Clients-how to deal with obnoxious ones

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by shroomgirl, Apr 13, 2001.

  1. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    OH my, I've been in the midst of negiations for an event....this is a large kosher kiddish that needs to be prepared at the synagoge....OK story set-up

    client I know in a business sense...she does cater but needs someone to do this party for her family....ok we sitodwn and hammer out a menu, taking into consideration the limitations of not cooking on Sat, using only dairy, kosher foods. Food has to be checked by the rabbi, knives have to be bought new and used only there, synagoge closes on Friday at 1pm.....initial number is 250 that was down to 220 then 200 with 25 extra incase please meals...unreal...she would not give me a budget, just went with a menu...
    I got prices from caterers, most don't do kosher, kosher ones won't serve on Sat. or they don't do dairy....So I come up with variably priced menus $10-15....they want top one only for $13 you can leave out a salad....OK price is agreed on, later they come back wanting bigger servings of a revised menu, or the weird headcount....this is good money, but what a hassle.
    Michael Roman's workshop at Fancy Food Show in Chicago was wonderful, he says would you negotiate a restaurant price? Why do people feel they can alter your pricing?

    No deposit has been sent, I gave up a major morel party to stay in town....I wonder if there is going to be a hassle collecting the 50% due at time of party....
    Most of the time my contract deals with $ questions well, 50% non-refundable at time of booking rest the night of the party based on final headcount.

    So how many of you get the run around and how do you deal with it....this is a lucative party but the joy for me is not there....amazing that client attitude would make that difference. I've had others that wanted a more economical menu but they used better finesse and usually recieve more lagnapes (extras).
     
  2. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    I've attended a couple of Mike Roman's workshops and his advice is good. Don't negotiate on the price, but give then a couple of pricing options---per person, cost-plus, day rate, etc. GET THAT DEPOSIT!!! or don't book the party. Underselling yourself just to get the booking puts you in position of financial deficit, not to mention that it sends the message that you undervalue your abilities.
     
  3. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    I've attended a couple of Mike Roman's workshops and his advice is good. Don't negotiate on the price, but give then a couple of pricing options---per person, cost-plus, day rate, etc. GET THAT DEPOSIT!!! or don't book the party. Underselling yourself just to get the booking puts you in position of financial deficit, not to mention that it sends the message that you undervalue your abilities.
     
  4. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    I've attended a couple of Mike Roman's workshops and his advice is good. Don't negotiate on the price, but give then a couple of pricing options---per person, cost-plus, day rate, etc. GET THAT DEPOSIT!!! or don't book the party. Underselling yourself just to get the booking puts you in position of financial deficit, not to mention that it sends the message that you undervalue your abilities.
     
  5. judy

    judy

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    I find it important to stay in control of the discussions. Let them feel you are the best for their job and to haggle on price is cutting the quality and quantity. I take 50% at time of booking and the balance the day before the event so if the numbers dont show I dont get left with unpaid for food. If they dont want your price walk away from the job.
     
  6. campchef

    campchef

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    I've done a few kosher events, and they usually end up being more work than initially projected. No fault of the people booking the event, I'm just not that used to cooking kosher, so it takes longer, more prep, etc. I ALWAYS get 50% down or the negotiating ends. After I get the initial menu, and give them the pricing, I get the $$, and only then begin the work on the event.

    I once allowed myself to be bargained down on an event for a group with limited funds, and since then everyone seems to think my prices are like a used car lot. So I now give a price and never change it. They also pay a minimum of 90% of their final count, so I'm not stuck if they have a bunch of no-shows.
     
  7. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    I kick myself around the block on this one.
    limited cooking time, out by 5pm on Thurs and then the synagog is closed by 1 on Fri with no cooking on Sat the day of the event.
    Soooo I'm covering my butt and hiring additional help.....It'll be worth it to have everything done and go home early than to come up short on prep/cooking time.
    I just bought new knives today so I could work with ok equipment.....
     
  8. pooh

    pooh

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    WOW! Didn't know catering could be such cut throat business!

    That's very very good advice for chefs contemplating catering isn't it!

    :eek:
     
  9. chef david simpson

    chef david simpson

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    I have my clients sign a contract one month before the event. Stating that, if cancelled or change of plans. I keep cost-of-food and a cancelling fee.
    Money is to improtant in this business!
     
  10. lynne

    lynne

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    50% down at time of booking; if check, need 10 day turn around.

    Signed contract. Contract details refund/cancellation policies and dates for $ due.

    1-2 weeks prior, a final sitdown with rundown of menu, numbers, setup. Balance due 5 days prior along with guaranteed final count.