Catering Staff Faux Pas?

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DJ Emeritus
Tonight's gig started with some challenges before I even showed up. 50% of the guests, or less, were in attendance.
Still while they did party & Dance, the night ended early. I like the venue where I was gigging. They always treat me well.
The gig went from 6 to 10. Most people were gone by 9:05. By 9:10, even though other people were still there, the staff started completely clearing in everything...even from the tables where there were still people sitting. I don't mean "busing" the table, I mean putting it to bed.

As much as I like the staff, I couldn't help but think that what they did was wrong, plain and simple. I thought it was rude to the guests still in attendance as well as to the organization who booked the party, as the bill was paid for 4 hours, not 3. I kept playing until the last people left, I refused to drink the Kool-Aid.

Thoughts? (not about me, about the staff)
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Ken Heath

Super Moderator...da-ta-daaa!!!
Staff member
4 hours is 4 hours... if the client didn't tell you to fold it up, you play! ;)

Good call!


Gear and Equipment Moderator
I've had a few like that and YES , it is very WRONG for the caterer to pack it in early. I understand they want to get outta there when its over but to be so pushy after being paid in full.....its just bad business ethics. I wonder how the caterer would feel if their roles were reversed?

Mark Evans

Mobile Beat Moderator
Staff member
I agree you did the right thing. I wait until the last people leave, designated time on contract or until the person who signed the contract says it's over.


Mobile Beat Moderator
Staff member
Sounds like one of the hotels I used to play in White Plains.

What are the chances it is the same banquet captain I had that did that??


Active Member
Why not make it easier, and have the banquet staff just tell people to "GO HOME!"

That is rude.
I've seen them clear the glasses and silverware and garbage from the empty tables...
but putting them away is just not right.
Is this kind of place where they take the leftover appetizers and just throw them away,
instead of letting guests eat them?


Couldn't agree more Steve. I hate it when they try to turn the house lights on DURING the final song too (like they can't wait a couple more minutes). I've turned them back off a couple times and had a few "differences of opinion" with venues about it.


Checking Reality
It is wrong.

I stop playing to a practically empty room ONLY if the client tells me too.

I've played "traveling music" for over 30 min. more than once while all of the family members, and catering staff packed up the whole room.

I stop when either the client tells me to, or the clients have left, and I'll ask one of the remaining 3 or 4 people if I can start packing it up. I don't mind playing some fun music for people to listen to while they tear down the room.

Only the client or someone in charge on the side of the client can tell me to stop playing before the scheduled end time.

If I were the venue's customer I would have taken some pictures, and said to whoever was the lead there that they are paid in full and will do a partial refund.


Ive had this happen to me, at this one venue he would flip the lights on and off 5 minutes before the end of the show


Active Member
Tonight's gig {edit} went from 6 to 10.{edit} Thoughts? (not about me, about the staff)

My thoughts? Staff (and management that allowed, encouraged or delegated it) was wrong...plain and simple.
My thoughts about you - you were right, of course. :) This is one of those times I feel as DJs we don't really have any power, because it wouldn't been great to tell facility to stop tearing down the room, and treat the guests and hosts with great hospitality and service from the moment they walk in, until the time they ALL walk out.
Rude! I can do one better.

I have had gigs where the workers pretty much shut off the lights, walked out, and locked up with the guests, leaving us standing there in the dark.


New Member
I don't like it when the banquet manager comes over and says, "You ought to play X" when I see in my notes that the client said not to play X. So, I would give a hall with a good reputation the benefit of the doubt. You don't know what arraignment was made between other professionals and their clients. I would focus on doing my job right. If they disappoint their clients, their bookings will suffer.
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