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liquor license

minksterweddingminksterwedding JACKSONVILLE, FL member
10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
Ok so I fell in love with a new venue that's affordable only because it's new. At the appointment to look at the place the sales rep told me "you can use your own caterer if it's a deal breaker, we'll just give you a minimal corkage fee." Well we get home and email her a couple more questions, ask how much the corkage fee is going to be and she comes back with a $10 a head corkage fee AND says because of their liquor license, we will have to buy liquor from them. That's over $1000 more than the original rental and their alcohol markup is insane! Is there any truth to this? Should I counter offer? Any help at all would be amazing. 

Re: liquor license

  • It's always the saying "If it sounds too good to be true - it probably is!"...  IMO that is unreasonable just to bring in your own caterer instead of using their in-house person. 

    The alcohol aspect is this - it's not just the alcohol, it's to pay the living-wage salary of the person ordering the alcohol, the cost of the cup/glass/dishwashing, hookups, fridges, electricity, bartender (and their working wage for not just your event but the time leading up to it to prep and such), the additional education that the bartenders all go through to serve alcohol, the liability insurance for not only said bartenders, but the venue itself, security staff (around here venues are required to provide this if alcohol is being served - we were charged an extra $180 for this I think).  It's not just the cost of going to the liquor store yourself and purchasing a few packs of beer, the markup goes to the behind the scene expenses no one thinks about nor sees.  While some places exploit this, it doesn't always mean they are given what they're paying out in behind the scenes expenses)..

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  • That's more then what I paid per person for my open bar at my wedding. I would shop around to compare what they are offering you to what others can offer you. At the very least you can find out if their pricing is in line to what other venues in the area charge. If you find prices cheaper at other venues you can always counter with "we love your venue but unfortunately we have found other venues that offer what you are offering for $x.xx per person compared to your $x.xx person, so unless you are able to come down at all in your prices, we'll need to go with another venue to stay withing our budget." They will either say yes or no. To me personally it seems crazy to pay $10.00 a guest just so they can drink and then still have to pay for the booze. I
  • Is it possible that you heard/read wrong?  My venue did not have corkage fee, but others did per bottle.  Which has the potential to reduce it some.  Only a few of my guests downed the equivalent of a bottle of wine--I can think of four people who looked pretty toasted.  Everyone else must have drank somewhat lightly since we came in under what we thought would be consumed by about a third.

    Also, can you contract with them for bartending services, and then use your own caterer?  For example, pay the venue the $30/pp (or whatever it is) for a beer/wine bar or whatever you're choosing to do, and then your caterer the $xx/pp for dinner and appetizers?  
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