Mandy · Married on 03/14/2011
1. The food was fabulous.
Sent on 03/31/2011
2. The price was pretty good. $3000 for 230 people, appetizer menu. 6 appetizers, one of each per guest.
3. Some miscommunication, causing them to charge us $230 for water, tea and coffee the DAY OF the reception. It was later sorted out in our favor.
4. Walked in the door 20 minutes before my reception started, guests were already there.
5. Prepared food in front of guests, kind of unprofessional.
6. Overall, okay experience.
Terrace Catering's reply:
We did this wedding with a couple who wanted appetizers only, some served buffet style and some passed to the guests (the guests were on two levels, with the buffet downstairs and the passed appetizers upstairs). The $3000 charge was discounted as an early bird special. Our contract required us t arrive by 6PM, we were parked at 6:03pm according to GPS records and time text on my cell (showing start time in order to figure server time for paychecks). Reception was to start at 7PM. Since this was an appetizer ONLY wedding, drinks are not included as they are with our lunch and dinner menus. THE DAY OF the reception at 10:50AM, the bride wrote and called us asking to add water, tea, coffee, and soda. (the venue was going to charge her $5 per person to provide these items) I responded to her call from the kitchen,where we were preparing her food and told her we could provide water, tea, and coffee; but we did not have the time to pick up soda. She said ok, she would have her husband pick up soda. (they were married earlier this month in Hawaii) I followed up this call with an email saying that we would require a $1 per person fee for providing drinks resulting in a bill due of $230.00. I said I would pay the taxes on it since I had no way of adding it to their contract. I never heard back from the bride. When we arrived that evening at 6PM, I did not see the bride and groom. I did notice them later and asked her if she had received my email. They both said no, so I said there was a $230.00 bill due for the drinks they ordered earlier that day. I said I would appreciate a check either that evening or they could mail it, whatever they chose to do. This was a private conversation in a hushed tone, near the buffet table where I was working. The groom came over later and asked why drinks were not included. I explained that we charge for drinks with appetizers, that this was not in the contract etc. He said, OK, thats fine. (I know, as a caterer, if you do not have it in the contract and have not been paid for it, you should not provide it because you will likely NOT get paid for it. I felt we had a good connection with this client and felt since we were doing them a favor etc. it would be fine.) After the reception, when I wrote them the next day to ask them to pay the balance in 10 days, I got back a nasty note from the bride saying that if I pushed them for the $230.00, they would write poor reviews for my company on google, yelp, and any other website they could find. The bride asserted that she understood the drinks were going to be FREE, though that was never in any email or contract detail. I debated over it for a bit, but in the interest of fair play and customer service, decided to just write it off. It hardly seemed worth all the upheaval. I wrote the bride saying I was sorry she misunderstood, and that I would write off the charge. I also said she was free to write any review she felt best relayed her experience. When we arrived the only people in the venue were the manager, who let us in, the brides mother, and other venue personnel. There was one other vendor setting up at the opposite side of the room. Our contract was to open the line at the couples say so, approx 7PM. The coffee which takes 20-25 minutes to percolate, was ready to serve at 6:30PM. The line was ready to open and we had servers upstairs passing appetizers at 7PM, but the groom actually opened the line closer to 7:30PM. The venue did not have a kitchen or backroom for staging. The venue manager even said she had never had so many tables in the place. it was very tight quarters and we were stuck working off the tops of our coolers and hot boxes to assemble several last minute items. The bride ordered tomato and herb goat cheese bruschetta, which if made in advance gets soggy. We prepped it with the goat cheese in advance and then assemble it on site with the tomato and herb mixture, which is more liquid. These went over very well. The other item that had to be assembled on site was a mini baked potato with marscapone cheese (if assembled ahead of time, the marscapone melts away). This was all explained to the couple at their tasting. At that time, they mentioned that there was a small back room. The back room was a 6X6 closet that housed the heater and water heater, a hot box will not even fit in it. The venue manager did not know she would need a drink table, so that took a few minutes to round up, she also did not have a linen for it, but we had one with us (we do normally charge for linens as well) so we used that. Two staff spent three hours that night hunched over a cooler assembling potatos and bruschetta (that earned raves) in a small hallway adjacent to the bathrooms. I felt horrible for them as I know their backs were really hurting. Two servers walked up and down stairs all night to pass appetizers to guests upstairs. The other two servers assisted guests and kept the line and drink station full. All in all, it was too many people in too small a venue. The venue manager did her best to help accomodate us and even moved a few tables closer to the front to give us a few extra feet. The take away here is that I should never take off the truck what I have not been paid for and being seen as professional is truely a matter of opinion.