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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 10-19-2009, 07:13 PM   #1
HBMTN
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Default A question along the cancelation verbage thread

Say the customer books a date in April for an August event, and you may or may not turn down other events for that day because you are already booked. Then he calls six weeks before the event and says he is going to cancel. What do you charge him? I am opening a small scale part time ( weekend ) catering operation in the spring and would hate to turn several people down for a date that was already booked only to have the booked client call and cancel and I not be able to fill the date. What is the standard policy?

I was thinking about 25% down to book an event (non refundable ) another 25% due 45 days prior to event ( again non refundable with in 45 days ) remaining 50% due when we show up at event. Plus the contract say if event is canceled with in 10 days of event that the full amount will be charged.
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Unread 10-19-2009, 08:22 PM   #2
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Mine says 30 days, 50% non-refundable. 25% to book is gonna be tough.
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Unread 10-19-2009, 08:54 PM   #3
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So what would the normal deposit be? Also if someone cancels 31 days out do you just have to take the loss for that date if you can't book it with in 30 days and give them full refund? Seems someone who may not be all real serious about it could book a date 6 months out and then decide 31 days out they don't have the money to spend and cancel the event and it costs the caterer who has turned down events for that date for 5 months.
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Unread 10-19-2009, 09:38 PM   #4
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Yes, that is sort of how it works. The bad news is that you cannot normally control all the factors of risk in a business through a contract. Make it too restrictive and nobody will sign it.
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Unread 10-19-2009, 10:07 PM   #5
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Half down has never been an issue for us.
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Unread 10-19-2009, 10:57 PM   #6
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Here is our policy:

CANCELLATION POLICY

All cancellations must be received by the CD, in writing. ALL DEPOSITS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. Cancellations received: 90+ days prior, deposit forfeit only, 89-31 day’s prior, 50% liability for all estimated charges, 30-08 days prior, 75% liability for all estimated charges, 7 or fewer days prior, 100% liability for all estimated charges. In the event that a deposit and/or pre-payment have been waived due to direct-billing approval, the group will be billed for the deposit and % of estimated charges as set forth herein.
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Unread 10-20-2009, 07:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMista View Post
Here is our policy:

CANCELLATION POLICY

All cancellations must be received by the CD, in writing. ALL DEPOSITS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. Cancellations received: 90+ days prior, deposit forfeit only, 89-31 day’s prior, 50% liability for all estimated charges, 30-08 days prior, 75% liability for all estimated charges, 7 or fewer days prior, 100% liability for all estimated charges. In the event that a deposit and/or pre-payment have been waived due to direct-billing approval, the group will be billed for the deposit and % of estimated charges as set forth herein.
Good luck collecting money you don't have in hand.

50% deposit reserves date. Balance due 7 days prior to event with completed head count. I HATE trying to collect money day of, almost impossible.
As a "small scale" part time caterer, you won't be getting jobs 3-6 months out. Concentrate on the smaller cash jobs and work your way up. In this economy, almost all gigs are last minute. Nobodys paying out money that early.
Good luck with your start up and keep us posted!
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Unread 10-20-2009, 09:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbq Bubba View Post
Good luck collecting money you don't have in hand.

50% deposit reserves date. Balance due 7 days prior to event with completed head count. I HATE trying to collect money day of, almost impossible.
As a "small scale" part time caterer, you won't be getting jobs 3-6 months out. Concentrate on the smaller cash jobs and work your way up. In this economy, almost all gigs are last minute. Nobodys paying out money that early.
Good luck with your start up and keep us posted!
We've gotten jobs booked far in advance. For the last minute ones, if it's less than our 10 day window then we collect all up front. If it's more then 30 days then we collect a deposit to hold the date. 30 days prior to event 50% is due remainder due 10 days prior. If they cancel within the windows previously mentioned, then we would return a percentage depending on the amount of the deposit. If it's less then the rest of the contract applies. And the whole point of a contract is to make sure they do pay or small claims court here we come.
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Unread 10-20-2009, 12:18 PM   #9
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I try and keep it simple. To book the date it will cost you $300. If I do not get the balance prior to the event 7-10 days I ain't showing up. I am also keeping the $300 for removing the date from my books from other customers. It is a non-refundable booking charge!

Last minute gigs require full payment up front. It is rare that I accept getting paid the day of the event, I hate that chit!
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