Let’s talk a bit about catering…
We were ecstatic that we had found a caterer the first time out. My FMIL and FFIL had recently attended a wedding that they had catered, and they had rave reviews for them. The sales manager was gay, they had catered for other same-sex couples, and when we met the owners they were really nice so we felt really comfortable with them. But there was a catch: we could not taste their food before signing a contract and laying down $2,500. That made me kind of nervous, but as I said they had great reviews, FMIL and FFIL were still raving about the food, and they seemed to have their stuff together.
So in September we asked them to put together a contract. We decided that we were OK laying down a hefty deposit before tasting the goods. So we waited…
October passed and we hadn’t heard anything. I sent an email just to check in; we were way ahead of the game and totally understood they might have more pressing events. The response we got back confirmed that they were “super busy” and were working on our contract—OK, no problem.
November passed and we hadn’t heard anything, so again I sent an email to check in. This time we didn’t receive a response—kind of concerning, but it was the holiday season.
December we received the quote and contract. For a little background, we told them that we love food and most of our guests are lovers of food, we really liked local cheeses and would love a cheese board during the cocktail hour, we didn’t like mushrooms so much, there are a fair number of vegetarians invited, we like just about any kind of ethnic food, oh, and we didn’t want seafood because Kansas City isn’t really known for its seafood (and we happen to live near the ocean).
So when we were reading through the proposal it seemed a bit disjointed: cabbage salad, pulled pork, quesadilla stations, no cheese board, mushrooms were in a few things. So all in all the menu needed to get pulled together a bit and we needed to talk with the caterer again for shiz. I was a bit nervous, not going to lie—this was a big chunk of change, we were going in blind, and it sounded really gassy to me. Which was not really how I envisioned feeling at the wedding.
Image via Cigar Pass
So we were talking with the caterer and I mentioned that we would like the menu to feel a bit more pulled together and be less gas inducing. His response: “Yeah, I kind of threw the menu together.” What the *^%$&^%*&!!!
In three months you threw the menu together? Our food budget is definitely not huge, but it could buy a solid well running car, or it could easily buy Sweetie Scone another motorcycle that she would love and adore…so that line really didn’t sit well with me. I was in high-end sales for years. I may or may not have expectations of vendors, and one of those expectations is not “throwing together a proposal” at the last minute when they are looking to make $6,000–$10,000. With those expectations I generally also set a pretty high bar for how I behave as a consumer, as long as they at least show a little initiative (hence not throwing them to the curb after three months of silence immediately).
We ended the call, had a lot of conversations between the two of us, and reciprocated the lack of communication: We didn’t write him back. Yes, perhaps it was a little juvenile that we didn’t write back right away, but we needed some time to think. After a month we were still not excited about that transaction. He sent a note to check in, and at that point we decided to keep looking and we let him know that it wasn’t going to work out. We didn’t explain that it was based on that conversation—we just let it go.
So we went back to square one with 18 months to go. Boy are we ever thankful we made that decision and that we had that experience with them, because we are BEYOND EXCITED about our caterer and cannot wait to share details about the delicious food for our reception!