As all of my faithful readers know, I really love being the owner of Peters Place. After 30 years you would think I’ve had my fill of the restaurant industry, but everyday I find myself learning something new. Writing this blog is a perfect example. One of my favorite duties, however, has always been showing our reception rooms to recently engaged brides. There’s something about their energy as they begin the search for that perfect venue that keeps me young.
Earlier this week I had the pleasure to meet Amy. This girl was cute as a button and could hardly contain her excitement as she spoke about her fiance and their upcoming wedding. As is often the case, her mother, Shirley, accompanied her. I have to admit, I was surprised with how detailed both of their questions were. They seemed to ask me everything imaginable, from how loud the music could be to what cab companies serviced Bridgeville.
As we sat down in the lounge to discuss the paperwork I had to commend them on their due diligence. Shirley explained that we weren’t the first venue they explored for the big event. In fact, they had visited a grand total of 18 banquet and reception halls over the course of the past month. With a smile on her face, she signed the forms and handed the pen to Amy so she could also place her signature.
“Wow, really? That’s a lot of work, isn’t it? How many reception places did you say?”
Still smiling, Shirley politely answered my question. “A total of 18, but we ruled out an additional five over the phone.”
“Ok, I have to ask, if you don’t mind, why did you choose Peters Place over all those other venues?”
I have to admit I thought twice about summarizing her reasons here on the blog, but both Shirley and Amy thought it would be a valuable time saver for other brides-to-be. Listed below are their reasons for hosting the big day with. Now, keep in mind, there is no way I’m going to mention those places by name, it’s never been my style to say anything negative about my fellow restaurant owners. It’s not only unethical, but it breaks the unspoken code amongst us.
Keeping that in mind, I’m going to use the words “Other Places” referring to just that, locations that aren’t Peters Place. This doesn’t mean every event location adheres to the following polices, but if you do you’re research like Amy and Shirley, you’ll be able to come to your own conclusions.
Alcohol At Other Places
More than one of the Other Places charge additional fees not only for the cocktail hour (you know, that period of time when all the guests are waiting around for the wedding party to arrive), but also charge up to $2.00 a pop just for uncorking a bottle of champagne! Yes, that’s for every bottle….literally just taking off the foil and popping the cork. Plus, even with a open bar, one location charges for straight shots.
Alcohol At Peters Place
We’ve always offered various pricing for our bar service, but the most popular has always been the open bar. I’ve always been up front with my guests, so I’m going to detail our most expensive option when it comes to alcohol. Our premium brands start at $8.00 per guest for the first hour, then slides down to as low as $4.00 as the event proceeds. And that includes that first hour. It’s easy to do the math, one drink in the city can cost almost $8.00!
And this business about charging to open a bottle of champagne? Forget that nonsense. We offer a champagne toast for all of your guest, and I would be embarrassed to charge anything just for opening a bottle. By the way: a shot is a shot. The liquor comes out of the same bottle whether it’s going into a highball glass or not. Sorry, but I don’t get how some venues don’t see it that way.
Pricing At Other Places
I understand the concept that the venue needs to have a head count, I mean, how else can they know how much food to prepare, but the gap between pricing and quantity has to be realistic. According to Amy there was one venue across town that required a minimum of 150 people and wouldn’t offer a per plate discount until the guest count reached 225. Add to that, Shirley claims a good half of these locations wanted their money paid up front, a full 10 days before the reception!
Pricing At Peters Place
It’s been my experience that any business that doesn’t offer reasonable food packages on a realistic sliding scale are simply trying to gouge the customer. We offer customized packages including sit down meals and the always popular buffet option as well as four packages to choose from starting at $29.99 per guest.
And as far as collecting money up front? Short of the standard deposit, we don’t expect payment until the end of the event. It’s all right here on our website.
Cake Cutting At Other Places
This subject is almost as ridiculous at the uncorking fee! Up to $3.00 per guest just to cut and serve the wedding cake? Seriously, folks, I’m not making this up.
Cake Cutting At Peters Place
Here’s the deal, I’ve never really put much thought into, but our cake cutting is complimentary. As long as I’m still breathing it always will be! Also, this seems like the proper place to mention that your wedding cake is included in the price. Graham’s Bakery in Castle Shannon offers a selection of cakes to choose from and these things not only taste amazing, they’re really something to see.
Vendors At Other Places
Make sure before you sign any paperwork that you ask if you can use your vendors for flowers, decorations, even entertainment. A few of these locations require that you use their partners for some of these services.
Vendors At Peters Place
It’s totally up to you! Chances are whoever you select they’ve done their share of work at one of our hosted receptions. As an added bonus, if you’re looking to save some money on these services we can recommend florists, printers, limousine services, all at a discount. I’ve been around so long I could probably even drum up an ordained minister or Justice of The Peace to perform the ceremony!
Parking At Other Places
Depending on the size of your reception, parking can be a problem at some venues. There’s even a handful of places that charge your guests to park their car at your reception.
Parking At Peters Place
No matter how large your event is, we have enough parking to accommodate everyone comfortably. We’ve never charged for parking or had a valet service, but you have to ask yourself, is that really a necessity?
Tax & Gratuity At Other Places
Most banquet halls will let you know how much tax and gratuity is required to hold your event, even if it’s in the fine print. Make sure you know this ahead of time! The last thing your reception budget needs is to discover you didn’t account for this.
This is probably a good place to add that some locations charge a room fee on top of the food and alcohol price. It’s wise to ask up front if there’s any extra billing for use of the space.
Tax & Gratuity At Peters Place
Any business owner needs to charge tax for their product, and we’re no different. Gratuity is detailed here on our site. As for a room fee, nope, doesn’t exist here. The prices quoted are the prices charged with no premium just to use one of our four spacious rooms.
I thanked Shirley and Amy for sharing these insights with me and agreed that I would share their findings with my readers. They left and I went upstairs to finish some accumulated paperwork, but my thoughts kept going back this earlier conversation. There were benefits that we’ve offered forever that weren’t even discussed, like specific allergy and dietary needs, special requests and theme weddings…..maybe I’ll save those details for the next blog.