Booking/paying for a meal

advice please from hoteliers/lawyers/trading standards?

12 messages
11/01/2007 at 09:19
We've booked our running club Xmas do for this Saturday (13th Jan).

All 48 of us duly paid our £5 deposit and gave our menu choices and did this as requested first week in December. When the deposits were paid to the hotel they then asked for the balance of the meal owing to be paid in full by the end of December !!!
When I was told of this I said I wasn't happy with this and asked the girl who had booked the meal to contact the hotel and say we would pay the balance on the night. I also said if she was uncomfortable about doing this I would contact the hotel myself. I heard nothing so assumed we were paying on the night as is the usual format.

Last week the girl contacted me to ask for my payment so I reluctantly wrote a cheque (payable to the hotel) for the balance of my meal but postdated it to the date of the meal. I also attached a note to the cheque saying that if they banked the cheque before the date of the meal I would stop payment of the cheque.

Well guess what - they banked my cheque and it hit my bank account today. I have stopped payment of the cheque - I do try to keep my promises!!

I have never had to pay the full cost of a function meal before the date of the event - that's why we pay a non-refundable deposit.

I have also previoulsy worked for a leisure company and we used to buy pubs/restaurants and it was not unusual for the previous owners to have failed to reveal that there were group bookings with deposits taken.

Comments please....
cougie    pirate
11/01/2007 at 09:45
Seems a bit much - I'd not go back there again. But post dated cheques arent useful either :
11/01/2007 at 09:58
I know banks don't recognise post dated cheques, that's why I put the note with it.

I don't think I'll be going there at all now!!
11/01/2007 at 10:14
So, if the meal is rubbish you have what comeback?! They have (or in your case don't have) the money and can produce whatever rubbish meal they feel like. That just doesn't seem right at all and I can see why you cancelled the cheque. I wouldn't go to a restaurant if they asked me to pay up front!
11/01/2007 at 10:20
For our Jog Scotland xmas do we had to pay in full weeks before the event and it was non-refundable so if you couldn't make it due to illness you didn't get your money back unless you could get someone else to take your place. They seem to be on a win/win situation.

The hotel we went to have been bought over by another hotel chain and I believe alot of couples have lost out on weddings they booked up ages ago, as they are closing it and doing it up.
11/01/2007 at 10:28
I would avoid booking under such an arrangement.

One place we booked our running club dinner with tried to do it, so we went elsewhere.
11/01/2007 at 10:52
I'm pretty sure I won't be going now!!

Can't see how I would get a decent meal out of them after this. Don't fancy the chef's special of 'ecoli a la creme'
11/01/2007 at 11:07
As a former licensee, and restaurant manager (or whatever you might call it, I waitressed and coordinated all the bookings in our small but busy restaurant), we used to only take deposits for christmas bookings, and sometimes for large bookings in our function room if we didnt know them. Some chose to pay for their bookings in full (it was a set christmas menu) before they came for their meal as they found this easier than a row on the night and also freed up their money for beer!! This was not the general rule though. We certainly didnt demand full payment. It was up to the customer if they decided to pay in full beforehand.

In short no, you shouldnt have been made to pay the full cost having already paid your deposit.

And I heard the salmon d'ella was also pretty good.......
11/01/2007 at 11:22
Same here - we just ask for a deposit and then payment in full once they have had their meal. Never heard of anyone asking for full payment up front before - I think its a bloody cheek really.
11/01/2007 at 11:36
I know a lot of hotels up here ask for full payment before the meal, but only in the 2 weeks before Christmas. Presumably if a party of 20 didn't turn up and they couldn't fill the tables, they'd have a couple of turkeys left over.

But for a meal in January, I don't think they'd even take a deposit.
11/01/2007 at 11:43
I've incurred a £10 charge from my bank for stopping the cheque but as a matter of principle £10 well spent and less than the meal.
11/01/2007 at 11:47
There is no way that I would ever pay for a meal upfront. Never ever ever.

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