Post # 1
We’re ready to sign a contact with a venue (country club), but they’re refusing to do a tasting (even after we sign.) The wedding coordinator said that they used to do group tastings twice a year, but have found it to be prohibitively expensive and difficult for their kitchen to make 15 pieces of 30 different dishes rather than 200 pieces of 6 menu items that they would do for an actual wedding and that the tasting wouldn’t be an accurate depiction of the food anyway.
We heard from another couple that they had been to a tasting at this venue earlier this summer.
We had dinner at the club’s restaurant, and the food was outstanding. That said, cooking one steak and 200 steaks are two very different tasks.
Does their response make sense / sound reasonable? What are your thoughts here? What is customary?
Post # 3
@YellowBride: i had my wedding at a country club and they didn’t do tastings either. they do offer you to come for dinner at any time and order from the menu. i knew that they had an amazing chef and so i wasn’t too concerned. our meal was amazing. guests are still raving about the creme brulee.
Post # 4
- Wedding: June 2012 - Franklin Plaza
Our venue doesn’t do tastings either. I was a bit nervous about this, but we knew people who had gone to our particular venue for weddings before and they RAVED about the food. Sure enough, the food on our wedding day was absolutely delicious and we had no problems!
I think it’s okay, but I totally understand your hesitation.
Post # 5
thats not normal… what our venue did was give us a menu of what the options were. we asked to taske three meats, three salads and three sides and we pick two each. there were 6 options of each item so we had to narrow it down before the tasting- which was easy- we didnt want lobster and salmon and the price for prime rib was insane. so we tried two chicken dishes and a tritip.
Post # 6
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
Ask them for recs from other brides who have had their weddings there at the very least. It’s bad business not to do a tasting but if they’re a private club and they have no problem booking weddings they probably don’t care. Also, the food they serve at weddings is usually special ordered in bulk and items not available on the regular menu only on a catering menu. If that is not the case (i.e. the items are on the regular rmenu) ask if they will give you a discount to come up for dinner one night to try out the food.
Post # 7
My venue doesn’t do a tasting either.
If you’re generally happy with the food served in the restaurant, and you have confirmation in your contract that the dinner chef is also the wedding chef you’re probably fine. You could ask around to see if you can find anyone who has been married there, or has attended a large function (a wedding or a corporate dinner) and ask their opinion of the food, and how it compares to the regular dining room food.
You can also try looking online for a review of the food at the venue during large events.
If you get a LOT of negative feedback on the food quality, that might be a red flag; but one or two complaints online shouldn’t scare you off. If a friend warns you away, that might carry more weight though.
Post # 8
It doesn’t sound reasonable, considering how friggin expensive these things are.
Post # 9
We had our wedding at a large hotel in the area and they (as well as most venues we talked to) would not do a tasting until after the contract was signed. A few months prior to the wedding, we sat down with the coordinator at the hotel and talked about food choices and what we thought we might like. Based off of that conversation, they narrowed down the menu and gave us options to choose from- about 6 appetizers, 3 main dishes, 2 salads, and some desserts. I think that if you sign the contract you should be offered a tasting, but not before as it is costly for the hotel to do this. I would not sign the contract without being guaranteed a tasting.
Post # 10
Our venue does not do tasting. Their argument is that they have a restaurant and all the dinner options are on their regular menu, so we can come in for dinner. I didn’t really care because I’ve eaten at this place all my life and it’s always been good.
Post # 11
Our venue, a country club, has a wonderful reputation for their food so we didn’t worry about it.
Ours did a tasting long after the contract was signed. We chose the food and they only prepared the food we had chosen – 1 salad, 1 pasta, fish, chicken and steak, and 2 desserts. The salad and pasta were served individually, The meats were all 2 plates of each so we shared it.
I wish we could have brought our Maid/Matron of Honor and Best Man, but we were limited to 6 people including ourselves, so we brought both sets of parents.
Post # 12
It definitely makes sense. There are some venues in my area that only hold tastings a couple times a year.
Post # 13
Our venue does four tastings a year.
At the very least I’d talk to some other brides and see what they thought about the food.
Post # 14
You’ve had dinner there and liked it, so I wouldn’t worry about a tasting. Saying that cooking one steak vs 200 is different, well yes that’s true, but a tasting won’t change that. They won’t be cooking 200 steaks for your tasting. 😉
We chose a local restaurant that also does catering, because their food is outstanding and somewhere we frequently eat ourselves. If you’re happy with the food you eat there, I think you’ll be fine. A tasting is no gurantee. I know a lot of brides who had a great tasting and crappy wedding food.
Post # 15
I don’t see a problem with it, there’s a huge difference making 1 or 2 of each dish for a tasting versus making 200 + plates of each item. So even if your tasting is delicious its often deceiving. Don’t know if our caterer does tastings yet, but I’m not concerned about it.
Post # 16
Venues that are also restaurants (not just event venues with caterers for the events) are increasingly not doing tastings. We didn’t do a tasting. We just based our decision to use the place on the fact that we love the restaurant. It’s the same cooks and staff, so we figured they could make the food we ordered for our wedding just as well as they make the food when we eat there normally. And we were right – the food at our wedding was phenomenal.
If they’re not a restaurant, and they’re just an event caterer, they really need to do tastings, but restaurants probably don’t see why you can’t just eat there once to test it.
(And you’re right that making 200 steaks isn’t like making one steak – but making one steak while you’re making 100 totally different meals to order, to come out at different times to different tables, with different side dishes and appetizers and salads and desserts, etc, is actually the hardest thing to do. Making lots of one thing is pretty easy to get right. Trust me, if they’re a good restaurant, they’ll be a good caterer).