Hotel Haggling for a big group/Event

I really wasn't sure where to post this one but here goes.

I am planning a surprise Birthday meal for my Mum on Christmas Day, there will hopefully be a large group of us, around 50 adults and Children. I have approached a few hotels who are doing Christmas day events and the prices are pretty much all set at around £75 per person for 3 courses.

Now my question is, do you think there is an opportunity to haggle on price, given we will be such a large group?

I never haggle or ask for discounts but would like to get the price down as much as I can for everyone since it is Christmas and already an expensive time.
Just wondering if I should just accept the price or at least try and get some welcome drinks included?

Also, any tips on how to haggle for a discount or extra benefits?



  • duchy
    duchy Posts: 19,511
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    Usually the best deals are for days they can't sell so a peak date like Christmas Day where they will be paying staff double or triple time is never going to be a bargain.

    That said you have nothing to lose by asking (before you pay any deposit of course)
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  • peachyprice
    peachyprice Posts: 22,346
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    edited 19 March 2015 at 1:28PM
    Nothing to lose by asking, but, large groups usually get a discount by having a set meal/reduced menu, as it's Christmas day it'll be a set meal anyway, so it makes no difference to the venue whether they sell tables to you and your 50 family members or smaller parties, there's no saving in it for them, only risk if you pull out and leave them with a empty restaurant. They know they can sell seats at full price that day, why sell to you at a discount?

    If you were to chose a less popular day, say 28th/29th, when they're likley to be pretty quiet, you'll be far more likely to get a discount.
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  • I would love to do it on a different day but her Birthday is Christmas Day! And she always misses out on having a proper birthday but this year I want help her celebrate it and doing it a few days after just won't be the same.

    But yes, nothing ventured, nothing gained I would like to at least get some drink included in the price.
  • paddyrg
    paddyrg Posts: 13,543 Forumite
    Instead can you find a smallish place that *isn't* planning on opening Christmas day and seeing if they'll open for 50 covers
  • I have approached a few smaller places and they have just said, No they are not open on Christmas day....Can't blame them really, must difficult to get the staff to work on Christmas day.
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,955
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    It's not difficult, you just have to pay them a lot more. You'll struggle on Christmas Day to get discounts, as it's about supply and demand. Choose a quieter day and with 50 covers you should be able to negotiate at least 20% off.
    But with those numbers, you are in command (on the right day), so go to them and say 'I want abc, and my budget per head is xyz'. Set them a target and then negotiate. I wouldn't dream of paying the rack rate for 50 covers and presumably a lot of business over the bar-which is where the money is made.
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  • greenface
    greenface Posts: 4,871
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    50 covers is a lot . most places serve until x time maybe they would even consider your bunch an hour later as a final sitting
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  • allybee101
    allybee101 Posts: 736
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    If you don't ask you'll never know :)
    Tell them it's a birthday and fingers crossed there might be some kind hotel owner who will consider it. The price is usually pushed higher due to staff wages being extra on Christmas Day, but they might still have some wiggle room. If you find somewhere smaller that is open then they might be inclined to take a single group rather than lots of individual tables as it could be a bit less work overall for them?
    Good luck, hope you find somewhere!
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  • pleasedelete
    pleasedelete Posts: 2,284
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    Are you sure that 50 people will want to attend. Most will be distant relatives with family on the other side as well. I wouldn't book anything without getting full payment from them.

    I think a christmas day party is a bit selfish- especially for children. They dont want to be at a boring meal with 50 people- they want to be at home with their presents.
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  • suejb2
    suejb2 Posts: 1,918
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    My birthday is Christmas Eve so I appreciate the difficulty of timing. However, have you thought of hiring somewhere maybe a hall or a function room and have a Christmas buffet. Your mum is central of attention as the birthday girl,the family are all together and children get to play/ enjoy their new prezzies.
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