Thursday, November 19, 2009

Catering to no one (well at least not us)

When television shows capitalize on the dramatic irrationality surrounding weddings and the resulting violent outbursts, they typically focus on the bride a la my beloved Bridezillas. Vendors are not featured antagonists in this narrative as the bride is typically responsible for her own undoing when she punches her cake or shreds her bouquet.

I think I may have found a new plot line.

In an effort to mobilize wedding efforts, I put in calls and requests for proposals to a variety of caterers in the Denver area. Having worked closely with the majority of these companies for events at Walker when I was working there, I had a pretty good idea of what they had to offer. Last night my commute home contained a series of follow-up calls with reps (a great way to capitalize on the two hour time difference) in which they all sounded fairly enthusiastic about our wedding plans and like they'd be ready to work with us to make it happen.

I guess I should mention that D. and I have something slightly different than the norm in mind for wedding food, as we'd like to opt for neither plated dinners nor the buffet.  Our selection, family style, isn't readily offered by most Denver caterers although it seems pretty prevalent on this coast. Family style for anyone drawing a blank is the equivalent of a holiday meal, food comes on trays and your neighbor has to pass the peas. In my mind, it looks a little something like this...

Or this...

Where you pass the green beans like this...

I think you get the drift. Not too crazy right? In fact a pretty simple model where the caterer essentially carries food similar to that of a buffet to the table (sans chafing dish). Okay I'll get to the point.

After a great conversation last night with a catering rep from Tony Rosacci's catering, I received a call from the manager/owner, Avie Rosacci this afternoon. The exchange went a little something like this:
Avie: "Abbey, this is Avie Rosacci of Tony Rosacci's. I understand you spoke with 'x' last night regarding your wedding reception and wanting to do it family style. I want you to understand the enormous costs of doing a wedding reception that way"
Negative - in fact most of the catering reps I spoke with thought this was a great budget compromise between plated and buffet.
Avie: "You have to understand that you would need to rent china and tables because I have never seen family style off of paper."
 Correct - but we were planning to use china, and we didn't expect our guests to eat off the floor regardless of the dining style we chose - although I guess we could add that in as an additional option.
Avie: "Before I waste two hours on this proposal I want to be sure you are ready to pay at least $100 per guest."
Whoa. Just whoa. This is when I pointed out again that the other caterers I had spoken with had indicated this as a fairly budget friendly option. $100 x 150 guests= not budget friendly.
Avie: "I want to remind you that we consider ourselves a high-end caterer and this would be a waste of our time"
Again with the whoa. Explained to Avie that our other proposals were not in fact coming from Taco Bell, but instead from some pretty recognizable "high end" caterers. To which she responded:
Avie: "Well you have the right to choose your caterer and we have the right to choose our clients and we are declining."
Flabbergasted, I mean really, was any of this necessary? I mean it wasn't like I had just called this chick up and offered to pay her thousands of dollars to do her job, right?

I only wish I had scratched her off my list first.

The story doesn't end there, however. About an hour after my Avie encounter, the catering rep from Rosacci's who I spoke with last night called me. She apologized. Profusely. 

She also told me she refers to her boss as "The Devil Wears Wranglers," and that she had to wait for her to leave the office before calling me. As to what inspired the rage, who knows? Family style can be threatening?

Too bad their food is delicious, and now you'll never get to taste it as I am demanding a full boycott of all things angry Avie Rosacci.