Advice on Negotiating Facilities/Food- Separately or Together?
Posted: Nov 5, 2008 3:33 AM
I'd love your help!!
We're planning a semi-destination wedding. Most guests will stay for the weekend. And, we're trying to foot the bill for everything but lodging (and rehearsal bar) for our guests.
Sooo... we're wondering how we can best negotiate a deal with the venue, a ski resort. We haven't put down a deposit yet (luckily the resort is not in high demand), but we'd like to do so soon. Before I lose any bargaining power, I'd love your advice on how to best negotiate with the venue.
Option 1: Negotiate Facilities First, Then worry about food
Pros: We wouldn't have to make decisions on meals before booking the place. We'd have more time to 1) do a tasting and 2) make sure that we want to try to sponsor all/some of the meals for our guests.
Option 2: Negotiate Food & Facilities All Together upon putting down a deposit
Pros: We MIGHT get a better deal on the whole package by negotiating food/bev AND site fees up front (see *note below). Also, we'd get the negotiating out of the way!
**Note, This venue does allow outside caterers to come in for a fee, thus we still have some bargaining power when negotiating food/beverage if we were to go with option #1
**Note: We're not foodies at all, but we don't want terrible food either
ANY OTHER TIPS/"THING TO CONSIDER" would be welcome!!
I think it's better in this case to put all your cards on the table. I'd make sure you speak with the right person though - does the place have a special events coordinator?
You may have the best luck negotiating meal by meal. For example, perhaps breakfasts will be very economical but dinner will break the budget. You should have several acceptable scenarios in your head.
I might also speak with a few nearby caterers FIRST to get an idea of how much having meals catered would cost. Then, you can better access whether you'd be getting a good deal from the facility.
The biggest negotiating tip I have is: be ready to walk away if you aren't getting what you want. If they can't do it for the price you need, so "ok, thank you for your time, but I think I'll have to look into caterers then." That way you don't get stuck paying more than you need to.
I totally second everything Karebear said. You need to check out your outside catering options before you go to bat. Here's what I did: (this is also only planning for one meal, so you may need to be more flexible than I was) I made my menu, and had all intervied caterers give me a total cost for that meal. I wanted to make sure I was comparing apples to apples. What I would do in your situation, is make up a sample menu that you would like to see. Get caterers in the area to give you a price, then add the cost of the fee to have them, and compare what in house with the venue would be. Hope that made sense!