As we have emphasized before, food is actually one of the most important details of any wedding reception, since honestly, this is one of the top things that guests (everyone to be exact) will remember most on any wedding or event for that matter. Below is our supplier review for our chosen caterer – JOSIAH’S CATERING
- Supplier Rating: 3.75/5
- Mode of Communication: Email, Landline (if needed)
- Contact Person: Ms. Lady Leynes (Sales), Ms. Jolie Alacar (ES)
UPDATED WITH OUR OFFICIAL PHOTOS AS OF APRIL 2017
On our Wedding Preps Timeline post HERE we said that we were able to book our caterer when they were having a Food Tasting event on our chosen venue, La Castellana, through our aunt and cousin who acted as our representatives since we weren’t able to go back to Manila at that time. I have known Josiah’s since I attended an event before with them as the Caterer but I couldn’t remember the taste anymore since that was way back in early 2000’s. Bottom line, we booked Josiah’s Catering out of sheer trust because of their reputation, experience and they also offer one of the most affordable wedding packages which have lots of freebies.
And yes, no supplier is perfect. After we got their Stand-Alone Luxe Menu Package (not paired with the venue) we started to communicate directly with our then-assigned Banquet sales specialist Ms. Lady Leynes. She was the one who my aunt and cousin personally talked to (on our behalf) upon booking but she was well aware that it is us, who, she will be communicating with after the bridal event. Since we are overseas, we were only able to communicate via email and so far Lady is very prompt with her replies.
But then while reviewing our contract, we found out that Lady “seemed to forgot” to include three (3) items in our package freebies in the final contract and then when I asked her about it she told me that they can’t give it to us anymore since we already availed of the 10K cash discount promo which can only be availed when you reserve on-the-spot during their food tasting fair. Now, that’s so contradictory to what they’ve informed us prior to the booking! Bigla sila nagbago ng isip? Although we weren’t in the bridal event physically, we were well-informed about everything that is offered to us on that day since it is us who were communicating with them directly through emails and international calls. Prior with the reservation, I was also able to talk to their supervisor, Ms. Joanne who informed us that if we will book on that event, we will get the 10K discount offer + the 10 other freebies. So, this confused us. After a couple of email exchanges and international calls (landline, since they don’t have skype or Viber number), we were both really disappointed to the point that we demanded to talk to the supervisor again to be able to sort things out. From that time on, I became more OC in dealing with them.
We have googled the best caterers in the country before and Josiah’s was one of them, both with good and bad feedback. We are, of course, happy to know they still have great reviews from past clients but with what just happened after paying our non-refundable 20K downpayment, we honestly became “extra cautious” in dealing with them and literally asked everything that we need to know. It may be a simple error, misunderstanding or whatever it is, we’re definitely not stupid enough to know that anything that is written in the signed contract is final especially with caterers like them.
Then, came the time that we were to be transferred to our Event Specialist, who as they explained would be on the wedding day itself. All along I thought we would only transact with Ms. Lady, but then they transferred us to our ES, Ms. Jolie Alacar. Oddly, we weren’t informed about this in the beginning so we were surprised when she transferred our account to Jolie. We only found out about the “transfer” when Jolie emailed us and I re-confirmed it with Lady. Lady even apologized for “forgetting to inform us” that she won’t be handling our account anymore. Take note, this is the second time that she “seemed to forgot” to tell us something very important. Ganun ba talaga sila, pare-pareho makakalimutin?
Moreover, for quite some time, Jolie, like the previous one, was also prompt in replying but at first it’s really difficult for us to communicate with her (language-barrier, actually) so Garry told me to just talk to our new ES in Taglish form and everything was much clearer (with our questions in bulleted form, photos of our pegs etc)! This was also the time when we still haven’t decided if we would be getting a separate event stylist since our budget was so tight. Nonetheless, while working with Jolie, we took it upon ourselves to be more OC on everything from asking our venue about their floor measurements so we would know how the plan really looked like and plan out where we can put the seats, ask Jolie regarding the possibility of offsetting some freebies that we don’t want, crew meal rates, kiddie meal rates, other corkages etc. Also since we’re overseas, we requested for 1 additional food tasting for my parents (July 2016) so they would know how the food would possibly taste like since we can’t go home 6 months before the wedding to initially prepare the dish that we wanted for the wedding.
After my parents have chosen from the list of dishes for our Luxe Package Menu, we made sure to tell our ES that we have yet to personally finalized it on our scheduled Final Food Tasting and Detailing a month before our wedding. Also, since we noticed that for a couple of months we have heard about negative feedback with regards to their styling, we pinpointed that Josiah’s is quite weak when it comes to styling and thus, the client must upgrade in order to get what they really want especially if there’s a theme. In our case, we initially asked our ES about any upgrades and for our theme, we need to pay more to probably get what we want. It even came to a point that we felt that we needed to change our caterer but Garry told me that we need to trust them and after talking to our coordinator, Ayie, she told us na sayang din ang deposit and bantayan na lang ng bongga!
On the day of our Final Food Tasting and Detailing last November 2016, our ES was prepared enough to answer all our possible queries and us, on the other hand, have a list of questions to ask just in case there would be possible issues. We even took the initiative of getting the floor plan and measurements from La Castellana and did our reception floor’s draft from the one that Jolie did na obviously templated sa iba. Since we prefer specific things, we decided to do it ourselves until we managed to distribute it to all our suppliers who will work on the reception. So far she was really keen with all our questions, with the things that we want, our expectations and requests. We told her na madami kami alam na negative feedback sa Josiah’s but we hope those things won’t happen to our wedding.
During the wedding day itself, the food was okay just as how we instructed them and they served the dishes that we have selected as part of our final menu. We also gave Jolie a couple of chocolate and traditional sweet treats from Kuwait to be served to the guests. We also infBelgianolie during the meeting that our cake supplier Honey Glaze wanted the 2 big edible Belgian chocolate cakes to be displayed on the dessert table and it should be sliced in front of the guests and not in the kitchen. It’s a special tip from our cake supplier that we remembered since they said that some of their previous couples had issues with caterers and their staff taking home excess cake which should have been served to all of the guests in the wedding. Also, we informed our ES Jolie that we ordered Lechon from Lydia’s who is a separate supplier but paid extra for the Lechon chopper who would be coming from Josiah’s staff.
So far, wala kami reklamo from the VIP tables where we paid extra waiters for the Russian-style service because they were very polite and efficient in assisting us though we do hear a couple of comments from the other guests in the non-VIP tables (see the cons below).
- Good installment scheme and online bank transfer payment portals (they have both BPI and BDO).
- The waiters were all polite
- The waiters at the VIP table were really good at handling our guests’ requests. We only hear praises about them.
- The head waiter himself served me and Garry our food twice during the wedding – during our retouch and while there were intermission numbers when we were led to sit on one of the VIP tables
- The set of food that they served was delicious and everything (especially the taste) that we personally requested during our final food tasting were followed. This was actually something that exceeded our expectation that night because we already braced ourselves for any possible issues because of what we know beforehand. Some of our guests still rave about their pasta and chicken
- We almost lost 3 of our freebies because our first specialist “forgot” to put it in the signed contract. When we asked about this she said her supervisor didn’t allow it anymore because we already got the cash discount but informed her again to remember that it was all promised to us prior the reservation that’s why the day after we talked to them via email we quickly managed to come up with the deposit to book the deal. So it was frustrating that they’re backing off from their initial deal. Sa umpisa pa lang we felt wala sila isang salita at pwede nila mabago yung details ng contract if hindi ka ganun ka detailed and observant sa contents ng contract
- Our ES Jolie is actually more efficient that Lady our Banquest Specialist before but looking back at our transaction, the initiative to ask about any update would always be coming from us, the client. Kung hindi pa kami mag-email to ask about things lalu na nung 3 months na lang before the wedding, hindi pa kami tatanungin about the schedule for our Final Food Tasting for example or if may floor layout na ba kami or kung may other inquiries pa ba kami na hindi namin naiintindihan about our packages.
- We were forced to get a separate Event stylist because of the negative feedback that we have known regarding Josiah’s styling, some about their food na magkaiba sa food tasting versus sa real wedding, incompetence ng staff, pagtatago ng food kahit hindi pa tapos ang wedding etc. Na-stress talaga kami dito for months to the point na we almost changed caterers because of these issues!
- On the wedding day itself, majority of our guests told us after the wedding that they weren’t informed about the cocktailfood in the cocktail area so not every was able to avail it. We don’t know if this is the OTD Coodinator’s fault or their fault.
- On the wedding day itself, some of our entourage and those sitting on the non-VIP tables were not able to eat any soup and salad because the server said that there’s no more food left. Nagjoke yunh iba na nagkaubusan daw. They ask on-the-spot why is it like that since our guests also know about the 10% buffer, but the waiters’ only response was “hindi po namin alam“. We know we have 10% buffer so this is really odd! We informed Josiah’s about this after receiving this comment but they simply apologized and said they didn’t know about this.
- Our guests, who are not in the VIP tables also noticed that some of the waiters broke a couple of glasses and felt that they were amateurs since they seem like they don’t know what they’re doing. Muntikan pa mahulog sa dish yung isang food that was about to be served because of the waiter’s carelessness.
- REVIEW YOUR CONTRACT THOROUGHLY. Take the issue we had with our sales specialist, Ms. Lady.
- Ask everything and anything that you can think of with regards to your package with them. If you don’t want a free bridal car for example (since you already have a separate one), ask if you can have it OFFSET to something else like crew meals. That’s what we did and it saved us money.
- Convey in a language that both of you and your assigned ES will understand. Kung pakiramdam mo hindi kayo magkaintindihan masyado, mag tagalog na lang at ipakita ang pegs! Be visual about everything. Prepare your checklist in word format, isulat mo on paper or even make pdf files with images para mas madetalye.
- Always use your Email to communicate with them especially when you send all your instructions and details for the wedding. This is the only proof that you have of your conversations which is really ideal and recommended for overseas based who can’t be physically present to meet with the Events Specialist (ES).
- For your final details, instructions and changes, always CC your Coordinator in your email so they will be informed about your transactions with your Caterer’s ES.
- Always schedule your food tasting ahead of time so you can make any possible changes if there is a need to change.
- ALWAYS ASK! Have a list of all the questions (corkages, wedding timeline, waiters details etc) you have in mind especially during your Food tasting and detailing. Also ask them about any negative feedback that you’ve read and make sure that to inform them that you hope it won’t happen to your wedding.
- During your meetings do not forget to inform them about your “realistic expectations” and try to build a good relationship with your ES since just like your Coordinator, your ES will be your other wedding BFF since he/she will be responsible for the outcome of your Catering. Lambingin niyo ang ES when asking for requests or details at kausapin ng maayos kapag may problem, huwag awayin! Remember, food is life!
Better be prepared than sorry on your wedding day.
Josiah’s Catering Inc.
+63 2 435 1213