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Advice on count for catering...

Someone posted this on my month board (they had seen things about it on the July board)

"Most of the brides over there "low-balled" their final count to the caterer to account for last minute no shows. I have about 170 YES's, and about 4 are young kids, who don't count. So about 166. I am going to give a final count of 160 to the caterer! Most caterers bring 10% more food than they will need, so even if all the people show up, we'll still have enough food, but we will save money if people decided not to show! "

For those of you already married, do you think this is a good idea?? If you aren't married yet, do you think you will do this?! Now it has me thinking!
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Re: Advice on count for catering...

  • edited December 2011
    I am new to this, and haven't started planning this far into it, but I'm not sure I would personally be comfortable doing that. This is also because I am having a plated dinner, so every piece of tenderloin/chicken/whatever needs to be accounted for, I imagine. If you're doing buffet style, it might be safer? My personal advice is against this idea.
  • edited December 2011
    I only had 4 no shows.... don't know if that helps or not, but I would not go too low.  Some caterers charge extra if your number is higher than anticipated (in addition to the per person price)...
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  • edited December 2011
    I suggest talking to your venue about their policy. I was told that I would be paying my final count or higher (if more were to attend). They also said they had meals for 10 extra just in case. I knew some people couldnt make dinner and some wouldnt eat much, so with a count of 160, I told them 140. Pretty ballsy, but they had food for 150 and I ended up with 138. So I paid for 140. I dont think its a bad move to low ball (Ive never been to a wedding where everyone who replied yes actually came....with the exception of people who are traveling, which I attribute to Monicas low #).

    So talk to your venue and see what they have for extra food and go from there.

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  • sbolger17sbolger17 member
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    edited December 2011
    I'd be afraid to do that, I think.  Maybe a couple of people less, but not more than that.  We're having plated dinners anyway, so I don't think that would work for me.

    But I am planning to go lower on the cake if the numbers work out right!  The bakery told us if we have 125 guests, only about 100 will eat cake. 
  • edited December 2011
    I'm not going to low-ball. Our venue has a policy that if you have more guests than you quote you are charged extra, as Monica said. I'd rather be safe than sorry to be honest. At my brother's wedding only 2 people didn't show, and another cousin who said no, did end up coming, so they only came out one behind.
    Our cake is so inexpensive that I don't mind having leftovers (Club 86/Bagels and Cakes is amazing!) so with that I also will go with the intended number.
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  • edited December 2011
    How can you lowball it if you have seating assignments? 

    We had them set up 117 place settings, so they knew that 117 people were coming. Yes, some were kids, and that was accounted for, but they still know the count from when they set it up.
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  • edited December 2011
    We only had one person not show. However, we had eight leave before dinner because it was appallingly hot in the hotel. I'm working on getting our money back for those people.
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