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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Old 01-15-2010, 12:15 AM   #1
grillfella
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Default What do you do when??????

Hey boys, just wondering what do you do when you ask for a deposit from a small company (via contract) and they tell you corporate won't do that they can only write you one check when the job is done. Do you accept it and do the job anyway? or do you turn them down? This has not happened to me yet, but it got me thinking when it happened to a friend of mine, (he did not get the job anyway) any thoughts on this subject
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:55 AM   #2
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In the past --- I asked the person doing the contract to put a guarantee on the job and/or deposit with their personal credit card. If they wouldn't do that they I explained they must not trust their company to pay the bill, so I couldn't either. Depending upon the company they either get it or they don't and the risk of being so worried you gotta sell the risky ones is not worth the ultimate problem. These are the same folks who are often unhappy and want some kind of credit or make-good, etc.

Stick to your guns...you'll be glad you did in the long haul.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:40 AM   #3
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How badly do they want the business? If it were me, I'd first consider whether I can book another job on the same day. If there is a small chance of booking another job, then it's either do nothing that day or cater with a small risk of not getting paid.

With the scenario you describe, if I were going to proceed, I would make sure the company has a cheque (for the full amount) waiting for me before I serve the food.
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:08 AM   #4
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How large is the Party? Chances are they are not going to stiff you. Depending on who the company is, you can go with your gut.
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:33 AM   #5
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It's ALL about the money. Never got burned, but have had to wait 30 days after party to get paid due to blling procedures!!!

Right. I get the deposit or move on.
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:03 PM   #6
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Only if I personnaly know them, I will not book / buy material w/o deposite. If it is in the Thousand $+ league job, friend or not I will get the deposite to cover the cost of the material and time (Deposite).

I would respectively explain that you can not book the event w/o the deposite ... period. You will not be in so many small claims courts getting money owed to you. Beware of the free loaders, as something for nothing is a song to thier Farking ears.
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CB View Post
In the past --- I asked the person doing the contract to put a guarantee on the job and/or deposit with their personal credit card. If they wouldn't do that they I explained they must not trust their company to pay the bill, so I couldn't either. Depending upon the company they either get it or they don't and the risk of being so worried you gotta sell the risky ones is not worth the ultimate problem. These are the same folks who are often unhappy and want some kind of credit or make-good, etc.

Stick to your guns...you'll be glad you did in the long haul.
Pretty much the best advice I've seen. And a good way to handle the situation.
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grillfella View Post
Hey boys, just wondering what do you do when you ask for a deposit from a small company (via contract) and they tell you corporate won't do that they can only write you one check when the job is done. Do you accept it and do the job anyway? or do you turn them down? This has not happened to me yet, but it got me thinking when it happened to a friend of mine, (he did not get the job anyway) any thoughts on this subject
Pretty neat way to go about it.

I think the bottom line is you've got to make a business decision.

In the future, you might even go a different route altogether and explain to them on the front end before you and they get too envolved that you REQUIRE a deposit. A lot of times its in the delivery of how you state it (chuckle, chuckle...I'm in the BBQ business, not the banking business and I gotta pay my suppliers for YOUR food...chuckle, chuckle).

Another thing to consider is to offer a 10% discount for 100% pre-payment.
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Old 01-15-2010, 04:52 PM   #9
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thanks boys good advice
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:07 PM   #10
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I would ask they pay up front then. If they can ask you to front the event, they should be prepared to oay up front.

I do not cater, but my business requires that most of my work is done without a down payment, and that my terms have to be net 60. At this time, I really want to take a trip south, but cannot afford the $200 or so it would cost to go. On the other hand, I am currently stiffed on $12G for last year, and have A/R of over $20G for over 90 days. Unless you are talking fees like this, it is BS that they cant cut you a check for the down payment.
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:23 PM   #11
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I require a deposit all the time. Yet I have made an exception once and it worked out fine. The event was fundraiser for a non profit where they sold tickets. I received the check as agreed prior to set-up.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:26 PM   #12
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I am just getting into the catering business this spring. But in my years of auto repair I have had many instances where say a customer needs an engine and the job is $4000 and they say go ahead and order the engine and get it done. After they ok it I tell them we get half $2000 up front to order the engine and half when the job is complete. You would be suprised how many times someone has given me the ok to do a large job and they did not have the money. After telling me ok and I ask for the deposit they say I won't have the money for a month or two. I like CB's response and will incorporate it into my plan but if thye don't pay I plan to walk.
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Old 01-17-2010, 12:05 AM   #13
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Every business should have a WRITTEN policy. If their company policy is not to write a check until the job is done, I'd explain that it will be a problem due to YOUR policy of requiring a 50% deposit. Explain that not only does the deposit secure their date and require you to turn down other business, but that it allows you to pre-order all the meat required to do the gig. Lots of people are enthusiastic when booking that there will be 300 people coming to their picnic, wedding, etc. and then discover that only 100 actually RSVP. Requiring a 50% deposit also insures they give you a more realistic estimate of attendees up front when booking. Be sure to require a final, UNCHANGEABLE count of attendees one or two weeks prior to catering. I will give them a leeway of five or ten people but no more than that.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:30 AM   #14
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Very wise business perspectives are in this thread. The basic rule here is you are blocking out a time period to deliver thier job. This means there is a possibility (good on popular dates) to turn away other business.

I also will give back the deposite if I get notice of cancelation and book another job in that time slot. If the Customer knows this up front, they will work hard also to find you a replacement to get thier deposit back. If the cancelation is within 2 weeks, no refund availible period to protect me from ordering material for the job and then not getting the job.

If you are running a business, then you set your business' AP & AR policies, not the Customer. I am in it to make money, not to loose money, so any Customer that refuses to pay the deposite of 50% down and 50% on event date prior to set up, does not receive my services. I am not a charity organization and do not want to spend 1 second in the collections business.

Another thing I will do is capture contact information of anyone that is turned down because date has deposit. If the deposit Customer cancels prior to my purchase of material, I will contact these potential Customers back and ask if they still need my service.
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:42 PM   #15
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I had one customer hire us, paid the deposit then called me the nextday to postpone. I told him he could do that but it would require another deposit. he decided to have the event as planned. after explaining to him that I had turned down business for the same day allready.
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