Foodie! Message Board › Foodie Group Update / Policy Change / Membership Dues

Foodie Group Update / Policy Change / Membership Dues

Kevin
user 12852378
Group Organizer
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 12
Ok, Chad. I think we met before at Boke Bowl and you need to talk to me in person. The whole premise around membership fee is to commit members to take every rsvp seriously by becoming a committed member. It's not always the case that membership paid means entitlement into foodie events. I want to acknowledge that at current size of the group, it's not going to be fair to all members but I want to be assured that every single spot is filled by committed member. It's important to me to identify those who are serious and I don't know a better way to approach this other than setting an initial litmus test.

You bring good points, I will consider returning the fee when appropriate, but I'll incline to do so only when I know that there is no liability incurred from that person not showing up to that event.

I'm not here to make money out of this action, but more importantly I want to to continue bring quality dining experience with like minded people and enforce those who doesn't share same value.

Price point to our events have been a sticky point to us... I personally want to lower the bar but I will only do so when I know and understand the makeup of our group. I currently only know about %10 of group members and I want to get to know the rest and let them know that we're very committed to delivering quality event to all of our members. You will see more diverse events and price points to appease those who're bargain foodies. (one more point to that is we won't compromise quality and sustainability of some of these high end restaurants. We want to support foodie culture here and want these restaurants to stay for the long term)

We're still away from becoming a singular voice of the foodies and I can assure you that when we become a such voice we will wield our power (with our wallet and word of social media) to take advantage of all the perks that are available to us. I already have many of such privilege to share but i want to commit to it once I know you guys share the same value.

Thanks for sharing your input and keep it coming my way. I'm always ears. Trust me, when I say this to you, this group is going to be more awesome this year with this action in place. I can promise you that. ~Kev :)
Ann V.
user 16258681
Portland, OR
Post #: 3
Not all current members are going to commit to paying the $5 one time fee. This commitment will reduce the size of the current members. It is very unlikely that $4,000 will be collected from the members. Once the sizable collection is collected, I suggest that the fund be put in an interest bearing saving/checking account under the name Foodie, in care of Keven A. and a custodian should be assigned to this account as well. The $5 one time fee should not be returned to the members that got kicked out because of their actions, no shows and last minute cancellations. Their actions already resulted in Foodie's loosing good will and future contacts with some of these restaurants.

Future expenses will be incurred on behalf of the Foodies Group. A lot of restaurants require bank information or debit card information for reservations. Some of these restaurants charge a $25 fee for no show. Also with the fund, Foodie can do banquets for large group of people, which require deposits. A group of 8 to 12 reservations were made because of the banquet's classification. Once a group is over 12, it is a banquet and requires upfront deposit toward room and percentage of food. It is nice that Foodie has its own bank account and can do banquets that will include most people that like to come to an event. With this, it involves risk as well. As fee is collected from each member, every member is responsible to the group's fund. As an individual, I would not take on a task of setting up a banquet because it will be my own fund and responsibility for members not showing up.

Transactions are easily tracked on bank statements. Organizers should keep receipts incurred on behalf of the Foodie Group. It is accountability to the Foodie Group's fund. I can help with this.
Kelsey A.
user 13309502
Portland, OR
Post #: 3
Hi Kevin,

First of all, thank you for all that you do for Foodie!

All of the suggestions are great! I like the idea of the one-time fee of $5. It seems fair. Can they still RSVP events without paying?

The biggest compliant I get from other foodies is that they can never sign up for the events because they fill up so quickly. I think we need more events for new foodies as well. Or perhaps we could always have one place with two meetup dates in order to accommodate all of the people.

I am looking forward to seeing you all when I come back to Portland in April! :)

Kelsey
Shannon K.
user 6073374
Redwood Valley, CA
Post #: 7
I agree with the new terms and policy. $5 is completely reasonable. I would make sure that the people know what the fee is being applied to...Meetup group dues and maybe putting together an end of the year bash. When someone pays their dues you should make sure to show that their dues are paid, by updating their status with the words Paid Member, this way organizers know who has paid and who has not. Kevin would have to make that update since he's the main admin. If you collect the Dues at an event, make sure you keep a list of those who have paid and email it to Kevin. Make arrangements with Kevin on how to get those funds to him.

As for no-show and last minute cancellations...this is what I do with my Meetup group:

  • If they are a no-show and have never attended an event that I organized...I remove them completely....no exceptions.
  • If they have attended at least one of MY organized events and they no show to another of MY organized events, I just remove them from the RSVP and then send them an email letting them know why I removed their RSVP.
  • The second also applies to those who cancel less then 24 hours in advance.



This is the policy I place on all my events with the exception of the food cart events. My members tell me on a regular basis how much they appreciate that I have this policy in place. Because of this policy, I have only ever had to remove someone from my group once. And I have only had to remove two people from attending an event, because they canceled less then 3 hours before the event, and was a no show but had attended 3 other past events.

I am familiar with complaint that the events are hard to sign up for, because they fill up so fast. Besides requiring the , Etiquette below to be posted at the bottom of all events, you can add a question at the end of their RSVP asking them if they have read the Etiquette....this forces people to stop and pay more attention to the event their signing up for vs. just RSVPing Yes automatically.

I also think it's a great idea to have an organizers event once a month with an agenda. Here is were we as event organizers will be able to discuss problems, situations and member complaints so that we can all come together and try to resolve these issues. This is also another way to get Kevin the dues that have been paid to us from the members. We should all be working together as a team to help make this group amazing.

So that is my 2 cents...
Shannon

*FOODIE ETIQUETTE*
If you RSVP YES for an event, you're expected to show up. If something comes up, respect the volunteer organizer's time by updating your RSVP. It makes organizers look bad when, for example, a large table is reserved for 15 people, but only 4 people show up. Restaurants survive by making a certain amount of money for their seats every hour they are open. This is why we need to know as soon as possible if you are not going to make it. If you don't show up or you don't let the organizer know that you can't make it with in 24 hours prior to the event so that we can advise the restaurant in a timely manner, we will have problems with the restaurant and they may not allow our group to come back in the future.

Although we don't like it, it's better to cancel at the last minute than be a no-show. Organizers will send everyone that signs up their cell phone number before the event so there will be no excuse for not calling, emailing or texting them.

Foodie now has a zero tolerance policy regarding NO SHOWS - Foodie will not hesitate to remove you from this group. Or remove you from the next event in order to give someone who really wants to attend the chance to sign up.

If you are someone who frequently signs up to attend an event and then opts-out at the last minute (less than 24 hours), please be advised that we might remove you from this group or remove your future RSVP's. What qualifies as frequently...3 or more times.

GRATUITY - Because these events are a large group, 18% to 20% gratuity will be added to our bill.
PLEASE BRING CASH - Most events are flexible about this, unless otherwise stated. But it does help with the settling of the bill.
PLEASE BE ON TIME - If your going to be running late, please be curtious and let your organizer know.
A former member
Post #: 1
Thanks Kevin for these proposed changes and thanks to everyone who commented and added their valuable suggestions.

I believe that a $5 fee as a one-time litmus test to validate a person's sincere interest and commitment to being a good Foodie is completely and totally fair. If you are willing and able to attend events and pay for your food and drink, you can certainly afford the $5 one time fee regardless of the economy. I agree that using the money later on to put deposits down on certain events/venues is a great idea, so the money is paid for upfront by member fees and NOT by an organizer. Once money has been collected for that event/venue from Foodies who attend, the account will be updated to its original amount...and someone had the great idea to use that money to throw a year end bash, which I think is an utterly fantastic idea, but then the money is gone for future needs. That's something the organizers should meet and hammer out maybe. I would hope that all the Foodie members know that none of the organizers will be making an income off that amount, and transparency around how/where the money is spent I think would be useful to hesitant members.

Shannon brought up an excellent idea about the etiquette policy. I think that is a great idea and we should add that immediately, and it should include that it is unacceptable to be 15-20 minutes late. I personally don't enjoy sitting with half the table waiting for the rest to show up, wondering IF they will show up and thinking how embarrassed I will be if I only have 6 people at a table for 10.

As for the no-show policy...no one should just not show up without some sort of reason that is communicated to the organizer as soon as the person knows they can't make it. We all understand if your car breaks down, your cat dies, your kid is suddenly sick, but to just not show up and not communicate to the event organizer and changing your RSVP is unacceptable. Likewise, just because you THINK you want to go to an event doesn't mean you should RSVP. RSVP's should only be made if you are certain that the date and time works for you. It's amazing to me how many people start canceling a couple of days before the event. As an organizer, I understand many people grab an event as soon as it's posted even if they aren't sure they can attend because if they wait another 10 minutes the spot will be gone. I think posting double events are a great idea (running the same events on different days) and as organizers we should look into that possibility every time we post a 'sell-out event'.

Looking forward to hearing more Foodies' input so we can make this the best Meetup group possible for members and organizers!

Thanks! Heidi
Jabbara
user 13899466
Hailey, ID
Post #: 2
As a new member, I've been to two great events, I don't have a problem with the $5 fee or the etiquette policy. Please have an alternative to Paypal though for paying the fee.

The reason why I was compelled to comment is that I really like Heidi's idea of having double events. Because of the popularity of most events we don't always have a chance to check our calendar but know if we wait the event will have filled.

Thanks, Jabbara
Kevin
user 12852378
Group Organizer
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 13
Thank you all for constructive, heart felt and passionate comments on this topic.

I'll compile and incorporate some of your points to the final draft before announcing it to the group and maybe delegate the etiquette section to Shannon and Heidi for their great insights on this topic.

I'll set a date for organizers to sync up and hash out the finer details, but for the mean time please keep these comments coming my way.

Thanks foodies! and happy valentines day!.

Kevin
Matt
user 14395801
Portland, OR
Post #: 2
It also isn't economically even feasible for some hit hard by corporate welfare's inevitable results of late, to participate in many groups if they cost that much, up front or otherwise

Not to be harsh, but if a person can't support and attend a group for a small $5.00 one-time fee, so as to show actual commitment to the group, then they probably shouldn't be going out to eat. Notice, this group is a "Foodie" group and we go out to not only socialize and meet new friends, but our attention is focused on the vast variety of gastronomy of the surrounding area.

I'm not saying that I'm the biggest supporter of the one-time fee, but do believe that something needs to be done with NO-SHOWS to events. It's not the No-Showing up that I'm really frustrated with (though it is becoming problematic)... It's the fact that YOU (whomever no-showed) lacked the curtesy to contact the Event Host or Organizer and inform them that something more pressing came up (within 24hrs of the event), and the Main Fact is that this group usually has so many people on the waiting lists and You didn't show up and took away an oportunity for another individual that could have attended.

Anyway, this group is really fun and it's great to meet new individuals, but please folks... let's help this Meetup succeed...

Happy Eating,

~M
A former member
Post #: 75
Kevin:

I "Assistant Organize & Event Organize" for a couple of groups (one is a "Breakfast/Brunch food group) and they also have the $5 membership dues "Annually" One of them has it that they must pay it by their 3rd attended meet up event for the group. I think its more than fair and most groups already have this poicy for their group. I am in complete agreement with the other members comments that if they can afford to attend any meet up event, then they can afford the %5 fee. Most meet ups usually costs more than $10 (of total individual expense) for attending the planned venue.

I hope to get to chat with you at a future meet up event.

Thank;
Rob
A former member
Post #: 8
As an organizer,

Let me emphasize some of the problems that I deal with almost all the time at most events I hosted. I'm pretty sure some of you hosts and organizers deal with the same things:

1. People not being able to get into events. I noticed people unconsciously RSVPing ahead for themselves in advance and then often flaking out at the last minute as the event date gets near. One of the reasons why most people complain about not being able to get into an event is because most people wanted to get ahead for themselves, even listing themselves as "maybe" and wasting a spot for other people who wanted to attend. The problem is that most people who are not serious don't often check their calendar to see if they're even available for that day. I think as courtesy to other serious Foodie members who wanted to come to an event is to just put yourself on the RSVP list only if you're available and are committed to coming to the event.

2. More people showing up unexpectedly to events involving reservations. Satida made a point about people who are on the waiting list and end up showing up, making it worse for the organizer to get extra seats or tables (thank god it never happened for my events). It's no big deal if people ask permission to bring extra people, as long as it's asked in advance.

3. Last minute cancellations. It's cool if people have to cancel last minute due to emergencies as long as there's at least some communication with the organizer before or during the event, but doing it chronically at almost every event makes it unacceptable. I'm not sure how some of you organizers implement your own policy on dealing with people who chronically flake out last minute, but this is an issue that needs to be fixed. And as I reiterate from #1 on people not getting into any events, only people who are serious in attending an event should RSVP only if they know they can make it, that includes the waiting list. I having having that policy will help prevent last minute flakes and indecisive RSVP's who would eventually end up being no shows. This will also benefit those who want to attend an event, even if they're put on the waiting list.

4. No shows. Ahh yes, this is the biggest concern I have. Often times I see people RSVPing and then at the event, they don't even show. Later on after the event they say, "Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realized that I was already RSVP'd to the event." For this one, I have to say that people really need to watch on their RSVP status. Even when my event send reminders, they often forget and end up not showing. I really like Shannon's policy about no shows, and I totally agree that people who don't show up to an event without any kind of communication with the organizer, should be banned from the group with no exceptions. I seen so many people RSVPing but some don't even come out to a real event, which really wastes a host or organizer's time and give problems to the restaurant if only half or a quarter of the group show up. My question for this is, if members apologize for being a no show to an event, should we give them a second chance? That's the debate on whether or not we should forgive people for wasting a host or organizer's time. If they buy me a drink at the next event they attend, that'll be at least some compensation.

-----------------

After reading through everyone's take on the $5 membership fee, I'm totally in agreement to that.

Cheers!
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