Post # 1
So the food is actually pretty good, but the caterer itself is disorganized and unprofessional!
The reason why I chose this caterer is because our (prospective) venue has a “required caterer” list and it was the only caterer that does Mexican cuisine (very important!). Additionally, it’s much cheaper than the other ones.
I had sent them an email to get more info but never got a response. My wedding planner then attempted to contact them for weeks by leaving emails and voicemails and such. They got back to her about a month later telling her they couldn’t help us because “they were too busy with graduation parties”. She was persistent and finally spoke to the catering director (or something like that) and was able to get us the info we requested.
Two weeks ago my planner began contacting them again in regards to some questions and only today was she able to speak to someone (not the director however). I asked the venue if they could please allow us to bring – or at least give us- a caterer that a) specialized in Mexican cuisine and b) was professional.
As you can figure, they’re very strict and suggested we look at the other caterers from the list. It’s been difficult because we absoloutely love the venue and it fits within our budget. I feel like I’m stuck with this caterer. Any suggestions on how I should approach this? I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t care how “tacky” it might be to ask for a discount.
Thank you for reading my very long explanation
Post # 3
I pretty much would just tell them ” look, either you work with me on this or I will be taking my business elce where. It does not look good for you to make me stick to such an unprofessional catering company and it is givrng me serious concerns about the professionalism of your esrabishment, as you chose to associate your name with them.”
Post # 5
Just ask one of the caterers if they’d be willing to try mexican cuisine. I don’t see why they wouldn’t, unless you live up in a mountain holler somewhere lol. But seriously, most caterers should be willing and able to come up with custom catering menus and work with you on the price. My sister works for one of the top caterers in one of the top wedding destinations in the US and she is my go-to girl for these types of questions.
Post # 6
@imalittlebirdie: Thanks, I guess I just need a good way to approach them without being labeled as a “bridezilla” (which I’m not! lol).
@Mrs.babycat: If I could I would!
@sablemuse: Thanks, I’ll take that into consideration
Post # 7
A lot of caterers will do different things then their standard wedding menu. All you can do is ask!
ETA: Do not work with this caterer. If you are having problems beforeyou have even hired/paid for them, it will probably not go well.
Post # 8
Most caterers will make you anything you want; you do not have to stick to their set menu offerings. And to be honest, Mexican is not one of the more difficult cuisines to master, so even if they don’t have a lot of Mexican offerings already, a good-quality caterer can put out a nice Mexican meal without too much of a challenge.
(When I say “Mexican cuisine is not difficult to master” I mean it in comparison to cuisines like Korean, Japanese, and Ethiopian which may call for unfamiliar ingredients and technique.)
I would ask the wedding planner to contact 2 or 3 caterers from the list (except the unresponsive ones– forget them) and arrange for a Mexican menu tasting. If you can provide 2-3 dishes that you’d like to appear at the tasting, even better. Mexican is a more diverse cuisine than many Americans realize, so you may want to ask for those carnitas by name instead of falling into the “everything is a burrito” trap. Have your tasting and decide which caterer’s offerings taste best.
Post # 9
I think first things first you need to talk to your venue. They’ve got this person on a preferred list and they shouldn’t be there. Let them know your catering needs, which is why this person was chosen over the others on their list, but they’re flaky and unreliable and you need to choose your own caterer.
Post # 10
@fishbone: Ditto this! When I used to do corporate events, I had a great caterer who was reliable, professional, and flexible – I could call her up with strange requests (breakfast burrito bar at 3am, plated dinner for 30 in a conference room featuring New Orleans style cuisine) and she wouldn’t bat an eye. Do some research on yelp and wedding wire to find out which of the caterers has the best service reviews and I bet they’d be more than happy to set up a tasting for you. Just tell them your budget up front and see what they’re willing to do – if they’re open on that date and they have a good relationship with the venue I’m sure they’d be open to helping you out.
The other vendor is probably cheap for a reason :-/
Post # 11
@starfish0116: Yes, I did that immediately after my planner told me she STILL wasn’t able to get a hold of her.
UPDATE: Don’t know if the management at the venue might’ve spoken to them or something but I personally contacted the caterer and now they’re professional, curteous, and prompt. Let’s hope it’s permanent.
Thanks everyone <3