$1000 mandatory minimum bill for a large group?
My professional group planned a casual networking social gathering for a Saturday afternoon in August. We contacted a few places in Back Bay / Fenway area to see if they could take an estimated group of 20 people at about 3-4 p.m., thinking it would be a slower time between the Red Sox game and drinks / dinner hour.
One place said yes, but that the group would have to spend $1000. This seemed kind of a steep bite for drinks and light stuff to eat in the middle of the afternoon. I realize this is their own business and they can charge whatever they want, but it seemed a little off-putting.
Is this something that is more of an expectation now for a big group that isn't doing private dining?
We're you asking for a private room or just reserved space? I haven't had that problem when planning similar things on weekday evenings. Maybe try Back Bay Social Club? I was recently at an event there that I don't think had a minimum.
wow, seems steep. not sure if you're looking for upscale but my office group recently did a Sox outing. We coupled that with drinks and apps beforehand at Crossroads on the corner of Beacon and Mass Ave. I made arrangements ahead of time for our group of 30, they staffed the upstairs room with one server and one bartender. starting at 4, many of their apps were $3.95, we ordered 5 of each, pitchers of beer, then kept ordering till our $$$ money ran out. (we had charged each attendee $20 bux so had about 600 to spend)we stayed for over 2 hours, were quite full, little tipsy, had a great time , left a $90 tip. there was no charge for the room or anything else, great time. BUT the room is a little divey, lots of TVs, skeeball, darts etc. It made for a really fun afternoon, since it was during the world cup so we did not mind the TVs.
Maybe you should work out a menu list and drink options with the establishment. It would allow them to set a price for you.
I think it's fairly typical for places to ask for a minimum if you want a private room and not pay a room fee. But, $1,000 for 20 people does seem excessive. I think the minimum is usually tied in to the size of the room. Is this a bigger room than you really need? Call around some more.