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Large Group Dinner Booking

Started by Hillybean29 on Wednesday, 12th March 2014 10:33 am
Last response by motoman 26th March 12:06pm

So I'm a little annoyed right now because I'm a planner...seriously OCD when it comes to my Vegas trips. I have my itinerary set months before. I planned a dinner for 12 at Gordon Ramsey Steak at Paris through Caesars Entertainment large party booking. It was a little difficult but they were accommodating and the policy for cancellation was reasonable. However, here I am a week out (so excited!) and when booking dinners for people that work for Red Bull (the most laid back group of people on earth) and when they are coming from all over the world things tend to change. GRS could not accommodate a time change so because I've heard such wonderful things from all of you about Craftsteak I decided to give them a try. Very friendly people at MGM's group but holy crap! Have you seen their "contract" for booking a large party?! I'm talking 12 people here, not a wedding reception. There is a large party menu but a la carte is available with a minimum food and bev spend of $119, taxes and 20% gratuity which is all fine. What upsets me is the $150 large party fee! And if I cancel after today they would charge us 100% of the estimated bill! Even if we show up but with less people, they would charge us for the missing guests. That is a little insane and something that's not worth the gamble with this group. Is this normal for MGM Groups restaurants because if so, I won't be visiting.

All that said, steakhouse week prior to visit for 12 people without ridiculous "contract" and price not an issue...go!

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 Misnomer responded on Wednesday, 12th March 2014

I don't know the particulars, but Andiamo at The D accommodated our large group during last year's VIMFP festivities.

 vespajet responded on Wednesday, 12th March 2014

The problem is that a week out there may not be availability. This is definitely why Gordon Ramsay Steak couldn't accommodate a time change, as it's a very popular spot.

Andiamo at The D or Triple George Grill (which is by the Downtown Ground) may be able to accommodate on short notice. I'd also look to see if Delmonicos at the Venetian, Heritage Steak at the Mirage or Old Homestead at Caesars Palace might be able to accommodate the group.

 donnymac66 responded on Wednesday, 12th March 2014

When we were booking our wedding party dinner last year MGM and Mandalay Bay had the fee. Bellagio and Mirage did not so we went to Prime. 12 isn't an unmanageable number I'm surprised you have to go through the large party dept.

 anawas responded on Thursday, 13th March 2014

I can't help with your request (sorry), but I did get a chuckle out of this:

"...people that work for Red Bull (the most laid back group of people on earth)..."

I wouldn't sweat the $150 large-party fee. That's $12.50 a person, which isn't heinous when you're dealing with Vegas food prices (although it would annoy me anywhere else outside of NYC).

Also, your party likely will spend $150 in transportation to and from your restaurant of choice, unless everyone drives their own Red Bull Mini Cooper there or eats where they're staying.

 Hillybean29 replied on Friday, 14th March 2014

I wasn't really concerned about the money, I think it was just the principle of it. Like I said 12 people, not 50! I spoke to them again and they said the "contract" only applies to Craftsteak and the 2 French restaurants at MGM. And no, they don't drive the mini coopers ;) Those are the college students, these guys are execs straight from Austria. Awesome company.

 NeverJustJ responded on Friday, 14th March 2014

It's off The Strip...but not by much...and it's kind of retro/ironic...have you considered Golden Steer?

 Hillybean29 responded on Friday, 14th March 2014

Thank you all for the suggestions! I really think Andiamo is paying you VT staff! I am definitely planning on visiting in July...maybe I can get on their payroll! I got a call from GRS and they said they could accommodate my time change! However, I had already reserved a table at Carnevino at Palazzo. They were extremely easy to book and had no cancellation fees (that they told me about at least). I'll give a trip report next week!

 socalduck responded on Monday, 17th March 2014

We did a slightly larger group (about 15, if I recall) at Carnevino, and had no problems at all; regular menu, no minimum fees are "large group" surcharge. However, I do think they are better equipped to handle large parties than Craftsteak.

 motoman responded on Thursday, 20th March 2014

You've probably already had your dinner; I'd just add that for the group you are entertaining -- an important consideration -- Carnevino sounds like an excellent choice. A friend's business meeting there garnered multiple thumbs up. And if anyone in your group likes a well-aged piece of beef, apparently no one does it better (search MikeP on TWHT). The name implies also a decent wine selection with the expertise to help.

Somehow I think a group of high-end Austrian business execs might not quite go for the old-school downtown charm others here seem enamored with. Could be wrong, they might love it. But clearly you & your husband live quite well, and he is clearly well above the level of a regional sales rep (though perhaps Vespajet could lend more insight into the F&B sales business).

I cannot vouch personally for the place, but would advise to be picky about seating. On the one hand, you can get a private room for your group; on the other, IIRC, there's a room (Overflow? Groups?) that is located under an escalator, right off the casino floor and apparently detached from the main restaurant(?).

 vespajet replied on Thursday, 20th March 2014

You have to guarantee $X amount to get the private room at most places, as a number of years ago, I was out in Vegas with a group of about 23 and after some drama with the folks at Eiffel Tower regarding the private dining room (mainly menu-related, as not everyone was onboard with the menu being presented to the group), we managed to snag the private dining room at Delmonicos with the ability to order from the full menu. Our point man happened to be a regular at Emeril's where he lived and Delmonicos actually lowered their minimum for the private dining room as the manager at Emeril's called in a favor. The following year, we had a smaller group and had booked the private dining room at Pampas. Then a few weeks before the trip, Pampas called our guy and said that unless we could guarantee a bill of $3000+, we were losing the private dining room. Let's just say our group declined as that would have meant $250 per person as we only had 12 people.

 motoman replied on Monday, 24th March 2014

Wow, thanks Vespa--
But I was referring more to: a) both you and Mr. Hillybean seem to be involved in F&B wholesale at some level, and perhaps you could help us understand just what level; b) getting stuck in that detached under-escalator room at Carnevino would really suck.

Maybe it's nice inside, who knows. Just wouldn't seem to be any way to treat high-level (possibly even C-suite?) execs who flew all the way across the pond on behalf of their multi-billion dollar company that does huge business in town. Just sayin'.

 Hillybean29 replied on Tuesday, 25th March 2014

Thanks Guys! We did already have our dinner at Carnevino and it was amazing! Surprisingly the restaurant wasn't very crowded considering the following weekend (we went on Weds) was March Madness. I've never seen the casinos more crowded than this weekend! Since it wasn't very crowded we were very comfortable in the main dining area. The staff was incredibly knowledgeable about the food as well as the extensive wine selection. We would've loved to try the $24000 bottle from France but that was a tad out of budget. Motoman, I would never say that the execs from Austria wouldn't be open to downtown, actually the contrary. Although these guys are execs, it is Red Bull and their execs are younger than me and I have yet to hit 40. We had a variety of Red Bull employees in different positions (not just execs) from around the world and they are so wonderful to be around. All that being said I would definitely recommend Carnevino for a large or small group. Also considering the bill was over $1600 it seems ridiculous to complain about a $150 group fee but again, it's the principle of it. Vegas tries to squeeze every penny from you and they typically succeed! Carnevino was easy to reserve and with no fees or hassle at all. Nothing but accommodating. Thanks again!

 motoman replied on Wednesday, 26th March 2014

Glad you enjoyed; can't wait for the trip report!

"Although these guys are execs, it is Red Bull and their execs are younger than me…"

The above is funny! Assumed the founder at least would be older given how long ago the company started; also, most maturing startups (all of Silicon Valley?) eventually reach the point where they hire middle-aged stuffed suits to run things. ;) But that certainly explains the focus on extreme sports, which just seemed like clever targeted marketing. Kudos.