Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thinking Thursday - RSVPs - What is that?!

We all are guilty of it. Not RSVPing, or waiting until the last minute to call, or worse - showing up after not RSVPing. Why do we do this and why is such a crime?

In my business, everything depends on the guest count. From how many tables and chairs to how many individual hand-made appetizers I have to roll - believe me, it matters.

Let's talk about why most of us have such a hard time picking up the phone, or emailing, or sending in the pre-stamped RSVP, or any other forms of letting the hostess know you will or won't be there:

Commitment phobia. What if something better comes along? What if I can't get a sitter? What if Brad Pitt shows up at my door and sweeps me away? What if? You can always call and let the hostess know (I promise she'll understand if you're on your way to France with Mr. Pitt.) The whole reason for RSVPS is so that the hostess can plan on how much food, beverages, chairs and space she will need AND how much money she needs to budget for all of it. If she knows she is having 100 guest instead of the 250 she invited, she may serve lobster instead of chicken. Likewise, if she does have all 250 RSVP, she knows she can never afford lobster for everyone and will have to go with the chicken.   

You want to help the hostess with her budget.  Don't try to save the hostess that per-person catering fee by saying "I won't eat" or  "my child can share off my plate" because the truth is, you WILL pick up a couple of pieces of cheese and your five-year-old will visit the dessert table at least twice. If you show up unannounced and do eat, there may not be enough food. It's better to have too much food than to not have enough so go ahead and say "yes" even if it's a "maybe." If you wait or don't RSVP you could be left empty-handed. You CAN change your mind but at least you will be covered

You simply forgot. Solve this problem by immediately responding the minute you get the invite. Don't put it in the pile on your desk or leave it in the car. Go ahead and pick up the phone or mail in the card. If it's an Evite, immediately respond online.  If your hostess was gracious enough to put a pre-stamped RSVP card in the invite, at least mail it back to her. That's alot of postage down the drain if you don't!

You're afraid you will hurt her feelings by responding "no." Yes, this is a possibility but hostess know that not everyone can attend her event. She does expect some "No's" but I also know that she would rather hear something from you than feel like you are avoiding her by not responding. For big events such as weddings, the hostess is going to make around of phone calls to those she has not heard from. Don't ingore her to save her feelings, save yourself (and her) the grief by simply being honest and RSVPing your regrets. You don't have to say "I'm going to Jenny's wedding instead." or "I'm allergic to your cat and can't come to you home Christmas party." Just a simple, NO on the RSVP will suffice.

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