Eat & Smile Catering Reviews

109 | Washington, DC
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109 Reviews for Eat & Smile Catering

Recommended by 97%

109
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4.8 out of 5.0
  • Quality of service 4.8
  • Professionalism 4.8
  • Flexibility 4.9
  • Value 4.8
  • Average response time 4.9

19 User photos

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  • A

    safaa · Married on 07/28/2015

    4.4
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      4.5
    • Flexibility:
      4.5
    • Professionalism:
      4.5

    best service ever, incredible food, love it

    Sent on 08/31/2015
  • Maya

    Maya · Married on 05/24/2014

    4.2
    • Quality of service:
      4.5
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.5
    • Professionalism:
      4.0

    Eat & Smile General Impressions
    • Timely in response to my million e-mails containing questions regarding timelines, menu planning, questions with regards to the kitchen available at the venue, etc.
    • Unlike the big box caterers in DC (Occasions, Ridge wells, Windows, etc.) Eat & Smile is more of you pick what you want and need and they help to put together exactly what you are looking for – however, with that you need to be mindful of costs as they are individualized vs. one lump sum (recommend maintaining a detailed spreadsheet with your costs)
    • Oliver is very friendly and flexible in helping to build your menu and plan your event
    • Alcohol and general rentals are not available at E&S thus requires more coordination with additional vendors
    • My overall impression is that guests did like the format and the food however, I think we could have used additional / heavier
    • Catering staff was very friendly and we were extremely happy with the service on the day of

    Eat & Smile Passed Hors D'oeuvres Format PROS:
    • Food warm is available to guests throughout the event unlike a plated dinner
    • Guests are able to choose from a variety of foods which is particularly helpful for guests with dietary restrictions
    • Costs are reduced as you do not need to rent utensils, plates, etc. (consider having enough seating for older adults even though the meal isn’t sit down)

    Eat & Smile Passed Hors D'oeuvres Format CONS:
    • Unlike a sit down dinner keeping to your timeline of events (special dances, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc.) can be more tricky as you really need either a coordinator or bridesmaid to stay on top of things and alert you when it is time for any of your events
    • Tables can look empty without dinnerware – suggest wide centerpieces
    • Guests can be a bit confused as to when and what food is available – printing the menu can placing it on the seats at the ceremony or at the reception can help!

    Sent on 01/05/2015
  • H

    Hilary · Married on 10/15/2011

    4.2
    • Quality of service:
      4.5
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      4.5
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      4.0

    All local foods. All delicious. Highly recommend Chef Oliver.

    Sent on 12/21/2011
  • K

    Katie · Married on 10/03/2009

    3.6
    • Quality of service:
      3.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      2.5
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      4.0

    Professional caterer providing interesting and tasty local food.

    Sent on 10/16/2009
  • A

    Amber · Married on 08/19/2017

    3.4
    • Quality of service:
      2.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      2.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      3.5

    While the food was delicious, there were glaring errors that we couldn't get past. They put our cocktail hour in a different location than we discussed. It was in the back of the building near the parking lot and dumpster. (I have a photo that two of my guests took of them with their cocktails in front of the dumpster). My handicapped mother had to go around the outside of the building to get access because the most immediate route had stairs. I had rented stools to put at the cocktail table for her but they weren't there because all the tables were up on the patio where the cocktail hour was supposed to be. Two guests didn't have a place to sit at their assigned table because not enough chairs were placed at that table. I was served the wrong entree because the wait staff got it into their heads that I was a vegetarian.
    The company apologized and reimbursed us some money but I would gladly give all that money back to not have had the grief and heartache that their errors caused.

    Sent on 09/15/2017

    Eat & Smile Catering's reply:

    Thank you for taking the time to write a review, after a lengthy phone call and several email correspondences. During those, I explained with great sincerity our apology for the things that did not go as planned, and had explanations about why those things happened that way (some in our control, some not). I have already reimbursed you for things that I thought to be fair (offered without you asking for it, but I felt it the right thing to do). However, when I said I wouldn't reimburse a further $200 for the error of another vendor's mistake, who acted completely on his own accord, you threatened to write poor reviews of us. So here we are. I'm surprised that you mention in the review the food being only "so so" because in correspondence, you noted specifically "the food was great". The "rocky start" was due to a delayed ceremony start by your late arrival (not our fault in any way). No guests were "denied entrees" - we fed everyone who was there for food service except the two people who arrived very late in service, and everyone surely had a seat to sit in. Cocktail hour was shifted to a different location because it was deemed hazardous, not fit for service to have that many people in the planned spot, and weather permitted an outdoor location where staff knew was commonly used. Later in the evening, when the whiskey bar opened in that planned cocktail hour space, you commented directly to staff that you thought it would have been too crowded up there had cocktail hour been there. I understand you were disappointed, but I also did my best to work with you after the wedding to resolve that, owning the mistakes our team made, apologizing, and offering compensation. You noted you accepted my apology, but when it came down to it, it feels to me like you were fishing for more money for things that were beyond what was fair. Though it pains me to have unhappy clients even after I did my best to make you happy, I wish you both the best, and I enjoyed planning with you.
  • L

    Leah · Married on 03/28/2015

    3.4
    • Quality of service:
      2.0
    • Responsiveness:
      4.5
    • Value:
      3.0
    • Flexibility:
      3.5
    • Professionalism:
      4.0

    We really wanted to love E&S- we had a great initial tasting and loved their ethos. Unfortunately, picking out our menu turned out to be tough, because we had a series of 2 tastings where we either weren’t served the foods/styles we had chosen (foods were fried that shouldn’t have been, separate entrees and sides were combined unexpectedly, the chef changed sauces or dressings from what we’d selected), or the food was just off- eg, we were served a lasagna that had completely collapsed, and told that of course it would look better at the wedding,

    We also ran into issues about what was included in the contract. We had selected a plated dinner (ie, entree and side vegetable), all vegetarian. In multiple cases, the E&S team would insist that veggies in an entree counted as the side – eg, the veggies inside “Vegetable Lasagna” counted as the side, or polenta cake with peppers on top was both an entree AND a side. At $80+/head, it’s not cool to have to argue about whether a hunk of unflavored polenta counts as an entree the way that a steak would. I'd strongly recommend that vegetarians going with E&S decide on a full menu before signing the contract.

    Anyways, all of these issues sound really petty, and no single one would have bothered us- but the combination of switches/errors and nickel-and-diming was unnecessarily stressful, and on the day of, one entrée choice was indeed different (smaller and less flavored) from what we’d had at the tasting. None of our guests said anything about the dinner–not a good sign.

    To close with the good: with the exception of the food issues, execution was flawless. E&S staff are very responsive, competent, and nice, and did a great job staffing our wedding, flipping the rooms, serving, etc. Their in-house coordinator, Alana, was great. And aside from the menu issues, they did offer a range of creative appetizers and customizable special options. I wish we had better things to say about the actual meal.

    Sent on 11/08/2015
  • B

    Brittne · Married on 05/05/2018

    2.6
    • Quality of service:
      1.5
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      1.5
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      2.5

    E&S manager Katie offered a great vision that was not delivered. Custom menu sounds like a great idea but in hindsight if food is really important to you, do a sample tasting of the actual menu. Doing so might have solved 50% of my problems with E&S because the ethnic fusion meal I wanted was not what I got. The other 50% of my dissatisfaction with E&S was due to lazy servers, lack of attention to detail, and poor coordination. For example, I mentioned several times my nieces' food allergy. Guess what she was served? The allergen salad. There were also bartender issues, and cleanup issues, and display issues. Overall, I was disappointed in E&S. When I mentioned all the issues I had with E&S in an email that included the Wedding Planner, E&S took the planner of the reply email and proceeded to throw her under the bus and blame her for everything. Unprofessional.

    Sent on 06/28/2018

    Eat & Smile Catering's reply:

    I am sorry to hear you were unhappy with some aspects of our service and food. However, because you make some strong accusations, I must respond to several of these points. When you signed a contract 4 weeks before the wedding, I highlighted that we would be in rush mode to pin down details, but we would do our best. Your planner was diligent in working with us to get those details in order, especially as you were planning remotely. The abbreviated timeline of planning along with the fact that you weren't here made it impossible to have an exact menu tasting in time. On your email to me post-wedding your planner was NOT copied on that email, and therefore I did NOT remove her from my response. Perhaps she was BCC'd, but there is no way for me to know. My response would have been the same even if she was visibly copied. You mentioned being unhappy about the layout and decor. I reminded you that those items are not in our domain, and that perhaps there was miscommunication between the planner, venue, florist - the vendors responsible for these aspects. In regards to your niece's salad: we had that special salad set aside. However, there was no seating chart provided, so our team could only do their best to identify her in the midst of food service. Once found, her salad was very promptly replaced with the correct one. Finally, I take strong offense at calling our staff "lazy". They worked quite hard to make the event go smoothly. In fact, they went well above and beyond their duties by moving all of the ceremony chairs from one location to another just minutes before guests were to take seats. I should remind you that this service was not something for which we were contracted, but our staff care deeply about our clients' happiness and did it without hesitation. I wish you and Sudhir the best, and I hope that you'll accept our apology for anything where you felt we fell short of in providing great food and service.
  • E

    Emily · Married on 05/27/2017

    2.0
    • Quality of service:
      3.0
    • Responsiveness:
      3.0
    • Value:
      2.5
    • Flexibility:
      1.0
    • Professionalism:
      1.0

    We had a pretty bad experience with E&S and it ended up putting a shadow over our post wedding bliss. I heard the food was good from my guest (no one brought us any dinner) and they were flexible during the event, but working with them was challenging. During the planning process, I found some of the correspondence to be rude. And after the wedding was over, they were outright aggressive and accusatory when we were trying to find where our alcohol and a few of items were. The post wedding bliss was supposed to be fun, but working with them and getting upsetting/aggressive/rude emails was pretty terrible. I would not recommend using this company for this reason. They wrote emails criticizing the flow of our wedding, making judgement about our guests even though we we were flexible when they made mistakes and when they cancelled our walk through an hour before it took place (even though they know we were only in DC for a few days, from Seattle). They acted like their reputation was untouchable and I regret using them for our wedding.

    Sent on 10/24/2017

    Eat & Smile Catering's reply:

    Thank you for your input, Emily! We are so sorry to hear you were unhappy with certain aspects of planning. We are especially sorry if we ever came off as rude as that is certainly not our way at all! Unfortunately, we have literally only ever cancelled a walkthrough once, and it was for your walkthrough with extenuating circumstances due to our team member running an extremely high fever and being too sick to attend. Fortunately, your venue is one we know quite intimately to be able to give good guidance, and we were still able to reschedule that walkthrough before you left town. Concerning the alcohol, when you contacted us a full week after your wedding to ask about it, despite us letting you know on various occasions that it was NOT in our domain to look after leftover alcohol (we do not supply, transport, or retain alcohol), we did out best to find out information by asking each and every staff from your event as well as venue staff any information we could find to share with you. We truly tried our best, and are sorry that it fell short. We wish you and Jonah the best!
  • User4936312 · 2+ years ago

    0.4
    • Quality of service:
      0.5
    • Responsiveness:
      0.5
    • Value:
      0.5
    • Flexibility:
      0.5
    • Professionalism:
      0.5

    Dishonest company. I am incredibly disappointed in the fact that they have lied to me about my bill and do it with such arrogance.

    Sent on 12/02/2015

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