Banquet reservation tips

I just start my banquet shopping, trying to find a right restaurant for my wedding banquet.  Making banquet reservation is not a simple task, there are lots of details I have to pay attention to.  My cousin who married gave me lots of useful tips.  Thanks Lu!  I would like share it with everyone who is planning a wedding.

1. Book early.  Good days are popular.  In order to secure the day of your choice, better start 1 year earlier.

2. Fix the menu and lock the price.  Restaurants tend to increase their price every year, fix the menu earlier can save you a few bucks.  You can always upgrade the packaged menu.  People tends to pick something between the two most expensive package.  Regardless of which package, the default desert usually sucks.  Sometimes you can change it for something better without extra charge.

3. Watch out for hidden charge.  Some restaurants may charge extra fee for AV equipment rental, cake cutting, opening wine, sauces, chair cover etc.  Usually you can bargain hard to waive all those fee.  One good option to have is bottomless soft drink﹐ It will only cost you a few bucks per table.  Regular price for the soft drink is $1 a glass, your guest can drink you broke.

4.  Write everything down in the contract.  If you don’t have enough table to reserve the whole restaurant, write down which corner you will get in the contact.  So you wedding banquet won’t suddenly placed next to the toilet.  If you order fish, write down it is one big fish in the contact, so you won’t end up with two small fishes.  Write down the when will banquet start, when will it end, how much time you have for clean up in the contract, so you won’t charge over time.  If you want your banquet be more classy, you can ask the waiters to serve individual dish to each guest.  If not specified in contact, the waiter may just put the dish in middle of the table and let everyone fight for the food.  It is less work for the waiters.

5.  Pay wisely.  When you make the reservation, usually you have to put down $1000 deposit.  If something changes, (touch wood) and you have to cancel the wedding, the deposit is non refundable.  The bill is usually paid in 3 installments.  1-2 weeks before the wedding, 3 days before the wedding and on the wedding day.  Always pay in cash, so you can save on tax.  You also have to pay 12-15% tips.  Pay part of the tips to each waiter or waitress in red pocket before the banquet start, so they are more willing to give you a better service.

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