You’d think that people would give you plenty of concessions and the best of service, since it’s your wedding day.
The July 3rd story “Who Spilt Wine On My Dress” that was published in the Sunday Times, explored how the sudden surge in demand for wedding dinners and other banquet functions that local hotels were experiencing had brought about the indiscriminate recruitment of untrained service staff, leading to plummeting standards of service.
But other than the potential hazard of inexperienced service staff creating a mess upfront, there’re also a couple of shady dealings that can go on behind closed doors while you and your new spouse are being pumped full of alcohol in the ballroom.
We Drank That Much?
Yes, it’s an oh-so-familiar phrase heard at the end of just about every wild night out. But you don’t want to be saying that when you’re looking at your bill at the end of your wedding dinner, especially since the unexpected increase in cost could potentially be multiplied by the number of tables in your banquet.
After a long day of ceremonies, chatter and running back and forth, plenty of newly-weds just sign the bill at the end of the banquet without scrutinizing it in detail. Some hotels capitalize on this, especially if you don’t purchase packages that include a free flow of beer and wine.
So if you’re staring incredulously at some astronomical figures on your liquor bill, here’s what might’ve happened:
To increase sales figures on their side, bar managers often employ the dirty tactic of using half-empty beer kegs whilst billing you for the consumption of full kegs.
Some of these cheats even go to the extent of taking some table service staff off their duties during the dinner to retrieve cartons of empty wine bottles or empty beer kegs. These are then stacked up behind the bar as ‘proof’ of consumption and charged to your bill.
Unwittingly, you’ve become an oblivious victim, being conned of hundreds, even thousands of dollars, just so these crooks can inflate the revenue numbers in their monthly sales report to the hotel management.
A Trained Eye
The best way to put your mind at ease is to hire your own bar manager for the evening, someone you can trust to keep a hawk’s eye on the banquet operations behind the scenes. This individual’s presence alone is usually enough to prevent rogue banquet captains from taking advantage of you, though there is a fair chance that he will be required to confront these captains regarding any questionable moves that he witnesses.
Most hotels are reluctant to have non-staff enter the back area of ballrooms, so you can request to have your hired hand, who’s preferably experienced in F&B and bartending, to be around on the pretext of mixing special cocktails (e.g. your family’s secret recipe of strawberry mohitos to fit your wedding’s crimson colour theme etc) for your guests.
At some minor costs of bringing in your own liquor and mixers with a small additional sum of corkage charges and mixologist’s fee, you’ll be adding more intricate, memorable details to your wedding dinner, and also have the peace of mind to enjoy your night without any ugly run-ins with the hotel’s management.