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How important is your relationship with the catering manager?

How important is it to like the catering manager at your venue? He was great at first but ever since I started to get into serious discussions with him about the venue, he's been dismissive, always acts as if he's so busy, gives me quick and short answers to my questions and hurries me off the phone. He also does not seem very willing to negotiate. I'm getting married in August and asked if I could get a discount since other hotels offered to knock down the price for an off month wedding. He barely acknowledged my request. I love the venue and haven't found anything I like better. With 10 months unill my wedding, I'm pretty much set on this place but am concerned about the response I've been getting. It is a new hotel so it may very well be he is just busy. Am I overreacting?

Re: How important is your relationship with the catering manager?

  • edited November 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_chit-chat_how-important-is-your-relationship-with-the-catering-manager?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:14Discussion:36f399ba-8af1-4782-a3dc-183b96cf430dPost:215b617d-a054-4bd9-8d2e-cab8e52e836d">How important is your relationship with the catering manager?</a>:
    [QUOTE]How important is it to like the catering manager at your venue? He was great at first but ever since I started to get into serious discussions with him about the venue, he's been dismissive, always acts as if he's so busy, gives me quick and short answers to my questions and hurries me off the phone. He also does not seem very willing to negotiate. I'm getting married in August and asked if I could get a discount since other hotels offered to knock down the price for an off month wedding. He barely acknowledged my request. I love the venue and haven't found anything I like better. With 10 months unill my wedding, I'm pretty much set on this place but am concerned about the response I've been getting. It is a new hotel so it may very well be he is just busy. Am I overreacting?
    Posted by tdurso410[/QUOTE]

    You are getting married in August and you are already calling your catering manager with questions??  If you are going to be calling him for the next ten months, I would expect him to not give you much time (and honestly, be dismissive because he is probably wondering if you are going to be a PITA if you are already on him about things ten months out).  He has a lot of weddings and events before you even need to get down the the nitty gritty about yours.  I'm honestly trying to remember if I even talked to our caterers at any time other than the tasting and a meeting with them a couple of days before the wedding.

    ETA - I just reread your post.  Have you booked the venue?  Is this an outside caterer that you are hiring or does he come with the venue automatically?  The answers to these questions may alter my answer.
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  • cnf2013cnf2013 member
    1000 Comments Second Anniversary 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited November 2012
    It's probably because they're busy with current events going on and realize your wedding is still ten months away (read: not top priority). I know that other than answering general questions, my coordinator has made it very clear that they do nothing concrete or detail oriented until after the six month mark. What exactly are you asking about or trying to discuss with them that is so pressing this far out?

    What hotels in the Northeast consider August an off month? I'm pretty sure the wedding season around the Northeast part of the country is May-October. 
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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited November 2012
    I loved our catering manager.   However, 10 months out we barely talked.   I kept a list going of questions and then emailed them to him once I month or so.    Sometimes it took a few days to get back to me.  No big deal. Most (if any) of the questions were not urgent. I know I didn't talk to him directly very often that far out.  The closer to the time of the wedding the more I spoke to him in person.


    As far as negotiating, venues don't have to negotiate if they don't want to. I use to work on a boat that didn't negotiate, ever.  We didn't have to,  we had more people trying to book than we could take.     I would not take that a sign of someone being difficult.  I also hardly call August an off wedding month.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • I think that its not important to "like" someone you're doing business with, but it IS important to respect their business practices and like working with the business.  I think it's way too early to be calling your catering manager, and it doesn't surprise me that he isn't extremely responsive to your questions. Your wedding is almost a year away.  Also, he isn't obligated to give you a discount just because you ask for one; it doesn't hurt to ask, but dont be put off that he didn't offer you a discount.

    Where in the Northeast is August an off month?  I've lived on this side of the country for 10 years, and this is the first time I've heard that August is an off month. 
  • August ain't an off-month in Philadelphia.

    I'm not sure what you're talking about with a catering manager this far out anyway.  He's dealing with clients that he has to take care of next week/next month.  I'd worry about him in the spring!
  • OP, maybe try a WINTER month--those tend to be the true "off months" in the Northeast...not August.
  • My venue and catering was done by the same company, so I only talked to one person for both. The woman I communicated with was short with me, dismissive, ignored my questions and seemed to avoid giving me direct answers. I thought she was just really bad at her job. 

    The day of my wedding food was cold, things we had agreed upon (like water pitchers on the table) weren't done, the bar was missing some items, there were ingrediants in the food not previously mentioned (even though I told her we had guests with allergies and had run the ingrediant lists by her) and servers were removing glasses from the tables even while they were half full.

    I can't say your caterer will be the same. I stuck with my caterer because I was absolutely in love with my venue. But now that the weddings over, I really wish I would have done SOMETHING to get her attention or changed the catering. 
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