Every restaurant and deli here in Vancouver will snap at the opportunity to do some "catering", and it's been that way for as long as I can remember. Quite a few hotels also do on-site catering as well as the regular banqueting and buffets. And then there's the "wanna-be" caterers, matter of fact I've called the health inspectors on two "Basement kitchen" caterers over the years.
Caterchef, the thread started when someone asked you to match a B.S. price. I used to get this quite often, and I had two stock answers for such requests:
1) No, I can't match that price, by all means please book that particular restaurant, it's a good deal.
2) I'm sorry, I'm booked solid for the week of__________________, try again next year.
In other words, tell 'em to go to 7ell in such a way that they actually look forward to the trip...............
Some people have respect for the caterer, and understand that caterer actually has overhead and a right to earn money (i.e a salary). Other people have no respect for the caterer, and think the only way to deal with caterers is to low-ball them and B.S. them. Why do people behave like this? I dunno.