Cornhusker Beverage was hired to provide bar services at our sons wedding. They ran out of liquor and did nothing to take care of the situation.
Our son got married on ***************** and Cornhusker Beverage, **************************, was hired to provide the bar services for the reception held at the *************. The bill for the liquor ($*******) was paid a week prior to the wedding. The reception started around 6:30pm, immediately after the wedding service. Three bartenders set up and manned the bar.
At 9:20pm, following dinner and long speeches, one of the bartenders came to let us know that the liquor was running low. I asked what time the reception was over and she said 11:00pm. (Later we found out it was 11:30pm). She said that they could go and get more liquor but it would take 45 minutes to an hour to go to ******** and by the time they got back, the reception would be nearly over. She did not tell me that they were out of wine. She said they had plenty of beer. I asked what they do in situations like this and she said try to make it last. It was decided that they would go ahead with what they had.
Towards the end of the reception we learned that:
*The bar ran out of wine before dinner and at that time, liquor lasting for the duration of the reception was questionable.
*All liquor, except beer, was gone by 10:00 pm.
*Some of our guests pitched in money and went to ******* in the ********** to buy wine and liquor. They were back in 15 minutes. We found out who paid for liquor and reimbursed some that evening and others through the mail on Monday.
*Some guests left the reception when the bar ran out of liquor, thinking the reception was over.
Monday morning *************, we called ***********, owner of Cornhusker Beverage, to talk about this situation. He was unaware there had been a problem. *** said he would talk with the bartenders, find out what happened and get back to us.
We did not hear from *** so, on *********** we called him. It appeared that he had not talked with the bartenders as he did not have any answers to, or details of, the problems we experienced that evening. Instead of an explanation of the cause of the problems, *** thought we should take some of the blame for the situation, and that we should have checked during the evening to see how things were going at the bar. *** also said we selected the bartenders and it wasn't a strong team. Each family, the bride and groom's, knew a bartender that was employed at Cornhusker and we each requested a person. If *** was concerned about the strength of the team, he should have selected the 3rd person as a lead person for the bartending team or discussed with us before the wedding that he had concerns about the strength of the team.
*** also said the bartenders couldn't just go out and buy liquor because they didn't know if they would get reimbursed. Since each family knew a bartender, 2 of the bartenders knew we would pay for the additional liquor. Since they ran out of wine before dinner and the liquor was low, they could have asked us during dinner and we would have given the go ahead to purchase more liquor and paid for it. They had plenty of time to take care of the shortage of liquor and wine.
In addition to our call, our son, the groom, called *** two times between ************* and ***********. One time he was on hold for 10 minutes and had to hang up and the other time he was on hold for 30 minutes and again, had to hang up.
We feel very strongly that the bartenders should have gone to get wine and liquor during dinner. They could have easily restocked the bar and would have never missed a beat for a great reception. We have never been to a wedding where they ran out of wine and liquor. We have been to a number of weddings where they were running short and the bartenders made a run for more liquor.
Many of our family and friends who attended the reception were aware of the poor service provided by Cornhusker Beverage. They have asked us what Cornhusker has done to rectify the situation and are shocked at the lack of response on the partof ***********
This situation was an embarrassment to us, our son and his wife, and her parents. Because of the severity of this and the lack of responsibility on the part of Cornhusker Beverage, we requested that half of our payment for liquor and bar services (the total bill we paid was $*******) be refunded. *** said that he could not take a loss like that and he said he would refund $***-$***. We said that was unacceptable and that he should take a loss on this job because of the very poor service that we received. We have not heard back from *** since we called him on ***********.
We feel *** ******* should explain what happened and why, taking responsibility for the lack of services and that he should refund half of our bill, which would total $****.
Thank you for considering our complaint.
***** and ***** *******
Accommodating our customers has always been a top priority in our business.
We take a lot of information from our clients before proposing a quantity of liquor that should be purchased for their event. If we are told that this is a "beer drinking crowd" we propose they buy more beer than other items. If we are told "they're not big drinkers" we propose they buy less than someone who says they do have a big drinking crowd. We don't charge by the head. While there is nothing in the contract that guarantees you won't run out, it happens very rarely. If we are given accurate information at the beginning of the process, our years of experience help us to determine how much is needed.
For instance, when sitting down with this bride and groom, they chose to order several "nicer" scotches. I advised them to order these in addition to the amount of liquor we had previously discussed. The groom chose to reduce the prior selection of liquor with the addition of the scotches. He said that if something runs out the guests will just drink something else.
During our meeting, the couple also stated that beer was most desired alcoholic beverage for their guests. We did have some beer left over at the end of the party and as our contract states, we refunded that amount by check.
The customer also wanted to choose friends of theirs to bartend. Two were chosen from one side of the family and one from the other.
While it is unfortunate that there was not enough liquor and wine for their guests for the entire night, our bartenders did go to the groom's father and offer to get more. We do not bring more liquor to receptions than what is paid for prior to the event. Our bartenders are not authorized to just "go out and get more" if they see it is running short, regardless of their prior relationship to the customer. Permission needs to be obtained to ensure that a reimbursement will take place. Our bartender did take action, but the father's choice to not send out for more liquor, resulted in his displeasure.
Offering to refund $****** (in addition to the items returned) was not a statement of liability on our part or for perceived damages, but a gesture to show that we understood the father's emotions.
Everything that was done or supplied was with the customer's approval and their choices. All items and services paid for on the contract were delivered as promised. Other than the $****** previously mentioned, I see no other obligation for further compensation.
We followed up with the bartenders and were informed that the groom was told about the father's decision to not send out for more liquor and wine and the groom was agreeable to that choice. The bartenders also noted that not one of the guests complained to them about running out of their first choice of liquor, but changed to what was left at that time.
It should also be known that we spoke to the mother of the bride on the Monday following the event and she expressed to us that everything went very well for the evening and had no complaints about our service that night.
With over 40 years of being the Store Manager, this is the first time someone has gone to the BBB to state their dissatisfaction.
*** ********* response is disappointing. In addition, there are some inaccuracies as follows:
1. In meeting with ***, our son and his wife went with ***** recommendation for the amount of liquor to order. Because more expensive scotches were ordered, our son stated that if they ran out of the "nicer" scotches only, guests could drink something else.
2. The bar ran out of wine before dinner that was served at 7:30 pm. The bartenders did come to me about the lack of liquor and wine until 9:20pm. They said it would take an hour to get more and the reception was over at 11:00pm. *** did not address these points in his reply.
3. We did not select 3 bartenders, only 2. We selected ****** and the bride's family selected ******. It was ****** who said "I know just who to pick for the 3rd person".
4. I think none of the guests complained about the lack of liquor because:
guests don't usually complain
it was our guests who went and bought more liquor and wine, helping the situation
5. On Monday following the wedding, the bride's mother was not yet aware of the details of the wine and liquor problems.
The bottom line on this situation is:
1. The bartenders ran out of all wine and all liquor at our son's wedding.
2. The bartenders did not take action in time to change that situation.
3. *** ******* has not taken responsibility for the lack of leadership and service that we were depending on receiving the evening of the wedding.
We have not changed our position and continue to request a refund of 1/2 of what we paid.
We, the bride and groom, the bride's parents and a number of our guests have shared this story about Cornhusker Beverage. Without what we feel is a fair resolution, all will continue to share the story.
We have shared this story with several friends. If anyone wants a recommendation for beverage purveyor, they will learn our feelings on Cornhusker. *** had an opportunity to turn that around by meeting us halfway and expressing sincere regret, but he did not. You would think he would be more concerned about the reputation of his business and doing the right thing.
Final Business Response
Our goal in catering beverages is to work with our customers to provide drinks to their guests. The choices that this customer made led to their dissatisfaction. We talk, we coach, we advise, but the bottom line is that we do what the customer asks us to do. That is exactly what happened here.
We let this customer
-bring in their own glasses for wine and for liquor. They were beautiful, but much larger than the 5 oz serving that is the industry standard.
-choose the bartenders
-change the liquor to more scotch than usual
-they chose to not let the bartenders get more liquor and wine
Our bartender talked to the groom the evening of the party and *** talked to the mother of the bride the Monday after and both were satisfied with the evening.
Our contract does not promise that the party will never run out nor does it state that it is the responsibility of the bartenders to go get more liquor in that case. They acted in the customer's interest when they went to him and offered to get more. They were told no.
Everything that was on the contract was delivered as promised and most of it consumed that evening. They got everything they paid for. There is no basis for a refund in the amount this customer is requesting. We understand if this customer is not comfortable recommending our services to his friends and that is his right.
I honestly feel for this customer's less than perfect party. The offer for the $*** consolation is still open if he should choose to accept it.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
We are very disappointed with Cornhusker Beverage's lack of taking responsibility for the problems related to the bar services at our son's wedding reception. We, the customer, have been blamed for the poor job they did at the reception.
We have previously indicated our concerns about the service received and the issues listed on Cornhusker's most recent reply.
Bottom line is, we would never do business with Cornhusker Beverage, nor would we recommend them to any one else.