Post # 1
Ok this is more of an “I don’t know what to do” than question… We had a contract with a caterer to provide food for our wedding. In the contract it was for 43 guests and stated greek salad as part of the food order. However, they did not give us the salad. It was too late to say anything at the reception as it wasn’t delivered (I had family pick up and they had no clue what to get – they just went off the restaurant’s wait staff who loaded them up). Now the restaurant wants to compensate by offering a gift card, stating that the Greek salad was part of a package and they have no way of figuring how much to refund. Their menu they sell the salad for $5.99 a person.
I don’t know what to do. I love this place and want to continue eatting there, but I feel that a gift card for 2 people isn’t enough to compensate a greek salad made for 43 guests. So I want to know if this has happened to anyone else before and if so, how was it handled? Clearly my contract states 43 guests and a greek salad but how do I go about insisting without being rude?
Post # 3
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
I think it’s time to be a little rude, if they’re not being honest and professional about it. They say they don’t know how much to compensate you for… Well, $5.99 for 43 people is about $258. How much was your total rental bill?
What were the other items in the contract– what was the per unit cost of those? How much did you spend on the catered food?
If you want to send me the info in a message, I’d be happy to put together a quick breakdown for you based on the actual cost & menu cost for the items listed.
But no– I don’t think dinner for 2 is going to cover something as big as forgetting a full item on a WEDDING contract. It’s not like you get a do-over for that one.
Post # 4
What does it say in the contract if the caterer doesn’t supply the contracted food? Is there a catering package that was similar to yours but doesn’t have the greek salad?
I agree that missing a side dish on your catering order should be compensated by more than a gift card.
Sometimes you just have to put your foot down. And if you can’t come to some compromise with them, there is always Yelp and BBB.
Post # 5
I would look at the contract, remind them that you are a repeat customer and simply ask them to do the right thing. They should refund you.
Also are you sure it’s their fault and your family didn’t just leave the salad behind or it wasn’t prepared at all?
If they aren’t willing to work with you then you have good reason not to there I bet there are plenty of great places you can find.
Post # 6
first of all, get your ducks in a row regarding pick-up. Did your family have a list of what they were to pick up? Was the salad there and just not grabbed or was it not ready at all? Who does the contract place the liability on?
Not knowing what it cost is ridiculous on their part. To price the meal in total, they would have had to have added it up at some point. I doubt it’s the $5.99 they charge in the restaurant, but it’s going to total more than a gift card for the two of you.
Once you know how it the salad got missed, I think you go back to them and ask for a partial refund, like PPs said, pointing out that you are repeat customers and they made a mistake.
Post # 7
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
I agree that it may not have been $5.99 worth of salad (could be a smaller portion), but if it’s $4.50, that’s $193- how about asking for a $200 gift card? Does that seem right/fair to you?
Post # 8
@TwoCityBride: No they admitted in an email that their staff forgot the salad (the owners were not present due to a sudden death in the family that day). So it’s awkward to be “I’m sorry for your loss, but this is my wedding”. I don’t want to be THAT bride.
The contract was customizable so there was no per unit cost. It was Persian food (DH is Persian and his family flying in all Persian so I thought a nice gesture as a welcome to the family was to have food they are familiar with). Greek salad, beef kabob, chicken kabob and this appetizer called Naan Sabza or something. It was $18 per head.
Nothing in the contract states what would happen if they did not provide the food. I didn’t even think of that as we have never had issues with them before. But no, they defiantly admitted fault. Her exact words: “Yes it was my staffs mistake, in last Saturday my auntie past way and we were not able to be at the restaurant at the time of delivery and also have other catering, probably our staffs mixed up with other catering. “
Post # 9
They’ve admitted fault and it really comes down to this: You paid for food that included the greek salad and they didn’t provide it. They need to figure out their costs per person for this and refund you that money. I wouldn’t even take a gift card for a place that I loved, but I’d still go back for the occasional dinner just like I had before the wedding.
Post # 10
@juliette.eliza: I could send you a copy of the contract so you can see. It was originally for 40 people but I have emails back and forth where we added 3 more adults for a total of 43. I don’t have a new contract with the 43 listed and I’m ok with losing 3 people in the total if need be, I just feel awkward because of the situation (her Aunt dying) and I don’t want to be rude or crass… but at the same time I feel the money we spent (over $800) should be compensated somehow.
Post # 11
@ggeurin: Given the fact you only ordered 4 dishes from them, and they overlooked one of them after you paid, i’d look at it that way, and tell them you want 25% back. They probably won’t do that (food costs have salad as being one of the cheapest items for any restaurant), but you can go in and ask for that as a starting point. Then, there is always yelp.
Post # 12
Really at $18 per person for the meal the salad couldn’t have been very much of the cost. Since you really like this restaurant and they had a family emergency I would let it go. I’m not absolving them of their mistake but they are offering you something in return. 🙂
ETA: How much of a gift card are they offering you?
Post # 13
I used to work as a chef and restaurant manager so I can ballpark the “value” of the salad.
You had three courses: appetizer, salad and entree (even though there were two choices of kabob, they did not make you 43 portions of beef and 43 portions of chicken; they made you 43 portions total, half beef, half chicken). I would weight the main as 60% of the per-head cost, and the salad and appetizer at 20% each. So the ballpark weighted value of the salads would be around $3.80 per head or $163.00.
Since it sounds like a local, small, independent business, I would be a little more flexible with them than if it were a big chain like, say, Olive Garden. I’d ask for their choice of either $150 cash refund or $200 in gift card.
Post # 14
Ok it was beef kabob, chicken kabob, greek salad, plain basmati rice w/ saffron, shirin polo (a fancy, sweet rice) and then the Naan & Sabzy… $18 per person. That’s what the contract states.
Post # 15
I would think that a gift card would be a good compromise. Somewhere in the $75- $100 range?
While the forgotten salad doesn’t have much monetary value, your guests missed a course, which maybe made the meal less filling and fancy?
Post # 16
Don’t let your sympathy for the dead relative sway you from pursuing this. It’s sad that they had a death, but they are running a business. You paid them your hard-earned money to receive the agreed upon food.
They messed up, you should be compensated. Be polite and all that, but I wouldn’t give them a pass because an aunt died.