A Statement from Dine's Founder, Daniel Gill.
We’re all understandably concerned about COVID-19 as it increasingly impacts our lives, families and friends.
I therefore wanted to reassure you that we remain focused on delivering the very best service through these challenging times, just as we have done during the past 22 years – April marks Dine’s 22nd Birthday.
What we are doing to help you
Our Event Managers have communicated with everyone who had an event booked up until the end of June 2020 at one of our residential venues. We have come up with a number of ways that we can help you in these difficult times and are prepared to move our timelines along with Government guidance;
- We will propose alternate dates for you to re-book your celebration and do our best to find one that works for you and the Dine team, though we would ask for your understanding bearing in mind that we have to find new dates for over 70 events at the moment.
- We are also asking clients for their insurance company's position as we are uniquely placed to assess how the insurance companies are approaching the industry as a whole and will lobby government accordingly if we feel that a pattern emerges.
- If your insurance company has declined your claim, Dine will move your original deposit to the new booking date.
- We will freeze pricing on all services currently agreed with your event manager.
- Where the client wants to secure a date outside of the selection we can offer at no additional costs, there is the option to secure a prime future date for an upgrade cost.
- We appreciate that many of you will have experienced a financial impact from the current crisis and will therefore offer you the ability to split your ‘deposit 2’ payment (the one which is due 2 months before your current event date) into a maximum of 6 monthly payments from the original date it would have been due.
We’re adapting some of our services
- Where possible, please avoid using the post as there may be a delay in handling it.
- We are monitoring our chat function on our website and other social channels but please direct specific enquiries directly to your event managers email address. Where you have had difficulty contacting them for whatever reason, please email ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’
- Our phone lines are not monitored currently but we trust that you will be able to contact us successfully using the many other options available.
Finally, I’d like to thank you for your ongoing loyalty and support – I know that by working together we can get through this. I’m very touched by the many messages of support that our clients have sent us during this time and I’m determined to repay this support in every way possible by continuing to do all that I can, to ensure we provide the level of service you expect from us.
My Celebration & Covid 19 Q&A with Dine s Founder, Daniel Gill
Given the unprecedented disruption that Covid 19 has caused to hosts and suppliers alike, co-operation between all parties is the right way forward to ensure that everyone gets the best possible outcome for their celebration in due course. It is worth remembering that people working in the wedding and events sector choose to do so because they get their satisfaction from ensuring that each client has a memorable and enjoyable experience, both during the planning stage and on the day itself. During the closedown, some of the Dine team have been training whilst others have been working on menu development and innovations such as our on-line portal, which allows hosts to send RSVPs and collate these in their on-line planning area and also allocate bedrooms to their guests.
Dan Gill, founder of Dine sets out to address the most common questions being received throughout the industry and advises on how to get the best result even during this period of unprecedented disruption:
Question; Suppliers have simply struggled with the fact that many of these dates are already booked by existing clients.
Many have been able to offer either an equivalent date in 2022, dates in the autumn, winter or spring months, or midweek or Sunday alternatives. Equally, they may rely on some key dates to drive new bookings and To assist further, Dine are offering clients a discount on food and drinks where they move to specified off peak months. Q; Should I expect my pricing to increase? Certainly, Dine have been able to offer this to our clients moving to alternative dates in the winter and spring months and it seems to be common practice in the industry at the moment.
Q; Why have I been advised to claim on my insurance?
Many venues advise or require clients to take out insurance precisely to protect them from the cost of any unseen disruption to their event. Where clients are able to make a valid claim on their insurance it makes sense for them to do so. Clearly this also means that you have more options in terms of re-booking your event. However, Dine has been able to assist clients who were not able to make a claim by simply postponing the celebration to an available date.
Q; Why have I been asked to pay my deposit this year if my event is postponed to next year ?
From our discussions with other venues and in our own experience, it seems that this is mainly so that your venue and supplier needs to know that you are as committed to your new postponed date as much as they are. To provide a truly fair environment, Dine has offered clients the ability to pay over 6 monthly periods where a deposit has fallen due under the original date and we have deferred our other deposit payments in accordance with the new date. do this and then rebook? Whereas we are not going to comment on legal matters in this forum, the principle from a business point of view is pretty simple: Are you better off working with your venue to secure a new date or pressing for a refund which your supplier may simply not be able to give to you anyway? In our experience, clients are generally better off agreeing a new date than pressing for a refund. Our policy at Dine is that we will issue refunds where clients request them within the terms of our cancellation policy and we have also found that many clients have successfully claimed for these on their insurance. We will not issue full refunds to clients outside these scenarios as to do is unsustainable and inherently unfair to clients who have chosen to work with us co-operatively.
Q; My wedding is in September and I want to postpone it but my venue will not offer me new dates.
Most suppliers are being careful to proceed in an orderly manner which is in line with regulations but also fair to every client. Agreeing to move dates ahead of time creates an unfairness to clients whose weddings might be affected earlier than yours. However, clearly if you have exceptional circumstances such as being a key worker in the NHS or being required to shield then your venue and supplier should be able to make an exception for you.
Q; My celebration is scheduled for September and I will be happy for it to proceed so long as guidance allows.
What should I expect from my supplier and venues? Most suppliers will already have a risk assessment in place for working when social distancing regulations are revised and you can always ask to see this. More importantly, venues should be able to offer you alternatives for higher risk guests so that, for example, elderly grandparents can still be a part of your day. At Dine, we offer clients a range of options in this respect, including the ability to have the equivalent meal delivered anywhere in the UK with a bottle of prosecco, via our service at www.dinedelivered.co.uk Our Event Managers can also arrange live streaming of your ceremony and speeches.