10.04.2009

Faith, lost.

(This incident happened a few days ago.)

It was a sad night for Caramel and the people who's put so much hard work, care and love into it.

It all started with a birthday party.

CK, the cook, has been corresponding with a girl and her mum for nearly a month to organize this party. After much discussions and planning, they settled on the $30 per pax package, with a guest list of 30. They asked for the 30 cupcakes included in the package to be customized as birthday cupcakes.

They did a bank transfer a few days prior to the event as deposit.

As Caramel can only hold 40 pax in its full capacity, we closed the cafe to public from 6pm onwards for this party of 30.

Eventually, a total of 17 (including her mum) turned up for the party. They ate, drank, took photos and played games.

After the party, it was time to make payment. They only wanted to pay for 17, because that's the total number of guests that showed up.

We were shocked. We've prepared food for more than 30 pax and turned other customers away to cater to this event. But they insisted that they never agreed to paying for 30 pax even if less than 30 turned up.
If they were to pay for 30 pax, then they should have food for 30! We were more than happy to let them take the additional food home. But they turned around and said they do not need so much food and will only pay for 17 pax because they said what they agreed was to only pay for the number of guests who turn up. This is impossible as I know CK will never agree to such terms because it is simply ridiculous for a business to do so!

A series of arguments ensued and in the end, they settled on paying for 20 pax, took all 36 cupcakes (we made extra), and left.

At this point, it got me thinking: did she really have 30 names on her guest list to begin with? Or was it simply a way to have the cafe closed to public for her party without having to pay for venue rental (required if number of pax is below 30 and you'd still like to have the cafe all to yourself)?

For the past nine months, we've encountered good and bad (more good than bad, thankfully) but this incident is beyond ugly. It is very upsetting and frustrating for me, because I wasn't there at the cafe when it happened and I can't do anything about it now except to express my feelings here.

CK went to 3 different places to source for the special dish they required. We obliged in waiving the service charge and extended our business hours beyond 10pm to accommodate them.

That night, what we've lost wasn't money.

Faith-searching,
Sin

Disclaimer: While the whole incident is true and correct to the best
of my knowledge, further edits required for accuracy of details. The
opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect the positions of Caramel.

10 comments:

Eugenia said...

Hey Sin and CK, I am so sorry that such a thing should happened to Caramel at all.

Do not be discouraged. Perhaps one of the ways to safeguard yourself is to put everything down in black and white?

I love the cupcakes (Apple Cinnamon!!) and you guys are so nice. Things will only get better!

:)

Sin said...

Thank you for your kind words, Eugenia. Yes this is a lesson for us and we've gotten over it and looking forward to more fantastic things to come. :)

mommysam said...

Sin,

This is how ugly people can be. Don't let them spoil your day. They're just passer-by.

I know it's just irritating to meet this kind of people. You guys handle it professionally:)

Still have not go to your place. Bad me! I will try to go once I recover from my flu. Don't want to spread virus.

Nice new deco=)

Love,
Samantha

Sin said...

Thanks Sam, looking forward to seeing you and get well soon! :)

Steph said...

Hi,

I happened upon your blog post, and have been to caramel a couple of times. Just a note of encouragement for the great work that you guys have been putting in :) I appreciate the lovely space that you guys have created, and enjoy every visit there. Am sorry that such a nasty incident had to take place, all the same, please do know that there are others out there who appreciate your hard work and dedication making life that much more special and enjoyable :)till the next visit!

stef

Sin said...

Hi Stef,

Thank you for your words of encouragement and we really appreciate it. It brings us tremendous joy to know that Caramel has created such wonderful experience for you. We look forward to your next visit! Take care! :)

Nik said...

I am apalled! However am glad you guys handled things well under such adverse situations! Will be back for more for those scrumptious cup cakes!

CARAMEL FTW <3

Sin said...

Thanks Jeanette! We've moved on since then and channelled our energy towards baking more yummy cupcakes haha!

Cloud 9to5 said...

Its so sad to read about such incidents! Some people here just don't have any manners! Can CASE association do anything with all the email correspondences? This sounds like a case of plain lame excuse from the mother & daughter. As an independant crafter, I myself have had bad experiences with some customers myself so i always insist on at least a 50 percent deposit for projects in case customers go back on their words and play "truant" on their part of the deal. This is not much of a guarantee either but they will get their "just desserts" sooner or later one way or another. Take heart and keep the faith!

Sin said...

Hi Cloud, we've since tweaked our booking policy to safeguard ourselves. Thank you for your encouragement!