A (Crazy) Conversation with a (Crazy) Caterer

(Note: This post contains strong language.  If you are offended, I am truly sorry, but I warned you.  And I have a potty mouth. And I taught my sister everything I know.)

You know that dream that young girls all have?  You know the one.  Where we wake up and it is a fairy tale, and we have a beautiful wedding, and we marry the man of our dreams, and we live happily ever after?

No one mentioned dealing with idiot caterers. 

Cinderella may have had to deal with her evil step sisters and step mother, but bring those bitches on!  Give me them ANY DAY than another stupid caterer.  Please. 

Here is my conversation with aforementioned unprofessional caterer.  Imagine a very gruff and manly voice coming at you over the phone.  (I have changed her name, although I am not sure why I am being nice.  Maybe just trying to avoid a law suit because this lady is cray-cray.)

I called the number provided on a wedding website, and no one answered.  I was going to leave a message, but the unprofessional message freaked me out so much, I just hung up and thought: MOVING ON!  The message went something like this in monotone, sotto voce: “You have reached Chef Deborah at Insert Boring and Unimaginative Catering Name Here. (long pause) We aim to please. I like to cook. (long pause) Please leave a message and I will call you back.  (long pause) Thank you.” But then I got this phone call:

Crazy Caterer (CC): Hello? I just got a call from this number?

Me: And who is this?

CC: You called me.

Me:  I have been calling a lot of people.  What is your name?

CC:  *SIGH* Chef Deborah.  And YOU are?

Me:  (Remembering I didn’t want to deal with this crazy lady.) Uh, Felia.  I am calling caterers for my wedding in August.

CC: What day? I’m really busy at that time of year, you know.  You need to call really early to book me.

Me:  Well, it is August 17th, and I thought 6 and a half months should be sufficient time. (By now, I was hoping to God that she IS booked, and I can just hang up now.)

CC: Oh, well, I don’t have anyone for that day.  How many people are you expecting?

Me:  Around 140.

CC: What kind of food do you want?

Me:  We are actually looking for ideas?

CC: Do you have a budget?

Me: Yes.

CC: Well? What is it?

Me:  It is “Insert Arbitrary Number that my Parents Have Arbitrarily Decided Upon.”

CC: *Snort, giggle, laugh, cough* Yeeeeeaaaaaaah.  You aren’t going to be able to do anything nice for that much money for that many people.

(Now, I realize in hind sight, I should have just hung up on the crazy right then and there, but I was so surprised and flabbergasted, I just sat there, staring at my notes. Also, this was the first caterer I spoke with, so I thought maybe she had a point. And in my head I was imagining the conversation I was going to have to have with my parents: “The caterer scoffed at me! Whhhaaah!” )

Me: Okaaaaaaay.  What do you suggest?

CC: Well, we could do a beef brisket for that price.  But nothing really else, because it will be too pricey for your small budget.

Me: (Brisket? Isn’t that what you make corned beef hash out of?) OK, what other ideas do you have?

CC: What is your favorite food?  Like out of everything you ever eat, what is your favorite?

Me: Sushi and pizza, not necessarily together.

CC: *Scoff, snort*  NOW you are getting into appetizers and that is REALLY going to throw your budget off.  I’m talking side dishes.  What kind of side dishes do you like?

Me:  *Getting defensive now* Well, YOU asked me what I liked, not what kind of side dishes I liked. 

CC: Well?

Me: I guess I’d like a potato of some sort.

CC: OH!  Great.  I have a great idea for that.  We could do a mashed potato martini bar!  You put mashed potatoes in martini glasses and the guests can put whatever toppings they want on it. 

Me:  (Thinking of the COST of renting that many martini glasses and how martini glasses DO NOT go with our theme AT ALL, which she never asked about) Don’t you think that is a lot of money for an appetizer?

CC: No!  This will fit perfectly.  Now, have you talked to any other caterers?

Me:  I have an appointment with one on Saturday, but no, you are the first.

CC:  Well, I would appreciate it if you didn’t mention my mashed potato martini idea, because that is kind of MY idea, and I don’t want any one to steal that idea.

(Really? It’s YOUR idea? Cuz that shit is ALL over the damn internet. Google search it.  I’ll wait. Doo doo, dee doo.  You’re back?  Yeah, real ORIGINAL, right? Real UNIQUE, right? Yeah.)

Me:  I used to work in the industry. I know how it works, and I promise I won’t tell any of the caterers.

CC: Great. Now, let’s make an appointment.

Which I do, but only to get her off the phone.  And she wants to come to my house.  Which means I have to clean MY house to accommodate HER.  This just keeps getting better and better.

I finally get off the phone with her.  And I text my sister.  I allowed her to “chew her ass.”

  1 3 2

This is why I love my sister.  She gets all honey badger for me, when I am too overwhelmed to do it myself.  And she is a lawyer, so she can threaten people way more professionally than I can!

I then called another caterer, who could do a lovely tri-tip with four sides, rolls and butter, and a coffee service for only a little over the budget.  Another caterer and I came up with a BRILLIANT menu, one that I want to keep secret for a while, for exactly my budget. And this lady wants me to think I am crazy for wanting something nicer than mashed potatoes in a freaking martini glass.

THIS is why we have Bridezillas.  Not because brides are selfish and crazy, but because for a YEAR we have had to deal with crazy people, and by the time the wedding rolls around, we are so fed up with ANYTHING that we will kill on sight.  Shoot first and ask questions later. 

In the words of a close friend:  Don’t poke the tiger, people.  Don’t poke the tiger.

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2 Responses to A (Crazy) Conversation with a (Crazy) Caterer

  1. Farie says:

    Love this!

  2. Amanda says:

    I had a similar experience. But I called someone I was familiar with and she had worked in Boise for a while, total bitch. Told me that for my non alcoholic brunch my price per person would get me juice, coffee, A pastry and fruit. I called another lady who for the exact sane price, and I was not skimping on the food budget yo, it was 75% of the budget, got me 4 types of pastries, fruit salad, regular salad, ham, quiche etc etc and on and on send juice and coffee and she was so great I use her to this day for all my work events and have turned several friend onto her and they also use her. There is a very simple lesson to be learned here, future caterers of America, don’t be stupid. Be nice and reasonable and karma will pay you back ten fold. Can’t wait to hear all about the secret menu…. xoxo

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