Monroe >Thurman's Food Factory Inc
Good Food; Bad Catering Service.
We just used Thurman's for our wedding reception in Monroe, LA in October 2011. The food was good. The cakes looked just as requested, we gave them photos, and they matched them well. On the food side, they did a good job. However, everything else about hiring Thurman's was unsatisfactory, especially considering we were attempting to work with them from Washington, DC.
1) He was very difficult to communicate with. We left several messages which were never returned. We would leave messages with his assistants which he did not seem to know about. He could only FAX documents, which made things difficult for us. Who has a FAX machine anymore? He did not have the ability to make copies of contracts and menus when we met with his staff. Because we had to rely on the mail for transferring documents, everything took a very long time (especially since we had remind him several times, every time we were waiting for something from him). In other words, he never did anything without several reminders and practically begging from us for him to do his job.
2) We found him rude on several occasions. In particular, we scheduled a meeting in Monroe to go over the final menu details. We flew down specifically for the meeting. When we got there, he had us meet with his assistants and he did not even bother to walk the 10 feet to say hi to us. The fact alone that we had to meet with his assistants when we scheduled time with him was annoying, but that he wouldn’t even say hi to us was unacceptable.
3) We had several detailed requests for how we wanted things done at the reception. We had particular directions on where to setup the drinks and how to serve them (i.e., we made several flavors of lemonade and wanted it served in pitchers with regular glasses, just like other drinks, but instead, he served it all in punch bowls, like punch). This isn’t a huge deal, but it wasn’t what we discussed. And it was many of these types of things where we felt we had agreement, and then it just didn’t happen. We felt like he felt like he had done this for years and he knew how to do it, and he would do it his way. Apparently, he forgot we were the customers, paying him to do things as we wanted. If he didn’t want to do it, he should have told us, not agreed and then not done it. We also had many problems getting a correct menu list. He kept everything in a big, disorganized folder, so they seemed to lose things, and we would need to retell them things. It was extremely frustrating.
4) There was poor communication among the employees. We would talk to one person about something, which later wasn’t reflected in the menu or whatever, and we would call back about it. The next person we talked to had no idea what we were talking about and would take the request again. We had no confidence in them. In particular, my fiancé wanted to surprise me with a groom’s cake. She talked to his assistant about it, and told the assistant it was a surprised. But when we both went in to finalize details about the wedding a couple of days before, he ruined the surprise by discussing the details of the groom’s cake. A small thing, but these things added up. It was a regular occurrence.
5) Another example of Thurman’s disorganization is that after my fiancé met with his assistants to finalize the menu, we waited 3 months for him to send us the final menu and had to call him easily 8-10 times to remind him. When he finally sent it, he sent the wrong one (the first draft menu). This was more than a little frustrating. We couldn’t get him to respond, and when he finally did, he didn’t even bother to make sure he sent the most recent version of the menu.
6) Finally, when my fiancé went to pick up the rented linens for the tables, the assistant wasn’t sure if the ones he had were for our wedding. My fiancé asked him to make sure, and he yelled at her and told her she shouldn’t worry about it. All I can say is that he was lucky I was not there to witness that.
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