Old school as it may sound, but Filipinos never fail to inject ‘traditions’ when planning a wedding. The complication starts when the folks confuse beliefs with misconceptions. Yes, there are common misconceptions around Philippines catering and catering budget, and some are as follows:
Catering providers and restaurants are operating within the same food service industry. However, their business models are entirely different. Firstly, restaurants are location-based, and they often have everything they need (equipment, staff, etc.) in one place. They only accommodate the most number of people based on the seating capacity of the establishment. Secondly, the cost can be reduced because restaurant menus are often pre-determined. This means they often have inventories of ingredients they need in serving a particular menu.
Catering is different especially logistics-wise. They can bring in an entire restaurant-like ambience to another venue, for instance. They can even set up a mobile kitchen in the most crowded of spaces. Ultimately, while they also have pre-set menu packages, the caterer can always accommodate menu customization. Weddings must speak about the couples in general, and that includes the food they serve to their guests. You would know that you are successful on this part when your guest leaves with the comment that your wedding is “so you.”
Not to mention, each event is unique from one another. All of these add up to the total cost of catering provision. As such, it is very unfair for the catering services to compare their rates to that of the restaurants.
Hotels are like restaurants. The only difference is that they come with rooms that couples are provided free of charge or can also rent. Often, the package includes the bridal and honeymoon suites and other amenities available for a particular package.
The hotel management will often tell you that they will waive the rental fee for the ballroom for a minimum number of attendees or hotel room rentals. The waiving of the ballroom is a compromise because you only get access to the ‘free’ ballroom after renting a required number of hotel rooms or when your guest count exceeds 200 or more.
This is advisable if the hotel will provide the food and beverage for your guests and if the wedding ceremony takes place at the hotel also. Nevertheless, if you are going to factor in the total room rates, the cost is often the same or higher than having an off-site venue reception and with a third-party caterer.
Indeed, catering service providers are manned with trained and knowledgeable staff including event planners. However, though they may have overlapping responsibilities, the event planner is not your wedding planner. Certainly, the event planner may extend additional services in planning your wedding. Be reminded, however, that the main duty of the event planner is ensuring that your wedding will be hassle-free more so on the venue.
Furthermore, the wedding planner provides services that the event planner (in behalf of the caterer) cannot offer. His or her main focus is your wedding, pouring insights, knowledge, and creativity to ensure that the wedding will be as blissful as it should be.
An event planner is typically an important component of the catering team. On the other hand, hiring a wedding planner is a choice that you have to make early on in the planning stage. If you are hesitant to hire a wedding planner, think of it this way. Wedding planners have already built lasting relationships with best wedding vendors in the industry. They can save you lots of money eventually.
On the contrary, you would know what a caterer can and cannot do for your wedding. Everything is written on the contract, which means that the catering provider can charge you for the additional services that were not included initially. This is how common expectations are set, and also the main reason we emphasize the need to understand the contract first before signing it.
What a caterer can accommodate varies. For example, some caterers charge an additional service fee for cake cutting and serving while some include this in all of their wedding packages. After all, part of any Filipino wedding is the cake cutting ritual as it symbolizes the first task that the newlyweds do together. In fact, cutting of the cake is one of the most awaited moments in a wedding.
Evidently, the pricing structure of the services is very different. Rates will be based on what you need; hence, the cliché that you get what you pay for. Caterers are very lenient about this. They can accommodate requests and services that are within your budget. There are even instances when they extend free services regardless of how big or small your event is. Sometimes, it is a goodwill on the part of the caterer.
When it comes to the littlest of details, this might mean corkage and gratuity. Not all catering service provider will include this in the proposal. Some deliberately exclude these fees just to get your business. So, better make sure what the total cost entails. Are outside fees are included or not? After knowing this, you can now compare apples to apples.
Catering is not a racket, as some of us would have initially thought so. Of course, the caterer needs to make a profit, too. But if the caterer is in the business for the profit alone, without the inclination to provide the highest quality service possible, then this is not the right caterer for you or anyone else for that matter.
We all know it. Planning a wedding can be daunting, but it can be fun as well if you know what and what not to expect–more so when it comes to catering and its cost. Thus, arm yourself with the right and sufficient knowledge that will help you pass the planning stages easily. Above are costly misconceptions that you should avoid at all costs.
Image credits: SnippetandInk.com | WeddingatFarEast.com | AmbassadorLounge.com.au | WeddingGuideAsia.com
For more than 30 years , we have been blessed to be a part of thousands of weddings, debuts, kids parties, corporate events, and private celebrations. In all these events, we make sure we are not only your caterer but more importantly your partner in every step from conceptualizing, budgeting and planning up to final execution.