My FH and I started our catering search mid-May. We emailed the six preferred vendors my venue provided, we got quotes from 4 places. We LOOOVE caterer A, like B and rejected C and D. My FH wants to do a tasting with A before we officially book, but A is not available until July. A told us not to worry about availability because that company is large enough to accommodate up to 6 events in one day. We set up an appointment for July 1. A is in our budget, offers gluten free options for my MOH with Celiac's Disease (that are labeled in the proposal) and offered great menu options for dinner AND dessert.
We liked Caterer B's menu, but it was a bit out of our range. B likes to send emails at least once a week. I've responded to B that we haven't forgotten about them, their prices were out of our range, and that we're setting up a tasting with A. I told B we would reach out again if we wanted them to adjust our proposal. B did it anyway and sent yet another email asking about our thoughts on the updated proposal - it's closer to our budget, but the desserts are meh, that's why we only just like B.
We want to keep B as a sort of 'backup' in case we absolutely hate A's food. I don't think that's likely because of all of the high reviews A has, plus A was on the preferred vendors list for a couple of venues we visited. How do I politely tell B we're not interested right now, but may be if our favorite falls through? I already told B that we're doing a tasting with another company, and I thought that would be enough to make them back down. I also don't want B to resent us in case we hate A's food and decide to get a tasting with B later down the road.