Originally Posted by Cronker
We always get full payment up front, and especially so for wedding receptions.
It's highly likely that the client will tell you that they don't have their CC with them on the day (they're in their wedding dress etc) and they will settle up in a couple of days.
Except that then you can't reach them because they're off on their honeymoon.
A month later and you finally get hold of them and then the fun starts.
"Oh, but my third cousin had the beef but really wanted the chicken, and you served the wedding cake in three inch slices when we wanted them in four. And it was a hot day and you failed to call God and get him to fix it. And we were both so drunk that we didn't have sex that night, so I'm not paying."
Sure you're exaggerating....but not by much.
Weddings are, IMO, the single most unpredictable events in the catering field.
I know of no other type of event where the emotions are so high, have so many fingers in
the pie, and the buck gets passed as much as in the celebration of matrimony. Or is that matri-MONEY?
I have actually passed on a wedding or two, simply because my spider sense was tingling early on
that the clients were gonna be....problematical......and that's months BEFORE the event.
So I agree, on a wedding, give them the full, indisputable, iron clad, encased-in-Carbonite, contract.
Preferably notarized by the almighty hisself. Cuz it doesn't take much, even if it has nothing to do with you,
to get accused of "ruining our special day!" Caterers historically make great appetizers.....and fall guys.
Now, regarding other types of events, Id say its a judgment call, but I haven't had problems with most.
Still, having that pay in advance in writing isn't a bad idea, IMO, and it keeps control of things with
someone you trust--yourself.
The only reason you have to buy the ticket upfront is because if the service isn't complete you won't be around for final payment.
Hmm...I could start providing that reason to clients....but I guess that might not generate many good referrals, eh? :p
OHH-popping back in to note one more thing about weddings......
IME, the hiring party(s) are rarely dissatisfied during and right after the wedding--emotions are usually positive, and moods
still expansive (Most grumbling (translation==small claims suit) occurs in the days or weeks following. )
So this is a very good time to issue the bride and groom, and anyone else directly involved with paying you, a "feedback card",
simple questions about the satisfaction and completion of service. To be handed to, and signed by the responsible party.
Just a nice "tool" to have in your defense kit, should they decide to look back at the money they spent for you in a ....
less than positive light.
Edited by Meezenplaz - 9/19/16 at 9:17pm