A Reasonable Explaination? (a rant)

Becky's post reminded me of something that has bugged me often but came to the surface once more with my sons' recent wedding. Maybe someone can give me a good reason and I can stop being pissed about it whenever it comes up.

My frustration? The food. Specifically, left over food. Case in point: At least 200 people responded they were coming. 200 meals had to be paid for. As with most catering companies, they will do a 'final count' the night of the wedding and if, by their count, you go over the number of meals paid for, you will be billed for the extra meals. That makes perfect sense. I'm not arguing that point. However, as in the case of my sons' wedding, the weather turned crappy and at least one-quarter to one-half of the guest didn't make it, why don't you get the left over food? There is no refund of money… you still have to pay for the original number of meals contracted, so technically in my mind it belongs to the people who paid for it… yet I've never had an experience with this where you were allowed to have the remaining food.

Just in case you were wondering – I'm pretty sure it isn't going to any shelter or charity, either.

Can anyone tell me what's up with this policy?

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Middle-aged. Anti-social. Mom. Grandma. Town-raised farmer's wife. Iowan. Want more? Come read the blogs.

19 thoughts on “A Reasonable Explaination? (a rant)”

  1. I hit the “Back” button instead of the submit button, and my comment disappeared. That;s the way my morning has gone. Back to the subject at hand.

    It’s called “GREED”

    I sincerely doubt that recycling leftovers is a part of their business plan.

    So I have gotten into arguments with caterers a couple of times. My attitude is “If I have paid for it, it is mine.” I don’t mind sharing the leftovers, but expecting to score everything is just too much.

    I have been told “Don’t ever call us again”

    Don’t worry asshat, there are plenty more out there who would be happy to provide the service.

  2. Whoa! What a bunch of crap! I’ve never heard of this, probably becuase the last wedding I went to only had cake and snack trays, followed by another less formal liquid reception if you catch my drift…

  3. Yeah, I’ve heard of this, too. I have no answer to why you can’t have the leftovers and I can’t understand it. I’m having a party catered in a couple of months, so we’ll see if I get to keep the leftovers. Probably not. 🙁

  4. I like you would think if I paid for the food then I could do with it what I chose. I had no idea the caterer’s kept it. I am intrigued and will surely have to find out the reasoning for this. I’m like that, very logical and if there is no logic it will bug the piss out of me till I find out. I will let you know what I find.

  5. Wait- seriously!? That’s crap! You pay for it you should get to keep it and do what you want with it. Another reason for me to never get married.

  6. Oh yeah. Basically, the caterer walked away with an extra $2000.

    I know people don’t want to… but I would tell the caterer a 90% number of the people who RSVP’d. Of course, I would also not serve full meals. Our wedding was a large buffet of small foods and fruits… and there was nearly nothing left at the end.

  7. Wow, that is crazy. I’m assuming they prepared food for the full # of guests, not knowing so many would no-show, so what did they do with the left-overs??

  8. The caterer’s I’ve worked with – give the left over food to the person who paid the bill – only if you say – I don’t want it – do they take it with them.

  9. My sis just had a big cocktail dinner party, and all the leftover food was boxed up and given to her. She kept every bite! But its somwething you shold ask them…they may be making an incorrect assumption…

  10. They didn’t GIVE you the extra food? WTF???

    And that’s just plain rude not to show up for a wedding, rain or shine. People KNOW that you are paying for the food, etc. I would NEVER do that to someone who went to such an expense to make the wedding beautiful, and took the consideration of inviting me (thinking I am close enough to the family) to invite me.

    Jerks. Drop ’em. 😉

  11. If you paid for the food, you own it and may do what you wish with it. Many food service outlets will discourage this line of thought because of fear of insurance liability much in the same way donations of left overs to churches and foodlines are rare these days. But in truth the food is yours and any reputable caterer will have brought insulated “carry out” containers and ‘included’ this in their cost projections.

  12. Hello Sue, I think that’s so unfair. You should only be charged for the plates used the night of the wedding. It’s their way of ripping people off.

  13. I’ve only worked with one catering company in organizing a couple of annual dinner events. What little was left over was left with my company. In the case of my events, what wasn’t eaten by the people who had RSVP’d and then didn’t attend got ravished by some who were in attendance. Literally! It was like a pack of wild animals got loose!


    This seems like such a scam to me. What a way to pad the profits column.

  14. Lesson: always negotiate with the caterer about this issue before the event. If you know up front what happens to the extra food, you can then decide whether or not to use this company to do your catering. It should actually be in the contract they give you for the job.

    Of course, they should be (If they had all the food available and cooked) out the price of the food – even if they don’t take it to a charitable institution. Worse would be to find out that they didn’t have enough food if everyone showed up! At my daughter’s wedding we only had 2 guests out of 140 not show.

  15. How did they do that? Did you ask them about it? Maybe, you should ask them for a partial refund for food not served.

    I guess they wish lots more guests wouldn’t show up at the affairs they cater!

  16. yes… you should be able to get the difference between what you paid for and what was served and then be able to schedule a second meeting to get that food. that way you could cater the next movie night or something.

  17. Unfortunately, even when people have over-RSVP’d to weddings, they have always run out of food when I’ve been there. I didn’t realize caterers would keep so much of the food that was paid for, if there was any left over. I will definitely keep that in mind when planning my own event:) That being said, I think it’s rude of people to RSVP to a wedding and then not show up or give someone a call to say that plans changed b/c they could’ve changed the head count at the last minute. I do feel an obligation to feed the people that come to my wedding/reception a proper meal (or at least enough food to fill them up).

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