(Closed) Must sign contract & make deposit to have food tasting?

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
6597 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

None of the venues I checked out did tastings before you booked! We booked over a year out and only did our tasting 4 months prior to the wedding!

Post # 4
541 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

We had to do the same. These days, venues shell out alot of money for prospects and even worse, couples who KNOW they’re not booking there so I can’t say I blame them.  Since it’s a restaurant, can you go in and have the meal you’re considering?

Post # 5
2237 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I have to give a $600 deposit just to reserve a date with my caterer.  Then before we can do any tastings we have to give another $1000.  However, we are allowed to infinitely try more choices before we make our final decision and she made us dinner when we first met with her for our initial consultation.

I think a lot goes into doing a tasting – like they aren’t just giving you one thing to try, instead it is a bunch of different entrees and sides and everything, so it makes sense they want a committment.

And if they didn’t require that people could just use them for the free food!

Post # 6
3041 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I wouldn’t buy something before I tried it. Isn’t the point of a tasting for you to TRY it out so you can decide if you want to go with them? Can you pay for a small tasting instead?

Post # 7
2781 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Our venue was the same, we signed the contract first and then had our tasting a few months later. You could always just go there for dinner one night before signing anything and see what you get then.

Post # 8
695 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

The caterers we’re looking at all do tastings only after you book also. But, one of them also runs two restaurants, so we made sure to eat dinner at one and lunch at the other to check them out. I think what you’re experiencing is fairly common. If you really want to do the tasting prior to booking, maybe you could ask them to put one together and charge you the cost of a meal(?)

Post # 9
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Maybe they’ve been burned in the past, or like MandaMack said, it’s a way to prevent people who aren’t seriously considering the venue to get a free meal. Now that I think about it, all of the venues that I looked at wouldn’t do a tasting unless you were definitely having your event with them.

Post # 11
1426 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

That seems strange to me, but I guess not… The good thing about it being a restaurant is you can always just go have dinner there.  That’s what we did for our “tasting” 🙂

Post # 12
4485 posts
Honey bee

No that is not normal, nor is it ethical. Especially if you are having it at a restaurant, you should not have to book the venue before you get a tasting since you should be able to go in anytime. If anyone requires you to book the venue before you get a tasting, run fast. NEVER book any caterer or venue without getting a tasting first, and many do not have such restrictions at all, because once you sign the contract, you are stuck regardless of the quality of the food and service.

Post # 13
53 posts
Worker bee

It was mixed when we were looking. Some gave us a tasting, others didn’t. For us, we refused to book a venue that wouldn’t even let us try their food. I don’t care how good they claim they are, if we can’t try it first we’re not buying! In some cases this was eating in the restaurant rather than a full tasting but the venue we eventually booked with was very accomodating and gave us a full tasting before booking anything– which is one of the reasons we went with them because the food was so amazing!

Post # 14
1641 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

At our venue, we went for dinner first, (which we paid for)- they gave us some special attention, split some dishes for us, bought us wiine. So, we got to taste what the restaurant offers and we got to talk to the chef a bit.

When we sign the contract, we will have an official tasting of what is being served at the wedding and tweak it if we want to. I don’t think we have to pay extra for that tasting, and I do think we have to pay a deposit first.

Post # 15
61 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I work for a wedding venue and that’s extremely common. Speaking as a gal also getting married in three months, I can understand both sides. Can you imagine all of the brides we see each and every day and the money we would spend on food not to mention the amount of time for each tasting? It takes about 1.5 to 2 hours for each tasting. You have to go on reputation, reviews and feel confident they are a trusted culinary expert in their field. We typically do tastings about a month before the wedding and offer suggestions and then allow the bride to choose two to taste and decide. 

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