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The Westside Foodies Message Board › FAQs About Our Events

FAQs About Our Events

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What's the deal with the deposits?
When I took over this group in early 2009, event RSVPs would go a little something like this: 1) The event would fill up within a few hours, if not less; 2) In the final days before the event, there would be a flurry of changing RSVPs. The people who were on the waiting list became Yes's but weren't expecting to go or weren't notified in time . . . Yadda, yadda, yadda; 3) People who RSVP'd Yes would not show up or even notify me that they weren't coming. The proverbial no-call, no-show.

These are serious problems. You may have noticed that most of the restaurants we go to require reservations and for those that don't we still generally need a good idea of how many people are going to attend. When we have 50% of our Yes RSVPs show (yup, 50%) I have no idea what to tell the Maître d'. I have found myself apologizing for our groups lack of attendance and giving up tables that were set aside for us. Pretty embarrassing.

To deal with this, I started charging deposits to attend our dinners. They are just deposits. I return the money to you if you arrive or cancel in advance of the event. The moment I started requiring the deposit, all of our problems went away. No longer were events filling within hours, so everyone had time to sign up if they wanted. Those who RSVP Yes tend to stay a Yes until the event. No more flurry of RSVP activity the last few days before the event. And finally, no shows are rare and I almost never have more than one at a single event. I keep your deposit money if you don't show and it helps to subsidize the organizer fees I pay to Meetup. I can assure that I do not make any money off of organizing this group. It still costs me, but I enjoy the experience, so it's worth it.

Does the deposit have anything to do with the cost of the event?
Kind of. High-end restaurants will come with a deposit of $20, mid-range $10, and $5 for everything else.

Is this a prix fixe event? Does the deposit cover the prix fixe?
If a dinner event is a prix fixe menu or has a prix fixe menu option, this will be clearly indicated in the event description. The pricing and menu items will be included as well. The deposit does not cover the prix fixe pricing. As stated above, the deposit will be returned to you after I return home from the event.

What is the attendance policy?
I used to have a more lenient but somewhat complex attendance policy. I've since simplified it.

1) Everyone gets three strikes.
2) A same day cancellation counts as a strike.
3) A no-call, no-show counts as three strikes.

Pretty simple. So make an effort to contact me if you are not able to make an event because, if you don't, you will be removed from the group.

What's up with the waiting list?
There is no automatic waiting list option available when you require a payment to RSVP for an event. There is only the manual waiting list. So, if you sign up for an event, are on the waiting list and a spot becomes available, the system will send an email to everyone on the list. At that point it's first-come, first-serve. I will be playing around with various options to help control this issue as really should be a queue ordered by who signed up first.

Thanks for reading this.


Organizer - Westside Foodies
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