A banquet hall is a standard location for a wedding, business luncheon or other event. Although price negotiation is a common aspect of booking a banquet hall, people are often hesitant or unaware of how to effectively negotiate with a venue. You will generally have greater luck negotiating if you book your event well in advance and during the off-season. Additionally, it will be easier if you are well prepared and take several aspects into consideration during the negotiation process.
Obtain information regarding the pricing of competitors in the area. You should be aware of what competing banquet halls charge and the services that are provided to the client. Knowledge of competitive pricing will equip you with important information to use as leverage during the negotiation process.
Gather detailed information about your event prior to your meeting with the banquet director including your budget and the services and supplies you will require for your event. Additionally, it is crucial to know the number of guests that will be attending, as you may have more luck negotiating if you can guarantee a minimum number of people.
Allow the banquet director to give you a start price, rather than being the first to state a number. When he gives you a price, tell him that you love his work, but it simply will not work with your budget. If you are asked what you were hoping to spend, offer a lower price than your actual budget, allowing room for further negotiation.
Negotiate the price of add-ons if the banquet price is non-negotiable. Extras, such as chair covers, center pieces and coat check, may be more likely in some locations than a price reduction, particularly if it is a busy season for the banquet hall.
Give the impression that you have other options and you are not desperate for the banquet hall’s services. Be prepared to leave, stating that you have other venues to explore. Leave your phone number in case the banquet director changes her mind. In some cases, she will call you at a later time, more willing to negotiate.
Often banquet halls set prices based on the assumption that clients will negotiate. If you do not negotiate, you may pay a significantly higher price than others obtaining a similar service. The worst that can happen is that the venue director says, “no.”