitting what you told her you wanted into what you told her your budget was.  It’s hard to know without knowing what all they’re including and what they normally charge, but that would be my guess – you gave her a number so she put together a proposal that would fit that number.  I would just call back (or have Fiance do it) and tell them you’ve gone over the numbers and have to revise that budget figure, then see what they can do.

Post # 14
4429 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@MistySoda:  how much are they chatging you? our caterer is 15.00 a plate were having a served buffet roast beef and a chicken 2 entrees red potatos and veggies, they supply all the table covers decorations in our colors gift table, Dj table etc…,china,glasses coffee&tea and free cake cutting and free pouring and serving of the champane toast. its 14.95 per guest plus 20% plus 6% service charge its runnung us for 110 guest 2,300 total. what are they charging you?

Post # 15
11418 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I would just be honest and tell her that you made a huge mistake by forgetting to factor in the cost of the venue rental and other non-catering costs associated with the reception when you gave her the number and then ask her to re-work a plan that is in keeping with the revised budget of whatever amount you and your Fiance are able to spend on catering alone (but don’t forget to incorporate taxes, gratuities, tables, chairs, linens, flatware, etc., as appropriate, in that new  number.)

As prior posters noted, I would ask for proposals from a couple of different caterers so that you have something with which to compare the new numbers you receive. (And, of course, hold onto the original proposal so that you can see what changes the vendor is making to accommodate the reduced budget.)

Post # 16
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

@HisNightOwl2014:  Wow you are getting an awesome price! I am having a similar menu and  my catering includes many of the same things are you (linens, all china/silverware, etc) but mine is like 26/per person. This includes taxes, fees and tips as well though. 

The best way to see what the going prices for your area is to get other quotes.. This is always a good idea anyways.. I had the choice of letting my venue do catering or outside.. I thought it would be super easy to have my venue do it all but i got other quotes and did other tastings just to see what else is out there. it can’t hurt and that way you know if she was “ripping you off” or you may find she is doing you a favor and the food/menu you want isn’t in your budget. 

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