Let's say that a venue is a bad venue for whatever reason. They might have a reputation for taking kickbacks, or piling extra charges on their clients, or whatever. Should you work with them?
I've run into a couple of places that other people have problems with, but that I don't have any first-hand bad experiences with myself. My opinion on that is that if I hear it from a bride, I'll keep my eyes open for more evidence. If I hear it from another business, I'll take the source into account and maybe pay attention or maybe not.
If something happens directly to me, though, I do pay attention.
I once had a venue do something during the cake cutting to ruin an entire tier of the cake, and they tried to blame me for it. The mother of the bride called me to tell me what they had said to her, so I called the venue directly.
Turns out that after talking to her, it was obvious that they were trying to cover themselves. Let's just say that she must not have known that I work alone and see everything that goes out of my kitchen on a very detailed level, so I knew that what she was telling me about the cake wasn't true. She was basically hoping that I'd blame it on one of my employees, when it was obvious that she knew her own employees were at fault.
If something like that happens it tells me a couple of things about that venue itself. First, they have a lot of liars on staff, and second, they're willing to try to blame other people for their poor work standards.
So what did I do? I crossed that venue off of my list of places that I'll deliver to. Luckily, I don't have to deal with it often because it's out of town, but I have had brides call me and ask about having a cake delivered there.
I don't beat around the bush. I tell them that I don't deliver there because they ruined one of my cakes then tried to blame it on me.
Whether you choose to continue to work with a venue that's "less than excellent" is up to you. But I'd suggest that you shouldn't lower your standards. It's never a good idea to sink to a lower level.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA