Post # 1
Maybe I have been watching far too many wedding shows but I though the food tasting was supposed to go a little differently than what I experienced today.
FH and I went to what we thought was going to be The Caterer and were really excited about it. After a 50/50 weekend of wedding meetings (cake baker was great, dj not so much), we were looking forward to a nice meeting with some yummy foods and lots of discussion about our special menu.
We arrived at the caterers place which wasn’t much to look at from the outside but lots of gems are tucked away in unexpected places so I wasn’t going to judge from that. We walked into what looked to be a masonic office (despite the catering business name outside) that was…a bit unkempt, to put it lightly. There was a business desk with a dirty striped satin table cloth laid over the desk. On that desk were some spoons and forks and 2 glasses with napkins tucked into them.
Happily buzzing away in the room were *several* flies. The caterer mentioned them in passing “oh there are some flies because I left the door open” and proceeded to tell us that the chef WAS going to do a live presentation of one of our stations but wasn’t feeling well so she told him to stay in the kitchen. GREAAAAT. We most certainly wanted to know someone sick was preparing our food. She yelled back to the chef that we were here and he proceeded to bring out all the food we requested for our menu…and then they both left.
To their credit, the food was ok. It was quite cold and one of the items left something to be desired (rubbery was the best word I could call it) but the service level was just…not there. The caterer didn’t sit with us an discuss the food with us, she didn’t make sure everything was to our liking, there was no asking what could be improved, how the menu was…nothing. She just left us there to eat and periodically came back to see if we’d finished. Once we told her we had, she just sat there looking at us expectantly, as though we wanted her business and not the other way around.
I’d wanted to talk to her about the table linens, the place settings, etc etc but when I asked about the linens, she handed us a book of swatches and left the room again!
Now, I may be reading too much into this but it seemed as though she was trying to nonverbally broadcast to us how little our business meant to her.
This being the first (and we’d hoped only) tasting we went on and having only seen other tastings on TV, can you ladies tell me if this is the standard operating procedure for tastings?
Post # 3
I haven’t ever been to a tasting, but if I had went thru what you just went thru, they wouldn’t get my business. They should be doing everything & anything to make you happy & comfortable. Answering any questions you might have. If I were you, I would keep looking.
ETA: And if you didn’t like the food then, you probably would not like it at your wedding. Just think about it. They did a taste test for 2 people. What would it be like for a whole wedding…….just sayin’.
Post # 4
I agree, if they can’t get it right for two people what is going to happen when there are 100+?? I would keep looking also because I do think they should be the ones eager to do anything for your business. There is so much competition in the bridal industry, and the last thing you need is a caterer that doesn’t go above and beyond to at least make you feel comfortable.
Post # 5
I think the lack of good hygiene is alarming enough to not hire them.
Post # 6
I honestly don’t think many venues even do taste testings. I think the ones you see on the TV bridal shows are definitely the exception to the norm. The best way to find out about a venue’s food is by word of mouth. Ask for phone numbers of past brides and call them up and ask them what the food was like. My son’s venue uses the restaurant on the premises, so we just anonomously went and had dinner to try it out. The food isn’t exactly the same as the wedding menu, but we got a pretty good idea of what the quality of the food will be like.
Post # 7
Woah! Look somewhere else for a caterer ASAP! I totally agree, if they can’t get their act together for two people, what the heck is your quality of food going to be like at the wedding?! Flies, gross linens, okay food, terrible customer service. This is a recipe for disaster. People remember the food and the music at a wedding. Those are the two most important things to me. Your guests be driving home at the end of the night and will say ‘Oh man, my chicken was really dry and rubbery, how was your beef?! And what the heck was up with the DJ??? That guy sounded like he was announcing strippers!”. Either call and have a frank and honest conversation with them, or move on and find someone else.
Post # 8
Whoa, I totally think you should find a different caterer! They sounded totally dirty and unhygenic. Flies? Sick cook? Gross! The tasting SHOULD have been a pleasant experience. Besides, the catering is usually the most expensive part, and you don’t want to be paying all that money for crappy food and service.
Post # 9
I don’t really know about the service – that could be just a weird abberation. But yeah, the sick cook and the dirty tablecloth and the flies would kind of gross me out. Plus, you didn’t LOVE their food! I would look elsewhere, and then you can make a real comparison of what is available in your area.
Post # 10
I haven’t gone for a tasting yet but that seems wretched!!!
Post # 12
I think the level of service definitely increases with price. If you are budgeting a decent amount for the caterer, I would not let this happen. If you have a smaller catering budget, I’m not sure if you could find something much better. In either case, it’s worth it to keep looking for sure.
Post # 13
Regardless of budget this shouldn’t happen– they shouldn’t be rude and they should be clean. Keep looking! you will find a company that treats you better.
Post # 14
go with your gut on this one. If you didn’t get a good feeling about it, find someone else.
Post # 15
@GirlWithARing That is actually what I think is going on (we’re only spending ~$50 per person for the food) and is exactly why I probably won’t go with that vendor. In the game of weddings that amount of money might be chump change but its a lot *to me*.
This caterer has a TON of good reviews online and also lots of word of mouth reviews from other vendors. I suspect these come from people spending a lot more than I am spending, however, I don’t think I deserve a lack of common customer service and decency because I’m not spending a ton of money (that I don’t have) on food.
Post # 16
Look for a new caterer! OMG that is completely unacceptable, from the presentation to the service to the food to well, everything! I would be very scared to use them for my wedding day, there’s no telling what you would walk into and what the food would be like. Small or large budget, that shouldn’t happen. Catering is a big expense and you need to know that you can trust them on your wedding day and be happy from the first tasting.
We did our first tasting a few weeks ago and although it wasn’t something from Platinum Weddings, I felt like I was getting the royal treatment and it was a wonderful experience, so much so that we knew before we left that we wanted them. The presentation was amazing, the cooridnator sat with us and along wth the chefs, explained each and every dish, and it just an overall warm and special experience.
Before you book a caterer, they should do a tasting with you, I mean how else do you know if you want to book them and like their food? From looking at booking for the rehearsal, reception, and morning after brunch, every vendor we have called do tastings, and that includes restaurants and hotels.
Keep searching, I’m sorry you had such a terrible experience!!