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Budget Weddings

Hidden Historic Preservation fee ON FOOD???

The venue I am using does a separate space and food contract (but you have to use their chef - no outside caterers).  We went over the costs in detail during the first meeting (all spoken).  We signed the venue contract and paid our deposit.  Then we came up with the menu and they sent us a cost.  

They tacked on an 18% Historic Preservation Fee to the food.  THE FOOD?!  This makes no sense to me as that fee would be related to the venue, not the buffet.  Is this legal??!!  Can you just make up fees to increase profit?

 I kind of feel like they put it on the food because I had already signed the other contract and they knew I couldn't just walk away.  The venue contract included an itemized bill including a tax breakdown.  No weird fees on that one.  

Re: Hidden Historic Preservation fee ON FOOD???

  • Argue it!  If it's not in the contract that this fee even exists - you shouldn't be required to pay it!  Depending on your disclosure laws for your state you may have solid footing but you'd need to check with an attorney but that'd likely cost more than the beyond bogus fee...  Read the fine print!!!! 
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    charlotte989875OurWildKingdomOliveOilsMom
  • janem26 said:
    The venue I am using does a separate space and food contract (but you have to use their chef - no outside caterers).  We went over the costs in detail during the first meeting (all spoken).  We signed the venue contract and paid our deposit.  Then we came up with the menu and they sent us a cost.  

    They tacked on an 18% Historic Preservation Fee to the food.  THE FOOD?!  This makes no sense to me as that fee would be related to the venue, not the buffet.  Is this legal??!!  Can you just make up fees to increase profit?

     I kind of feel like they put it on the food because I had already signed the other contract and they knew I couldn't just walk away.  The venue contract included an itemized bill including a tax breakdown.  No weird fees on that one.  
    Did the contract mention anything about extra costs and fees associated with food? This seems super shady at best.

    I agree with @MesmrEwe about arguing it and even thinking about consulting with an attorney; even if they add the preservation fee to only food for a good reason (I would assume because preserving a space is much harder when you open it up to food or drink related accidents), they should have put this up front in their contract. 
    MesmrEwecharlotte989875OurWildKingdom
  • If this is at a historic site, I could see an extra fee on food to properly clean up spills, etc.  

    But it seems really weird that they didn't mention it.  And I find it suspicious that it's the same as the normal "large party" tip you normally see.  Is there a mandatory tip on the food?
    OurWildKingdom
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited March 2016
    I sure hope they didn't preserve historic food.

    ba-dum ching. 

    Sorry, really bad joke on a boring Friday afternoon. 
     :D  :D :D :D :D :D

    I was thinking the same thing.
  • No gratuity or tip on the bill otherwise.  And they added an additional 7% sales tax on the fee, which is obviously not correct.   
  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited March 2016
    Unless they will be serving cake from the wedding of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson (please let there be a Seinfeld fan here who gets that!), this makes absolutely no sense, and I think you should bring it up with them. 
     :D  
  • I looked at a historic house venue. Don't remember what they wanted to call the various fees but it worked out to a 50% tax on food. I laughed in that poor girls face.
    MesmrEwe
  • If it's not disclosed in the contract you signed you may be able to dispute it or break the contract & go elsewhere. But before you threaten to break the contract make sure you can find another venue that you like & fits your budget that is available for the date you picked.
  • So the moral of the story is, we are going to have to eat the fee.  I tried reasoning with them to no avail.  And as I live in Germany and the venue is in the USA, looking elsewhere isn't even a consideration.  Just thankful we only have a food bill for 40 people and not 200!
  • After all things are said and done, I'd post it as part of an online review for the site to inform other brides of the fee... 
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    wink0erin
  • we have a 15% landmarking fee on our historical venue but they were very clear about it existing and it was on all the paper work. I think some of it is because they have to bring everything into the space because there isnt a kitchen in the building. sorry they werent upfront with you about it
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