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Landmark Fees Explained | Costs When Booking a Venue

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If you’re planning an event at a venue, you may have seen a mysterious “Landmark Fee” appear on your quote or invoice. You might be wondering “What is a landmark fee? Why is this fee added to my invoice? Will I save money by choosing a different venue or different caterer?” Don’t worry, landmark fees are standard practice. But it’s important to know why they exist and how they can change based on different scenarios.

Simply put, the Landmark Fee is a fee that a vendor pays to a venue for operating within that venue.

What is a Landmark Fee?

A landmark feesometimes called a Commission Fee or Landmark Commissionis a percentage of the vendors total invoice that is charged to the client and then remitted back to the venue.

Simply put, the Landmark Fee is a fee that a vendor pays to a venue for operating within that venue. Landmark Fees are usually separate from Room Rental Fees, Service Charges, and other commissions.

Landmark Fees are most often associated with caterers, but it can apply to other vendors as well.  Standard Landmark Fees range from 10-20% but can change based on the venue, the type of event, and whether the caterer is an in-house, exclusive, preferred, or outside caterer.

Most venues have a list of preferred caterers that they provide to their clients.”

In-House, Exclusive, Preferred, and Outside Caterers

When planning an event, if you book your venue first, you might be provided with a list of exclusive or preferred caterers. Alternatively, if you book a caterer first, they will often recommend venues that they work with. But how does this impact Landmark Fees?

In-House Caterer: If the venue has an in-house caterer, there won’t be a Landmark Fee since the caterer and the venue are the same entity. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be cheaper. That same percentage may be built into the final invoice in other ways like higher food costs.

Exclusive Caterer: Some venues have one or more exclusive caterers. If you’re booking an event at a venue with exclusive caterers, there is usually a smaller landmark fee for hiring one of the exclusive caterers. Oftentimes, there is no landmark fee at all for choosing the exclusive caterer.

Preferred Caterer: Most venues have a list of preferred caterers that they provide to their clients. Preferred caterers are similar to exclusive caterers although as the name implies, they are caterers that the vendor prefers you work with. Choosing a caterer from a preferred caterer list can also result in a lower Landmark Fee.

Outside Caterer: An outside caterer is a company that isn’t part of an exclusive or preferred caterer list from a venue. A venue will often allow you to bring an outside caterer, although Landmark Fees will typically be the highest in this scenario.

The Landmark Fee will appear on the vendors invoice to the client.

How are Landmark Fees Charged?

The Landmark Fee will appear on the vendors invoice to the client. For example, if you book a venue and also hire a caterer for your party, the Landmark Fee will appear on your invoice from the caterer. The Landmark Fee is charged based on the subtotal of all services provided by the caterer. This can include food, beverage, labour, furniture, linens, décor, and any additional staffing needs.

Landmark Fees are typically dealt with in the following way:

  • The Landmark Fee is applied to the caterers invoice to the client
  • The caterer provides a copy of the invoice to the venue
  • The client pays the total invoice costincluding the Landmark Feeto the caterer
  • The venue invoices the caterer directly for the amount of the Landmark Fee

Don’t worry, landmark fees are standard practice.”

It’s important to remember that the Landmark Fee is not an extra fee charged by any one specific caterer. Although, understanding how Landmark Fees work can make a big impact to the overall cost of your event. Take a look at our Venues page to see a list of venues that we regularly work with or contact us today if you’re ready to start planning your event.

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