Vendor Review – Caterer

(note: this review is absolutely separate from the cake/cupcake review)

Vendor grade: D

We were really struggling with the menu for the reception. We wanted something nontraditional and delicious. We wanted roasted vegetables, meat and something other than potatoes. We wanted a meal that our guests would remember.

We decided to work with Miel y Leche for our reception meal.

istockphoto

istockphoto

I approached Sheela with a price that we were comfortable with (with room to wiggle in either direction, we were completely ready for a counter-price) – a price that was right in the range of their catered meals – and she accepted the price.

I presented my thoughts on the menu:
chicken skewers —– beef skewers
roasted vegetables —– fresh fruit
bread and butter —– couscous
cupcakes
(no drinks were included and we provided our own dishes)

When we met, Sheela suggested we add:
eggplant rolls with mint and chili
quinoa with fruit and nuts

I was all for the additions — how delicious!

When we presented the quote, we were anticipating 150 – 160 guests and MyL was to plan for those numbers, accordingly.

The day of the wedding, dinner started late. The catering team arrived late, so we gave them a little slack. Dinner was supposed to begin at 5, and they pulled up to the reception site at about 4:50 – and started to unload.

Dinner began, and the groom and I decided to buck the trend and continue socializing, with the plan to grab our dinner a bit later.

By the time we went through the line, we were horrified to see that much of the food had run out. There was no beef, no chicken, no roasted vegetables, no eggplant rolls.

My dear husband and I dined on couscous, what was left at the bottom of the watery fruit bowl, and bread. What a disappointment.

The part that really shocked us was that we’d been planning for 150, and we only had about 118 guests eat — 12 of whom were under the age of 10. It seems that Miel y Leche grossly miscalculated the amount of food needed.

On top of it, I heard (after the reception) from several family members that, as food needed to be replenished (bread, skewers, etc), they had to personally go INTO the kitchen, to ask the staff for more. Further, the Miel y Leche crew was apparently just standing around in the kitchen (they didn’t do any clean up for us) – playing on their phones. When I went into the kitchen, they actually offered, “we can run to Jimmy Johns if you want.”

The food smelled good, and looked good, but we (along with about 25+ of our guests) weren’t able to sample everything that was supposed to be available.

I wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending Miel y Leche to anyone looking for a caterer.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Monica Delaney
    May 27, 2009 @ 09:44:30

    Kenzie- what a HORRIBLE experience. I had no idea. I am glad I read this so I dont recommend them to anyone else.

    Reply

  2. A
    May 27, 2009 @ 09:51:26

    Wow, what a disappointment! You should try to get some of your money back.

    Reply

  3. kenziew
    May 27, 2009 @ 11:41:01

    We did try — at first she was like “I wish there was something I could do to fix it,” then that changed to “we planned ahead properly, your guests just ate too much.”

    She also said, “Chowgirls would have charged a lot more.” But they also would have provided enough food and good service. I should have paid more for them.

    We tried to work out some token amount – or something, just because it was our WEDDING — and we had one chance (and we even set out cheese and crackers during cocktail hour, which we provided) to make it right. We were completely embarrassed about the food running out.

    This was an utter disappointment — I now have to contact the people whom I referred her services to, and explain to them what happened, which is also a huge embarrassment.

    Reply

  4. Heidi
    May 27, 2009 @ 11:57:48

    What a bummer! At least the majority of your guests got to eat, even though you didn’t! At least you can hopefully prevent this from happening to any other brides!

    Reply

  5. kenziew
    May 27, 2009 @ 12:00:08

    True — but 1/4 of the guests not getting to eat is pretty awful. Thank goodness we didn’t have the full 150 — we would have had about 1/2 with empty stomachs.

    Reply

  6. Christy
    May 27, 2009 @ 17:57:52

    I am so sorry to hear this! I can’t imagine that huge disappointment.

    Reply

  7. Candy@VeganBride.com
    Jul 26, 2009 @ 09:44:22

    OHMYGOODNESS!!! Mortifying!! Can I references this entry on my blog???
    You are a better person than I, because if this happened & they had the NERVE to make excuses and say your (32 less guests than were planned) ate too much..if I didn’t have a coronary myself, I probably would have given them one (and I’m a church-goin’ chick!!!) Whew! Reading this entry made my spine cringe!! Soooooo sorry for you! Thank goodness we just recently decided to go w/plated (ironically, as a wedding guests I’ve always preferred buffet, because you usually have the choice of SECONDS, & I can pick & choose what I want more/less of or not at all)…however this awful miscalculation makes a girl think 3 times! I’m so so sorry this happened!!!! 😦
    C

    Reply

    • kenziew
      Jul 31, 2009 @ 08:38:10

      Please do reference!

      What’s crazy too is that I referred her to another bride acquaintence, and they used her. She told me after her wedding that one of the “staff” the caterer hired wore a SHORT skirt and no skivvies — and she made a point to bend over. A lot. Ugh.

      Reply

  8. Candy@VeganBride.com
    Jul 26, 2009 @ 09:45:24

    oops…btw, that was meant to read “guest” not guest. 🙂

    Reply

  9. Candy@VeganBride.com
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 12:30:55

    And “reference” not “references” (I swear if you heard me SPEAK, you’d know that I actually speak English! My typing skills are abysmal & add to that, I’m typing 100’s of emails, etc. per day, sorry!! 😦

    Reply

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