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HELP PLEASE re: "commission fee" (NGC - Ottawa)

Ladies, I really need your help with something.
A little background... we are having the wedding reception at the National Art Gallery (Ottawa). We are paying a rental fee for the spaces required and we must choose between 4 exclusive caterers for our meal. We have since learned that the caterers are charged a commission fee by the gallery for using the space for their business; fair enough seeing as the gallery is giving them exclusive business.

The bad part is that the fee has since been differed to US. I have expressed my concerns to the catering company, who is trying to charge us THEIR commission fee, and I have also contacted the NGC to inquire about this fee. I was told by both that it is an arrangement/contract between the gallery and the caterers, and that I have to pay the fee - HUH?? I'm not a law major, but how is a binding contract between 2 parties, one which is NOT me, be my responsibility?
At no time did the gallery mention that we would have to pay another fee to one of the caterers from the list THEY provided and it is not in their contract. The caterer does include it in the contract, but again, explains it as an arrangement with the gallery, so I can't seem to wrap my head around how this is for me to pay.
Can anyone shed some light on this? Does anyone know what I can do about this "commission fee"? Does anyone have any experience with the NGC or this type of situation? I would LOVE YOU LONG TIME if you could help me out here!
TIA!
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Re: HELP PLEASE re: "commission fee" (NGC - Ottawa)

  • miellenmiellen member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    A lot of places have these commissions - they're usually called landmark fees (on average about 15% of your catering bill). It's pretty common from my experience with talking to venues that had outside caterers, unfortunately. :( Not sure if there's any regulation on this sort of thing but it's a sneaky way to make people pay more money.

    Ideally, if you hadn't signed a contract yet, you would check with them to see if there's a landmark fee, and if so, what percentage it is. This is mainly for venues that bring in third party caterers - not places that have their own catering provided.

    Good luck.. hopefully it's not too much of a fee.
  • edited December 2011
    I haven't signed anything yet - this "fee" has been holding my pen :PThe venue's contract states nothing regarding this fee however, and that has been signed. I would have caught that before signing!It really does seem like it's common practice and that really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It's terrible that footing more that 20K to a vendor isn't enough and they have to charge us another $1500 for THEIR commission fee. Ugh.
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  • edited December 2011
    If it is not in your vendor contract i would see if maybe you could get out of holding your reception there & find a different space, threaten legal action for them misleading you & tell them you will be going to the paper if they do not refund your deposit. It should have been in your original contract if you have to have one of these caterers. 
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