Sunday, 22 November 2009

AVOID using Crown Catering

Last week, we were married. It was FANTASTIC!!!! The day was perfect! So was the weather and EVERYTHING!
There was just one little thing that seemed to want to put a 'spanner in the works' and that was the so-called professional company Crown Catering.
Its a Sydney based company and I feel it is my duty to let everyone know what happened to us whilst using this company as we don't want it to happen to others.
So here is my Testimonial:

Pre Wedding:

We had organised for all cutlery, glasses and plates to be delivered up before the wedding. Crown Catering informed me that this would be a $100 delivery fee. Sure, I thought, after all, it is my wedding and I want things to go smoothly. Deliveries are made monday-friday and I'd hear from them in the week to know when they would be delivered.

I would just like to add, Crown Catering demands that they have FULL payment 3 days prior to the function. Which ofcourse, I was early with my FULL payment as I didn't want any hiccups.

On the thursday prior to the saturday wedding, I was getting a little concerned that I hadn't heard from them. I called three times throughout the day, only to be told that the person I was speaking to was unable to help me but they took my name and number and they'd get someont to get back to me asap.

Friday. Okay, I was worried now! I called Crown Catering at 9am, 10am & 11am. Oh, they took my name and would get someone to call. Eventually Matt got through to someone in the afternoon, only to be informed that it would not be delivered as it was not on the delivery list! I paid $100 already!!! So, after a lot of telephoning around my brother kindy offered to DRIVE the 2 hour drive to Sydney to pick all the dishes up! He arrived. Oh, the warehouse wasn't ready yet (approx 4:30pm by this time). Eventually the unenthuiastic staff members filled his car for him to drive back up to the mountains for another 2 hour drive in PEAK HOUR!

Oh well, we thought, at least we have everything before the wedding!! We stayed positive even when having to wash and polish all 80 wine glasses and 80 sparkling wine glasses, as we were given new ones that were still un washed!


Chef turns up in his old bomb of a station wagon car, windows wound down as I think its a model that existed before airconditioning was even invented! And ta da, all our food is in this car! It has been since he left Sydney for the 2 hour drive up. I didn't think about it at the time, but I'm sure the health authorities aren't approving of that amount (enough to feed 87 people) of food should be transported without refridgeration!?

Wedding goes well. My Dad, being the sticky beak that he is, goes and looks at the meat roasting on the spit and nearly had a cardiac arrest when he see's the TINY bit of meat roasting away.
"Mate!" he says to the chef, "This is the meat? You cant be serious! There is only about 3kg of meat there. It won't feed 90 people!!!".
"Don't worry", replies the chef. "i've got more pre-cooked meat that I brought up with me from Sydney.

Hmmmmmmm. Why didn't it click with me yet????!!!

Then came time for desserts. We had ordered fruit platters with cream and Pavlovas. Mmmmm!! Oh wait! The pavlovas never showed up!
Oh and I hope you didn't feel like a cup of tea or coffee at my wedding, as even though we PAID for china tea cups and PAID to hire an urn from Crown Catering, these things NEVER turned up!!!!

Never the less, we still all had a wonderful time and had fun! fun! fun! I loved our wedding!!!

Post Wedding:

Without getting into too much description.... 30. yes, THIRTY people fell ill. Mostly on the monday. With vomiting and dirroreah!!!! Food poisoning?? Well thats what my doctor told me! Thats what our friend that ended up in HOSPITAL was also told. And I tell you what, I was so upset to see Liberty (only 17 months old) vomiting uncontrollably eleven times on monday night. Yep, she ate the food.

Oh and our honeymoon?? Well, with Matt, Libby and I not being able to be too far from the toilet at anytime, sadly, we have had to cancel.

I contacted Crown Catering, I've been told that oh, thats never happened before (which bloody bit???!), and can she have it in writing. So I wrote... 8 days later, I haven't heard back. Nothing. Nada!

So, if you are thinking about using a caterer for any occasion, be it a wedding, christmas party, etc etc.
I warn you from experience. DO.NOT.USE. Crown Catering.

Edited To Add: I forgot to mention... all their dirty plates, cutlery, glasses etc are still sitting in the shed on my parents property waiting to be picked up!!! They promised me it would be picked up yesterday. Uhm, yeah, well that didn't happen!


Anonymous said...

Good on ya Jess... Give 'em heaps!!!

Thanks for the heads up!


Siany said...

UNBELIEVABLE!!! Its such a shame that this happened to you as it really was a beautiful wedding.

I REALLY hope you get some kind of compensation for this Jess!

Katie said...

That really is unbelievable, Jess. Absolutely shocking. And the short shrift they've given you after the fact is outrageous!

It was such a beautiful wedding and we all had so much fun; no matter how many cock-ups the irritating fools made (and continue to make) at least they can't take that away from you!

xx katie xx

DarNonymous said...

OMG I had no idea all that had happened! That is so f***ed!
Are you thinking of taking action, you should at least be asking for your money back, especially how unprofessional they are being & not getting back to you! This being their livelihood they should be going above & beyond to address concerns of food poisoning. Can you imagine if people got sick at your folks restaurant & they just completely ignored it?!
What did Department of Health say?
Ok assholes, feel the wrath of the Blogosphere. I'm linking to this now & you should encourage everyone else to do same! I'd even be happy to email a copy of it to the company, just so they can see what word of mouth bad publicity can do to a bizness if you like?

Luke Russell said...

Hey Jess. What a story! Glad we only got the bottom end of it (literally)... Has anyone by any chance sent a link to this thread to the catering company?

amelia rhodes said...

Go Jessy!
that is terrible, it makes me so angry when i hear of companies that give shonky service, especially for a wedding when people are paying a premium price for a (supposedly) premium service. Keep on it and dont let up until you get compensation!

Tilly said...

I saw this link off of Dar's blog

OMG, that is horrible! I hope you are able to take some sort of legal action or get some money back. It's awful that so many people ended up sick too! Lucky it was food poisoning rather than e-coli or salmonella.

It's awesome that you were able to look on the bright side and still enjoy your wedding. Congratulations by the way:)

Debbie said...

WOW, they are truly the caterers from hell! At the very least I hope you get your money back. They should be afraid, very afraid, of consequences even worse!

miss carly said...

first time to your site {im here through three little birds}

will def be calling my friend who is getting married next year to double check who is doing her food.

and will link to this on my blog in the morning.

ohh and will def be back xx

hope all is okay and that you can still enjoy your honeymoon after it all xo

Anonymous said...

What an awful experience! Good on you for outing these turkeys and I hope you get compensated for the way they spoiled your big day.

(linked through via Dar's blog).

Julie said...

Congrats on your wedding Jess and the wonderful baby news!!! How exciting!!!
I have friends that had a bad experience with something and they went to A current affair and it was amazing how quickly it was all delt with.
Hope you get what you deserve from them and the catering company get what they deserve!!!
Cheers, Julie

lusi said...

Jess - that is DISGRACCEFUL!!!! Oh my goodness. Thanks for letting us know but man get onto the authorities for sure...maybe try Dept of Fair Trading? Or call Law Access or the Elizabeth Evarett centre up here. Shonky to the max
Poor Libery and you guys without a honeymmon. So wrong!
love to you,
Lus x

Nicole said...

OMG Jess that is truely horrible. I'd be venting heaps too, what mongrels (would use a few other words here but I'll be nice) I'm thinking that you could get them in serious trouble with the food, cold has to be kept and transported a certain temps but I'm sure you know that from your parents being in the business anyway.

anyway apart from the horrid time you've had to start your marriage I hope the rest is smooth sailing.


Epskee said...

Send copies of your written complaint to:

NSW Food Authority

NSW Office of Fair Trading

and your choice of Sydney Morning Herald/The Age/etc.

Then send copies of these letters to Crown Catering.

Guaranteed immediate action!

PS I would also be notifying them that you are holding their dishes/glasses as security against the refund you surely demanded yet have not yet received! Put that money towards a honeymoon where you aren't all sick!

Brigitte G. said...

oh my gosh Jess,
I can't believe that people say...there's no work these wonder, specially if they don't deliver what theyre supposed to :(

Anyway, just be positive and i guess the rest (thanks goodness!) went pretty smoothly and the weather was perfect !!
(The weather got to be perfect !! ;)

All the best Jess !!

Eriach Afterman said...

Well, I don't know who Jess is, but I sure as h*ll know who Amelia Rhodes is. Amelia, your brain, is shonky.

Give it up Amelia Catherine Rhodes, you are not a diligent socialite, you are just a socialite, and a completely typical one at that.

All you have is your body to go on, so use it well. Or, come to me, I will once again do you right!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jess
So sorry to hear about your experience. I too had a nightmare with Crown Catering when they organised my wedding. Luckily I went with a friend of mine for the food! I am in the process of completing the form to take them to a tribunal and wondered if you had taken the matter any further on your side?
Would love to hear from you

jess said...

Hi Anne,

Im sorry to hear you also had a bad experience with Crown Catering! I was going to take it further with them. I did eventually recieve a $50 cheque from them, no letter of apology or anything, and that didnt even cover the delivery fee they didn't end up giving us. But it made me realise they are a bunch of as*holes and I decided I just didnt have the energy to take it further.

I would love to hear what they did to you! I think its great that you are doing something about it and now I wish I had too as a company like that should be shut down! So unprofessional.

Good luck and I hope you win your case!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Jess,
So sorry to hear about your drama’s with Crown Catering.

I to have recently had a bad experience with using Crown.

I hired Crown to Cater my Engagement Party, as well as so called Chef and a Waitress, so that my parents could relax at their daughters engagement, rather than spend the evening in the kitchen.

They arrived on time at 6:30pm, Guests were arriving at 7pm, and I requested that food start being served at 8pm. When the Chef first arrived she was more concerned with the way I was lighting candles etc, and even rearranged my flowers coz “she thought they looked better that way” Needless to say her concern with things unrelated to why she was hired meant there was no food preparation at all!.

At 8:30pm when not a single piece of food had been served, I asked the question as to when food will start being served only to be told they “weren’t sure” At approx 9pm, the oven had died, as my “Professional Chef” thought she could cram food for 90 guests in the oven at one time, and killed the oven. The only food that was cooked and ready to go were the wedges. The picture on their site shows a noodle box full of wedges. The wedges which were served at my Party were half uncooked, and only around 5-6 wedges were in a huge noodle box, so it looked like someone else’s leftovers!

At 9:30pm when only raw wedges had been served and my guests were extremely hungry, my parents as well as my Aunties and Uncles, resorted to taking the food to their own houses, cooking it, and bringing it back. Meaning my parents and half my family were missing my Engagement Party. There was no food until 10:30pm!!! Meanwhile my Chef was extremely rude to my guests, and when Food finally went out, she felt the need to yell at them and tell them they were only allowed to have 1 of each food item!

When we were cutting the cake, and clearly did not require her unuseful services, she started hassling my 18 year old brother, telling him she was now in overtime and was not leaving until we paid her more money!!! Can you believe it? She barely cooked a thing, and stood around for half the night, then hung back to receive further payment.

Needless to say, it’s now been 7 weeks, and I’m still chasing compensation. My last communication with Crown is that if I do not receive some kind of response by COB today, that I will be taking further action.

I spent my Engagement Party stressing over food, and my parents weren’t even present for their eldest daughters Engagement, and no food was served until 10:30pm, we were so embarrassed our guests had no food and Crowns care factor is zero! There was one person in the company who has since tried to assist, but it still seems to be going no where at all!

It amazes me that these people have not been shut down, I can’t understand how they are allowed to trade. I hope others see this, and re-think using Crown Catering, these people ruin special occasions with no care or hesitation!

C x