Tips & Advice
What services do banquet halls offer?
The services that banquet halls offer vary, though most banquet halls want to offer more than just raw space. The broad categories for banquet halls are BYO and Inclusive. BYO means “bring your own,” as in the renters have to bring in their own bar and catering, and figure the cost completely separate of venue rental.
If banquet hall rental only includes the space, the customer can usually rent basic décor that the space already owns (drapes, centerpieces, table linens) for a minimal upcharge. A full-service banquet hall will offer catering, audio-visual, a bar, professional photo and video, and special extras, like themed décor. Many will have partnerships with car services and hotels so that they can offer hotel and transfer to guests from out of town.
With an inclusive banquet hall (one with its own in-house catering), if customers commit to a certain catering spend on a less busy night or off season, they might get a discount on the hall itself. For example, a venue manager might waive half the $1,500/evening cost to rent the venue if someone agrees to spend $7,500 on food and beverage from the in-house catering and bar.
However, luxe halls that offer the full gamut of services (a stage, a coffee/tea station, shuttle service, security) usually don’t discount the cost of the venue even if there is a steep food and beverage minimum. Instead, the venue will include most services in the base price--even the catering and bar staff.
Do wedding venues allow outside catering?
Some wedding venues allow outside catering. It depends on the type of venue. Also, some venues have a specific list of preferred caterers they will allow. It is always best to speak to the specific venues you have under consideration and get each one’s rules.
Do wedding venues provide catering services?
Yes, many wedding venues provide catering services, either in-house or through a preferred caterer.
How far in advance should a wedding hall be booked?
A wedding hall should be booked nine months in advance, or even further in advance if you love a particular spot, or if you want a particular kind of space in a market with many weddings, or if you plan to get married in high season (this depends on the region, but June is a universally popular month). Some people who want a particularly popular venue during a busy season book their wedding venues a year and a half in advance. Others wait till the wedding is within six months, and this can work out fine if it’s in a destination with lots of venues at a range of sizes and prices, and also if the wedding’s taking place in the low season (November-December).
How much does it cost to rent a banquet hall?
The cost to rent a banquet hall varies widely, with the low end of the price range generally between $500-$900, and the higher end of the spectrum being $2,000-$3,000 for four hours. Mid-priced “inclusive” banquet halls (i.e. banquet halls with décor included and in-house catering) will sometimes charge less for the venue if there’s a higher food and beverage minimum. Some banquet halls will also charge by the hour, or per person, inclusive of food and beverage. For example, an “inclusive” venue might charge $80 per person for the space and food/bar, which comes to $12,000 for 150 persons.
What are some questions to ask a daycare as part of the selection process?
In addition to questions about cost, ask any potential daycare provider about licensing or accreditations and qualifications. Other questions to consider:
- What is the staff-to-child ratio?
- How long have they been in business? (Longevity and stability are highly desirable)
- Can you get references?
- How safe is the center?
- What plans are in place if a child gets sick?
- What (if any) is the curriculum?
- If transportation is necessary to get a child to or from the facility, what is the vehicle arrangement?
- What are the visitation rules?
- Are you closed during holidays?
- What is your cancellation policy if we leave?
- What if my child gets hurt while in your care?
What is a good caregiver-to-child ratio?
Having enough staff may be the most important part of any daycare provider. Having a staff-to-child ratio of 1:3 for infants, 1:6 for toddlers, and 1:9 for preschool-aged children is considered ideal. Generally the rule is, the younger the children the higher the caregiver-to-child ratio. Having more than that can be fine, but less than that is not.
How much does daycare cost?
The typical cost of full-time daycare is around $1,000 a month. That’s the average – you can spend more or less depending on your location, the type of daycare your child is attending, and if it is full or part-time. Also be sure to ask if it’s a year-round daycare. If it’s not, or they are closed for certain holidays, you will need to arrange for additional childcare coverage.
What steps do daycares take to keep children safe?
Daycare safety should start with:
Daycares should maintain a clean and sanitary environment to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses, including confirming with parents that kids are properly immunized, and having parents keep sick kids at home to prevent spreading illnesses. Many daycares also have stringent sign-in and sign-out procedures to make sure they know who is picking up (and dropping off) your child.
- Adequate supervision of the children – having an appropriate staff-to-child ratio (1:3 for infants, 1:6 for toddlers, and 1:9 for preschool-aged children).
- A regular training plan in place for health and safety issues, including pediatric CPR and having first-aid certified staff present at all times, and that procedures are in place for handling medications and dosages carefully and accurately.
- Making sure all poisons, drugs, and medications, as well as all toxic substances are safely removed from children’s reach.
- Ensuring all toys and playground products are safe (and regularly cleaned) and age-appropriate.
What is the difference between a licensed vs. an accredited daycare provider?
Licensed means the daycare program meets the minimum licensing standards that are set forth by the state – and licensing laws vary state-to-state. Accredited means the program meets the standards set forth by national groups like the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) or the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Usually the standards set forth by accreditation are higher than state-licensing regulations.