Well dang it awl, I go an attempt a good nights sleep, and come back and find 15 more posts, and a concluded thread!
Complete with a very knowledgeable hijacking my Mimi herself! (Just teasing of course.)
Chef Corley if youre still hanging about reading, Im glad to hear you followed your gut as Flipper suggested.
Twas on my mind so I'll let out a few more thoughts-- you had several people in here saying
similar things, based on personal experience.
So again for your future reference, I think theres nothing wrong with fund raisers, so long as your business is
set up to "use" it, i.e. as a proper write off. If you don't need the W.O., then youre just being a charity worker.
But I too just got the impression from what you reported she said, that she was playing you, looking for a
free lunch as it were. (And Mimi is spot on about what a gala is lol-- I planned and cooked for one a few years
back and it was definitely a put-on-airs contest.)
You also wouldn't have gotten away with slipping your labor into the out the door price if she was serious and wanted to
see receirts or something.
And lastly the "Don't have a budget" also hit me (as it did others) as BS--translation: "No need to discuss money with you,
cuz youre not getting any."
I personally never ask that question of a client-- cuz 50% of the time they choke on it and either say "we don't"
or they hem and haw and don't want to give the negotiation advantage back to you. And even when they do
answer, you watch it in their eyes, as they think and search for just the correct lie to get the price down. lol
On the other hand this was an opportunity for you to do some free advertising-- you could have offered a free
"drop off" of some decent simple apps, in exchange for being allowed to leave your business card at the event.
Would've kept your foot in the door with her, but at this point who knows if it would've been worth it.
This was interesting--always fun to see how these people pitch their own unique approach to a caterer for a nice
evening of them working their ass off for free.
Luck in the future, and don't undersell yourself!