I’m guessing what happened with Mooseland is that they were happy to have the extra business, but didn’t want to take the risk of investing in extra help or preparations. On reflection this is understandable – the gathering had only been there once before and if not many people showed, Mooseland would lose out.
Wherever we go next year, we might offer to make a deposit as a guarantee of X dollars worth of business… with some of the deposit being lost depending on how far short of the goal we were. That would reduce the risk for scheduling extra staff on the floor and in the kitchen. I’d be happy to kick in towards a deposit.