Friday, January 22, 2010

We've got food!

We have a caterer! Now that's secured, I can post up a negative review of Angie at Zen Peninsula on Yelp! Sheisty Chinese people!

I was set on having 10 courses...and Chinese food. Because I like food. And good food. And when I think Chinese banquet I think 10 dishes. I didn't want American food since it's typically fish or steak and done in mass quantity just doesn't turn out good.

And then I wanted that Chinese food at our reception location because I didn't want people to have to drive from the ceremony to the reception dinner.

Looking for a Chinese banquet caterer that will cater off site in the San Francisco Bay Area wasn't easy. This is pretty much the results of a Google search:

Do I want to eat this?

Ok, Zen Peninsula
They also happened to be on my venue's preferred caterer list. And the cost? It seemed super reasonable with menus for 10 course meals for 10 people from ~$500-700. Score right? WRONG! 

So ya, some Chinese people don't really speak English all that well...but this step on their Banquet How To is VERY representative of their communication and customer service skills. 
9. Post signing, please stay in touch by visiting us frequently for dim sum and dinner. Thus we get more business yet you know we are still in business. That is why we often named our customers "the bride and the groom" in Chinese because they are all our bride and groom in past, present and future time...
Would you want a caterer for your wedding that tells you to eat at their restaurant to make sure they are still in business for something is being planned months and months in advance?

And the $500 price tag? A TRICK!!

If you want it offsite...Zen adds $270 catering fee...for "on site chef and server team (four hours banquet time), corkage, lazy susan, linen, dinnerware and glassware.  For the $498 menu, the total cost food + catering + tax and tip = 1009.15." 

$1009.15! Sticker shock!! That's double the price! And $50 of that $270 fee is a corkage fee. FIFTY DOLLARS PER TABLE!?! To open a bottle?!! Even Gary Danko is a bargain in comparison at $35!

Angie's emails totally came off snarky. Understand that a bride will have a lot of questions and try to save where she can. No need to keep replying that you are 'High End'!! Like so...

Hi Angie,
Your corkage and bartending fee is quite a bit higher than another caterer I was considering who was charging $20 corkage and $25 per hour for bartending. Your fee for the dinnerware and glassware is more than twice as much as the rental companies I have looked at. Are you willing to lower your price points?
Thank you,
We are going to be cooking their on 12/12. You are more than welcome to see how we bring a mobile kitchen and cook there fresh instead of delivering food in a warm box. Our pricing is for the total package as we bring the restaurant over. I am sure the reheat food or buffet vendor have more economy pricing.
Thank you for your inquiry! Good luck!
Reheat food?!? Buffet vendor??!? Economy pricing?!??!?!?

This is $10-15 THOUSANDS dollars worth of food we're talking and you're telling me that I'm looking for economy hot plate food?!?

Thank you but I DON'T NEED 10 COURSES!!!