The Catering Company Served Too Much Food. I Want a Refund!



Dear Preston:

I just threw my daughter’s wedding. Though it was my first, I think it went well. My only disappointment was with the catering company.

This company suggested that we have a cocktail hour that would include an elaborate buffet (with tons of food) before the actual reception dinner. For that hour, most of the guests stuffed themselves, and by the time they moved into the reception, they were no longer hungry. We had amazing steaks on the menu for dinner, and to my horror, most of the guests were so full from the cocktail hour that they did not even bother eating the steaks I paid a great deal of money for.

I feel that this was such a waste. I was hoping that the catering company would give me at least a credit for the loss of money caused by the wasting of the food, but they are not even returning my call. What should I do?

Way Too Much Food

Dear Way to much food:

You are not the first client who has complained about the excess of food. In fact, this happens in most weddings. I know of many clients who work with a local charity to donate the leftovers as well. As this was your first wedding, it makes sense that you did not know the right amount of food to serve.

However, in the years of being in this business, I have learned that, in many cultures, the idea of “abundance” is showcased in the serving of food at weddings and these clients see it as another way to show their success and generosity to their guests.

I personally do not think that you can hold the catering company responsible for the uneaten steaks. I am sure they were very clear in telling you the amount of food they planned to serve before the wedding. If I were you, I would continue to focus on the wonderful aspects of your daughter’s special day. Extract the lesson and make sure to serve less food the next time you celebrate.

Readers: What is your opinion on this matter? What would your advice be? Am I being too harsh?