We've booked our running club Xmas do for this Saturday (13th Jan).
All 48 of us duly paid our £5 deposit and gave our menu choices and did this as requested first week in December. When the deposits were paid to the hotel they then asked for the balance of the meal owing to be paid in full by the end of December !!!
When I was told of this I said I wasn't happy with this and asked the girl who had booked the meal to contact the hotel and say we would pay the balance on the night. I also said if she was uncomfortable about doing this I would contact the hotel myself. I heard nothing so assumed we were paying on the night as is the usual format.
Last week the girl contacted me to ask for my payment so I reluctantly wrote a cheque (payable to the hotel) for the balance of my meal but postdated it to the date of the meal. I also attached a note to the cheque saying that if they banked the cheque before the date of the meal I would stop payment of the cheque.
Well guess what - they banked my cheque and it hit my bank account today. I have stopped payment of the cheque - I do try to keep my promises!!
I have never had to pay the full cost of a function meal before the date of the event - that's why we pay a non-refundable deposit.
I have also previoulsy worked for a leisure company and we used to buy pubs/restaurants and it was not unusual for the previous owners to have failed to reveal that there were group bookings with deposits taken.