How to report extra hours without getting roasted


#1

If a guest were to arrive early and leaves late, I’m afraid to even add extra charges for fear I will get a bad review. Is there already a way around this?


#2

I would be very clear ahead of time about what the ground rules are, and that extra time will incur extra charges. In all the instances where I’ve charged extra to guests for overtime, I’ve still gotten five star reviews. Maybe someone from Peerspace itself could chime in, but I think that if you get a review that you feel is biased because you’ve asked people to follow the rules, the Peerspace team will work with you.


#3

What Anne said. Also, we always have someone on site during rentals, and if it looks like the guest is going to run over, I make a point of saying “So, your rental is up in 15 minutes, but you’re still going strong. Do you want me to add another X amount of time?” And in those cases I just charge the straight time, not the overtime. If the guest isn’t surprised, they generally give a good review.

I have more trouble with people who do not book enough time for their caterers to set up and clear out; I check in with them several times before the rental, asking what time the event proper is supposed to start, and what time the end is, and if start and end times are the same as rental times, that’s a red flag, and I call attention to it. If the caterer contacts me before hand (many do) I note our “you pay for all the time you and your vendors are on site” rule, and ask them to get the client to extend the rental as necessary.

Even then, I’ve occasionally had to tell a caterer to sit in her car until we were ready for her to arrive. Which makes me feel petty… I suspect some guests unconsciously rely on that.


#4

Excellent replies so far. I’d also like to add…
For the early arrivers, I make it clear in the kindest way that the rental time has not begun & there’s a nearby cafe you can check out for 30 minutes. If they’re a little early and a little late afterwards, that’s your time lost, not theirs. There’s always one crew member super early, especially here in NYC where I’m located. I’m also a photographer and have arrived to locations and the doors DO NOT open until the rental time and that’s just an industry standard. Some clients not familiar with this may take slight offense but most will be fine. I had a bigger rental client email me the night before and say “oh ya, the catering service will be there 45 min early to set up.” Sometimes producers ask just to see if you say yes. I said sure but we need to add an hour onto the rental. Make sure you’re compensated for your time, bottom line. People respect professionalism and won’t leave a bad review.