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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 10-15-2009, 11:58 AM   #1
Bigmofo300lbs
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Default Cancelation Verbage

Hey Guys,

I am trying to pin down a some language that outlines how much money is kept by me in the event the customer has to cancel. What do you think of this?

"Customers will be charged $450 of their deposit if event is canceled up to two weeks in advance of the event. If the customer cancels within two weeks prior to the event the entire deposit will be retained by Hog Wild. We will try in every way to accommodate cancellations, however, because our product is perishable, cancellations made within 7 days of the event will incur the full charge of our agreed upon quote.”


Is this too much? Am I out of line? Your input is sorely needed.
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Unread 10-15-2009, 01:30 PM   #2
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See if this is a little cleaner for you.

Because our products are perishable there may be a cancelation charge to cover our costs. If the event is canceled 14 days prior to the event, a charge of $ 450.00 will be incurred. If the event is canceled 8-13 days prior to the event the entire deposit will be surrendered. Cancelations 7 days and under require payment in full per agreed upon quote.

You may also find pre-printed contracts in an office supply store or on line that has all the legal verbage to cover the old arse.

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Unread 10-15-2009, 02:11 PM   #3
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I'm not so sure I'd be using persihable food for a reason to charge as much as 7 days out. As a caterer, kinda implies you buy stuff 7 days before I, the customer, eat it. We know food is purchased ahead of time, just not sure I'd want to tell people it happens that far ahead. Instead, keep reasons verbal (have a short list memorized) and just state the policy in writing. Typically, the more reasons you have, the more there is for confusion and misinterpretation.

For example:

Customer has the right to cancel the catering by providing Caterer writting notice. Caterer has the right to charge Customer a cancellaiton fee based on the followng Cancellation Fee Schedule. Said Cancellaon Fee is due and payable to Caterer with Customer's cancellation notice. The day of the event and the day of cancellation each count as one day.

Cancellation Fee Schedule:
- $450 if cancelled on or before 15 days pror to the event
- Full Deposit forfeiture if cancelled 7 -14 days prior to the event;
- 100% of the Contract amount is due and payable in full if cancelled 6 days or less before the event.

For example, if the event is October 15 and the customer cancels October 8, the total days are 8 days and the amount due is the full deposit.

I'd show an example, cause when counting days, it can get confusing. The other way to handle it is to have blanks and fill in the dates based on the catered date but then this could lead to date negotiations.

just one guys thoughts, t
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Unread 10-15-2009, 03:54 PM   #4
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You are not just losing money on the food, what you are really keeping the deposit for is loss of opportunity, which is a legal term, in which, by reserving the time and date, you have lost the opportunity to make money based upon the time you hold the reservation. In my contracts, the language does not provide a reason for holding the deposit or charging the due fee. It simply outlines the policy and critical time lines and informs the client of their rights to cancel and what those rights will cost them in terms of money. Like I said though, it is not about perishable food, it is the loss of that time when you could be making money relative to having the chance to rebook those dates. Loss of opportunity to profit is key.
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Unread 10-15-2009, 04:08 PM   #5
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I don't cater for profit, but I've done other things for profit and needed a contract. Having a contract drawn up by a qualified attorney can be priceless in terms of peace of mind, obtaining insurance, etc... Quality legal advice and/or representation is someplace I'll never cut a corner.
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Unread 10-15-2009, 04:25 PM   #6
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Keep it simple.
Deposit reserves date.
Deposit is 1/2 the event and not refundable within 21 days of event.
Cancellation within 7 days will be invoiced in full and food delivered to you, or a food pantry of your choice.
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Unread 10-16-2009, 09:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrink01 View Post
Keep it simple.
Cancellation within 7 days will be invoiced in full and food delivered to you, or a food pantry of your choice.
I like this verbage. It assures the customer that you're not being greedy, just doing business.
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Unread 10-19-2009, 05:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrink01 View Post
Keep it simple.
Deposit reserves date.
Deposit is 1/2 the event and not refundable within 21 days of event.
Cancellation within 7 days will be invoiced in full and food delivered to you, or a food pantry of your choice.
I like this one too. I am planning to add it to my contract now, too. Thanks!
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Unread 10-19-2009, 05:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorge View Post
I don't cater for profit, but I've done other things for profit and needed a contract. Having a contract drawn up by a qualified attorney can be priceless in terms of peace of mind, obtaining insurance, etc... Quality legal advice and/or representation is someplace I'll never cut a corner.
I agree with Jorge wholeheartedly here, I use an agreement form prepared by an attorney, it is worth the money.

I would disagree with the idea of saying you will deliver the food anyway, it suggests that it is all about the food and opens you up to a host of issues with people 'cheesing' out on you, asking to see your receipts, prove you bought the food, justifying your costs etc...I guess I just don't see it as being greedy, I see it as doing business and protecting my opportunity to make money.
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Unread 10-19-2009, 07:07 PM   #10
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Realized I was hi-jacking the thread with my question so I moved it to another, sorry!
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