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  • FIRST POST
    • Jellyb
    • By Jellyb 2nd Oct 17, 7:44 PM
    • 13Posts
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    Jellyb
    Birthday celebrations - paying for own meal
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 17, 7:44 PM
    Birthday celebrations - paying for own meal 2nd Oct 17 at 7:44 PM
    My friend is planning her birthday celebrations. (50 at the start of the year.) She said she would like to go to a restaurant hotel with a private room/space where she could host a meal.
    This sounded great until I heard the price - £40 a head. This sounds fine until I read the menu choices - very basic starters, desserts and the mains - macaroni cheese, chicken and mushroom pasta, gammon steak or a burger.
    Am I being unreasonable - to me this sounds expensive especially when I took the prices from their menu and to have the most expensive starter, main and dessert, large wine, soft drink and a coffee and it would still come to less than £40
    I don't want to be a wet blanket - but when you include drinks, coffee and taxi home - it turns out to be an expensive deal.
    p.s. 'Guests' have also been told what she would like for a present.
    Sealed pot challenge No 562
    Total so far £18.50
Page 4
    • borkid
    • By borkid 4th Oct 17, 8:40 AM
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    borkid
    Agree itís not very inspiring on paper. I suspect itís a safe menu to try and cover as many bases as possible.

    On the other hand I was out to lunch today and had a seriously lush burger, Always worth seeng what the food is actually like. For £40 Iíd be hoping for something pretty decent.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    If that was offered to me I would only be able to eat the gammon and if by any chance I happened to be veggie as well there would be nothing I could eat. I'm not that unusual either and usually have a choice of several things to eat when I go out.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 4th Oct 17, 8:48 AM
    • 1,031 Posts
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    NeilCr
    If that was offered to me I would only be able to eat the gammon and if by any chance I happened to be veggie as well there would be nothing I could eat. I'm not that unusual either and usually have a choice of several things to eat when I go out.
    Originally posted by borkid

    Yes I know.

    I’ve seen a few of these types of menu for functions with only four or five things on. They usually avoid anything that may be spicy (curry, chilli etc) and tend to blandness. I must admit I’m surprised there is no fish option

    Me and herself sometimes end up with only one option but that’s fine. It’s not the main reason for us being there. I haven’t been at any where someone couldn’t find anything they’d eat which is, I guess, my point about covering as many bases as possible
    Last edited by NeilCr; 04-10-2017 at 8:52 AM.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 4th Oct 17, 8:49 AM
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    Pollycat
    If that was offered to me I would only be able to eat the gammon and if by any chance I happened to be veggie as well there would be nothing I could eat. I'm not that unusual either and usually have a choice of several things to eat when I go out.
    Originally posted by borkid
    I agree.
    I don't think 2 pasta dishes out of 4 choices 'covers as many bases as possible'.

    Unless they do gluten free pasta, it would rule out people with wheat intolerance.
    And possibly people with dairy intolerance - both pasta choices sound like creamy sauces rather than tomato based.
    • Izadora
    • By Izadora 4th Oct 17, 9:11 AM
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    Izadora
    I'm all for helping a friend enjoy themselves.

    But not when it involves an over-priced meal with a crappy menu and a 'you can contribute to this or that gift' stipulation.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    The gift stipulation would annoy me but, as there are options on there for you to give a token donation, it could be a lot worse. I think I see the overpriced meal and one night of bad food as part of my present to them so I don't begrudge it.


    IMO, if she's chosen the menu and booked private space to host her birthday meal she should be footing the bill. It's pretty bad form to organise an event, invite people, then expect them to pay for themselves
    Originally posted by peachyprice
    I really don't see why she should have to pay for her friends to celebrate her birthday with her. People know in advance what the cost is and it's an invitation not a summons, they can choose not to go if they really don't want to.

    If she wanted to go for a meal where you all paid for your own food and drinks she should have booked a normal table where at least you could get to choose how much you were spending.
    Originally posted by peachyprice
    I do agree that it would be better not to have a set menu but quite a few restaurants won't give you that option if the booking is for a large group of people. She might also have thought that it would be easier for people if they knew in advance exactly what they had to budget for - it's all well and good saying you get to choose how much you're spending but then you've got the whole pay for what you had/split the bill debate, which has been done to death in previous threads already.

    I havenít been at any where someone couldnít find anything theyíd eat which is, I guess, my point about covering as many bases as possible
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    I'm vegetarian and have ended up in rib shacks and steak restaurants but have always managed to find something to eat - admittedly there was one occasion where I had to make up a dinner out of side dishes but it was actually quite nice.
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 4th Oct 17, 9:13 AM
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    peachyprice

    I really don't see why she should have to pay for her friends to celebrate her birthday with her. People know in advance what the cost is and it's an invitation not a summons, they can choose not to go if they really don't want to.


    Originally posted by Izadora

    I'm in Bristol and grew up in London and we pay for our own food as well, so I don't think it's a northern thing.
    Originally posted by onomatopoeia99
    We pay for our own food if it's going out for a meal with friends, even if it is an occasion.

    But this isn't just going out for a meal with friends is it?. This a person who has booked a private function and chosen restricted a menu to their own tastes. Would you expect to pay at a wedding reception? Because this is what this is more similar to, not just friends getting together for a meal.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • Izadora
    • By Izadora 4th Oct 17, 9:28 AM
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    Izadora
    But this isn't just going out for a meal with friends is it?. This a person who has booked a private function and chosen restricted a menu to their own tastes. Would you expect to pay at a wedding reception? Because this is what this is more similar to, not just friends getting together for a meal.
    Originally posted by peachyprice
    I still see it as "It'd be lovely to go out for dinner with everyone for my birthday so here's where I'm going and this is what it costs. Let me know if you're in so I can give numbers to the restaurant."

    The meal at a wedding is a small part of a much larger event whereas going out for someone's birthday is just getting together for a meal, no matter how annoyingly expensive and restrictive it is.
    Last edited by Izadora; 04-10-2017 at 9:30 AM.
    • lauretta
    • By lauretta 4th Oct 17, 10:13 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    lauretta
    £40- you've got off lightly. I'm having to go to a cheesy weekend at a well-known holiday camp chain (bring your own towels), minimum 3 night stay, with a load of heavy drinkers who'll want to do a drinks kitty. I'm sick to death of big birthdays.
    Originally posted by Out, Vile Jelly
    I think OUTvileJelly has the right attitude to this. After all, it's not really about what food you would eat, what present you would give - or even how you would spend £40, if it was your choice! It's about the person. If she's truly your friend, you will go, and keep your criticisms to yourself.

    This is just about people, and how different they are. Some people demand a huge fuss and great inconvenience, on every birthday/celebration/job success/life event they can think of. They love the drama, and the feeling that people are doing it for them, and them alone. It makes them feel popular. Your friend obviously falls into this category!

    Other people live their lives far less demonstratively - and mutter about the excesses of others! (and I include myself among them). But, unless you want to upset everyone and end up with no friends, you will go with the flow, pay what's asked (assuming you can afford it), and do your best to make your friend's birthday a HAPPY one.

    I appreciate you're probably using this forum to vent all those frustrations, before pinning on a smiley face and pleasing your friend. We all do it!

    I really hope you don't refuse to go, or start trying to alter the plan to suit yourself. Unless you don't mind losing a friend (or are a bit of a drama queen yourself!)
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 4th Oct 17, 10:46 AM
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    peachyprice
    I still see it as "It'd be lovely to go out for dinner with everyone for my birthday so here's where I'm going and this is what it costs. Let me know if you're in so I can give numbers to the restaurant."

    The meal at a wedding is a small part of a much larger event whereas going out for someone's birthday is just getting together for a meal, no matter how annoyingly expensive and restrictive it is.
    Originally posted by Izadora
    Plenty of people are only invited to an evening reception, sometimes more than have been invited to the actual wedding. This is no different.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • Hedgehog99
    • By Hedgehog99 4th Oct 17, 11:04 AM
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    Hedgehog99
    I strongly believe the person celebrating and arranging the event should be mindful of the mix of people invited and set the budget accordingly.

    Plenty of people think nothing of £40 and would spend more than that on a normal weekday night out or a takeaway. Others think it is a lot of money, particularly if it's not their thing or it seems poor value for money.

    I've lost friends over money before (a similar birthday diva scenario to OP's and a collection for a work colleague where an expensive present was purchased by the boss without our prior consent and we were then all asked to pay more when we had already paid the "usual" amount), but then they were never destined to be BFFs and it's no loss for either of us because we clearly have different values in life.

    I don't expect my genuine friends to pin me down like this, but neither would I ever try to do it to them. Different combinations of my groups of friends will or will not attend any one event, depending on if they're free and if they want to do that activity and no-one thinks any less of anyone for not going to something.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 4th Oct 17, 11:14 AM
    • 1,031 Posts
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    NeilCr
    I strongly believe the person celebrating and arranging the event should be mindful of the mix of people invited and set the budget accordingly.

    Plenty of people think nothing of £40 and would spend more than that on a normal weekday night out or a takeaway. Others think it is a lot of money, particularly if it's not their thing or it seems poor value for money.

    .
    Originally posted by Hedgehog99
    True

    But thereís nothing in the OP to suggest that the friend hasnít done this. The OP doesnít seem to have any problems paying £40 but considers the meal poor value for money. Which it may well be

    I think much of what Izadora has said is spot on.

    There are things we donít know in this instance too. For example, how good a friend, how many are going and where in the country we are talking. If, for example, this was a Central London venue £40 might not be as outlandish as elsewhere
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 4th Oct 17, 11:19 AM
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    NeilCr
    I agree.
    I don't think 2 pasta dishes out of 4 choices 'covers as many bases as possible'.

    Unless they do gluten free pasta, it would rule out people with wheat intolerance.
    And possibly people with dairy intolerance - both pasta choices sound like creamy sauces rather than tomato based.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    In my experience if you contact the venue and explain you have an intolerance they are more than happy to accommodate you

    Itís not that difficult
    • Izadora
    • By Izadora 4th Oct 17, 12:22 PM
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    Izadora
    Plenty of people are only invited to an evening reception, sometimes more than have been invited to the actual wedding. This is no different.
    Originally posted by peachyprice
    But there isn't another part to the birthday celebration* so it's entirely different.



    * As far as we're aware that is. There's every possibility that there are drinks or something else organised as well, in which case it's even easier to say "Sorry, I can't really afford the dinner but we'll see you for x instead.".
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 4th Oct 17, 1:25 PM
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    pearl123
    I really hope you don't refuse to go, or start trying to alter the plan to suit yourself. Unless you don't mind losing a friend (or are a bit of a drama queen yourself!)
    Originally posted by lauretta
    Why just follow the crowd like sheep?

    If I was in OP's position I would suggest that I meet up with friend separately for a light lunch. That way OP can probably get away with paying around £7.00 to £15.00.

    I hate large restaurant gatherings. Half the time you can even hear each other speak! Plus it's all over in a no time at all, which is usually a good thing!
    I eat fresh home cooked food and consquently it is very noticeable that many restaurants are mostly using frozen food. You really can tell the difference.

    When I hit 50 I decided that I wouldn't pay out for friends
    birthdays presents and gatherings like money was never-ending.
    Last edited by pearl123; 04-10-2017 at 1:27 PM.
    • heartbreak_star
    • By heartbreak_star 4th Oct 17, 1:42 PM
    • 7,604 Posts
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    heartbreak_star
    I love eating out.

    No prepping or washing up

    HBS x
    I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.

    #JC4PM
    • pearl123
    • By pearl123 4th Oct 17, 2:14 PM
    • 1,193 Posts
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    pearl123

    No prepping or washing up

    HBS x
    Originally posted by heartbreak_star
    Must admit prepping and washing up can be a pain in the...!
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 4th Oct 17, 2:20 PM
    • 18,042 Posts
    • 45,985 Thanks
    Pollycat
    In my experience if you contact the venue and explain you have an intolerance they are more than happy to accommodate you

    Itís not that difficult
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    Indeed they might (accommodate someone with an intolerance).
    And indeed it's not (that difficult)

    But with this proviso:
    Unfortunately, the price doesn't include any drinks and any deviation from her chosen menu (ie regular chips instead of sweet potato fries) will cost extra.
    Originally posted by Jellyb
    the £40 that some people find expensive may become even more expensive. with a menu variation.

    I think the menu might demonstrate the OP's friend's lack of thought/consideration for her guests.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 4th Oct 17, 3:08 PM
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    NeilCr
    I agree.
    I don't think 2 pasta dishes out of 4 choices 'covers as many bases as possible'.

    Unless they do gluten free pasta, it would rule out people with wheat intolerance.
    And possibly people with dairy intolerance - both pasta choices sound like creamy sauces rather than tomato based.
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    In my experience if you contact the venue and explain you have an intolerance they are more than happy to accommodate you

    It’s not that difficult
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    Indeed they might (accommodate someone with an intolerance).
    And indeed it's not (that difficult)

    But with this proviso:

    the £40 that some people find expensive may become even more expensive. with a menu variation.

    I think the menu might demonstrate the OP's friend's lack of thought/consideration for her guests.
    Originally posted by Pollycat

    Again, in my experience, a change for an intolerance is not charged for in instances like this. It actually happened at our last Xmas do. Substituting something for another thing as a choice (I.e chips) is different to having to have something else because of an intolerance.

    And, of course, it may be (like our lot) they all know each other well enough to know if someone has an intolerance or not and it’s not an issue.

    Very difficult to cater for everything on a set menu. As opposed to lots of different choices encompassing various intolerances/allergies I’d expect to see a catch all about being told about allergies/intolerances

    I think the menu is a generic one which is quite usual for functions like this. From bitter experience of organising dos over the years menus are just not going please everyone/fit their needs. Trying to cater for everybody’s needs/wants/allergies/fads etc is the road to madness

    ETA. I’d be very unimpressed with a restaurant that charged extra for a change because of an intolerance or allergy
    Last edited by NeilCr; 04-10-2017 at 3:28 PM. Reason: Adding a sentence
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 4th Oct 17, 3:17 PM
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    • 1,107 Thanks
    NeilCr
    I eat fresh home cooked food and consquently it is very noticeable that many restaurants are mostly using frozen food. You really can tell the difference.
    .
    Originally posted by pearl123
    Gosh. Glad I donít live where you live.

    Itís certainly not true of the restaurants we use down here. Indeed 2 of our 3 favourites have open kitchens which is something most of us like
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 4th Oct 17, 3:41 PM
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    Pollycat
    Again, in my experience, a change for an intolerance is not charged for in instances like this. It actually happened at our last Xmas do. Substituting something for another thing as a choice (I.e chips) is different to having to have something else because of an intolerance.

    And, of course, it may be (like our lot) they all know each other well enough to know if someone has an intolerance or not and itís not an issue.

    Very difficult to cater for everything on a set menu. As opposed to lots of different choices encompassing various intolerances/allergies Iíd expect to see a catch all about being told about allergies/intolerances

    I think the menu is a generic one which is quite usual for functions like this. From bitter experience of organising dos over the years menus are just not going please everyone/fit their needs. Trying to cater for everybodyís needs/wants/allergies/fads etc is the road to madness

    ETA. Iíd be very unimpressed with a restaurant that charged extra for a change because of an intolerance or allergy
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    I'd be quite surprised if it is (generic and usual).

    You yourself posted
    I must admit Iím surprised there is no fish option
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    I suspect the OP has it right here:
    It feels like the staff at the hotel have done a very good job at flattering her by telling her it's her day and all the menu choices should be her personal favourites.
    Originally posted by Jellyb
    That's the only reason I can think of for having 2 creamy pasta dishes on such a limited menu choice.
    • Quizzical Squirrel
    • By Quizzical Squirrel 4th Oct 17, 3:51 PM
    • 113 Posts
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    Quizzical Squirrel
    I think one of those pasta dishes is the vegetarian option. That's why there's two similar dishes.
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