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Bad Camba! Bad!

August 21, 2009

I received this email from a friend of mine whose brother got married a couple of weeks ago. They got Robert Camba as caterer for their wedding reception at the UP Bahay ng Alumni. Apparently, when the waiters were requested to “take care” of the left over wedding cake, the waiters had this brilliant idea of putting what’s left of the cake inside a red and white plastic bag–the type you get when shopping in Divisoria. Here’s a picture:

Wedding Cake

Let me share with you the personal account of the bride about their experience:

***

Considering Robert Camba’s Catering Services for your event??? The people behind Robert Camba’s Catering Services are liars, thieves and they are incapable of handling food appropriately.  Spare yourself the trouble.  Read on..

 My hubby and I decided to get Robert Camba’s Catering Services (www.robertcamba.com) for our wedding last August 8, 2009.  Amongst a number of options and other catering services recommended by friends and relatives, we decided to entrust our wedding to Robert Camba for the following reasons:

  • When we visited their office in Project 4 QC, we were able to speak with Ate Neneng whom we found helpful and accommodating.  Ate Neneng was our point of contact from the day we signed the contract until after the event.
  • Though the prices of their packages are a bit on the pricey side, the package has inclusions which made us think that it is worth it.  They included the emcee, bridal car, all tiffany chairs and etc in the amenities.
  • My brother got them on their wedding six years ago and the entire family has a positive recollection of how the event was handled.  Moreover, I have a sister who works for a reputable company.  She recommended Robert Camba’s Catering Services because their company often hires Robert Camba for their events.

We had a number of requests which we endorsed to Ate Neneng. She assured us that they can accomplish our requests on our wedding reception:  1. we requested the waiters to cut and distribute the 3 bottom layers of our four layered wedding cake to the guests and, 2. the waiters to serve bottles of red wine per table.  As a wedding gift, my brothers also endorsed 5 cases of beers and 1 box of San Miguel Light containing 24 cans.

Suffice to say that things went well up until the event.  I remember asking Ate Neneng how they account the food consumed by the guests and what they do if there is left-over food.  Ate Neneng advised that they count by the number of plates used and she assured us that any left-over food will be given back to us at the end of the program.  She said that she will not be there to physically to manage the event for us but she assigned an “experienced” and “skilled” headwaiter, Alvin, to attend our wedding.

Confident that our business was in good hands, we signed the contract for 250 heads for the Silver package and we made it a point to ensure that our payments were made on time.  We took the time to visit their office in Baler a number of times to give our 2nd and 3rd partial payment.  And for the final payment, I asked my mom to give it on our wedding day.

The series of problems began to unfold after the reception program.  My coordinator advised me that the total headcount was only 151 guests including 11 kids, plus 10 heads for a few of the suppliers whom we asked to get food from the buffet.  My hubby’s mom prepared packed dinner for our suppliers so only a handful ate the food brought by Robert Camba.  This totals to 161 heads only.  But the left-over food given to my hubby’s mom was not even enough to feed 20 people. 

I asked Alvin, the headwaiter, about this but he assured me that 220 guests attended the reception.  I remember asking him how he came up with 220 heads as opposed to the 151 guests reported by my coordinator but he was unable to give me any realistic and plausible explanation.  The only thing that Alvin could tell me was that they prepared 270 plates and that they needed to wash the plates because all were used.  I find that highly unlikely because we had 22 round tables which can seat 10 people per table.  And I know that more than 4 tables were unused, and more than 3 round tables only had 2-3 guests, so his summation of 220 guests does not add up.  But I knew I was not going to get anything from a headwaiter who obviously does not know anything and who obviously believes that he can get away with his lies, so I decided to table my queries.

After which, we later saw that a portion of our wedding cake was placed in a large red and white plastic pangpalengke bag by one of Robert Camba’s female staff.  But instead of carefully packing the remainder of the cake inside the plastic, she dumped the food carelessly inside.  This enraged my sister because the large plastic was almost full and we could no longer eat it.  Robert Camba’s female staff tried to reason out saying that she was given vague instructions by my coordinator on how to pack the cake and that my coordinator told her “bahala ka na” when she said that they do not have available plastic bags.  My sister told her that she should have the common sense not to handle clean food in such a manner no matter what other people tell her.  My sister even asked if she herself will eat the cake if she is asked and Robert Camba’s staff declined.  She said that she will not do so.

Unfortunately, my husband and I could not stay longer.  Our bridal car was waiting to take us back to the hotel so my family said that they will call Robert Camba and that they will work out the details.

We found out the following day that my sister took a picture of our wedding-cake-turned-kaning-baboy, called Robert Camba to inform him of the issue and sent Robert Camba a copy of the picture.   My family also informed me that my brothers asked for the remaining beer after we left and that the waiters could not produce all of the beers in can endorsed to them.  Only 5 cans turned up when they searched and 19 cans were missing.

I sent SMS to Ate Neneng and Robert Camba about what happened.  I apologized for not speaking to them directly and I told them that we had problems with the missing food for 89 heads, missing 19 cans of beer and that our wedding cake was mishandled by their staff.  The initial response that I received from Ate Neneng was that the waiters are on a rest day but that they will talk to them when they report to work. 

August 11, I received messages from Mr. Robert Camba himself telling me that I had 220 guests, that no food was missing, that he saw the picture of the cake my sister sent him and that “maganda naman”. An altercation of messages occurred after that but he just replied over and over again that no food was stolen because I had 220 guests (where they pulled that information, I really do not know), that some of the guests came back for seconds, that my suppliers also ate from the buffet and that the waiters served food as pulutan.  Robert Camba even had the gall to tell me that my guests took home the 19 beer cans missing and that giving us a refund is not fair because we only gave a small tip to his waiters with all our requests.

Sensing that communicating through text would not get us anywhere, I scheduled a meeting with Ate Neneng and Mr. Robert Camba when my husband and I got back from our honeymoon.  We took time off from work to meet with Robert Camba, hoping that the discussion will make Robert Camba realize how his staff’s actions and misconduct is damaging the name and reputation he has worked for.

I showed Mr. Robert Camba the report submitted to me by my wedding coordinators showing the number of guests seated per table and the breakdown of suppliers who took food from the buffet.  I offered to check the photos and videos taken by our wedding photographer because we had pictures taken per table before guests are allowed to proceed to the buffet tables so that Mr. Robert Camba himself can see and count the number of people who attended our wedding. 

I explained that there is a very big difference between the 250 heads my husband and I paid for and the 161 guests who actually attended the wedding reception based on the headcount per table and the registration.  I also said that my guests took the time to say their farewells before leaving the reception and that we did not see a single guest carrying a can of beer and that my wedding coordinators and some of my guests attest to seeing the waiters getting food from the buffet and actually eating the food we paid for.

Robert Camba however was deaf to reason.  He refused to even glance at the written report from our wedding coordinators.  He did not even consider looking at any wedding photos or videos and he remained firm and confident in his stand that none of the food was stolen, that I had 220 guests as if he was physically there and that my guests took the cans of beer home with them in their barongs and cocktail dresses.  Robert Camba is apathetic to his client’s concern and well-being.  He simply did not care.  He insists that their methods of doing their job is working and an incident like this cannot derail him from that belief.  Robert Camba’s quick responses only convinced us that he is not as innocent as we want to think, that he is completely aware of how his staff steals from clients on events and that such conduct is even acceptable to him. The way Robert Camba justified his staff’s actions point by point showed us that he is part, if not the master, of the entire thing. 

So if you are considering Robert Camba’s Catering Services for your event; do yourself a favour and look elsewhere.  They will blind you with the inclusions and amenities of their packages and they will shower you with assurances and promises that everything will be handled appropriately.  But based on our experience, Robert Camba and his catering service cannot be trusted.  On the day of your wedding, debut or what have you, you cannot count on them to listen, evaluate and to conduct their business professionally and with integrity.

I honestly find the experience with them very, very, very disappointing and frustrating.  With the 89 heads difference, our families should have had a fiesta 3 days after with the left-over food if Robert Camba’s staff were honest enough and if they did not steal our food.  Or we could host another party with the 89 heads when we have our first born two years from now.  But we have accepted the fact that we can no longer get a refund from Robert Camba.  We are just hoping that through this, you will learn from our mistakes, you will be able to choose a better catering service and you will have better experiences and memories when you have your event.

Good luck hunting! 🙂

Joan Collada-Carinan

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26 comments

  1. my goodness. buti nalang di kami natuloy sa kanila. they were on our shortlist pa naman.

    the least Mr. Camba could have done was be apologetic, kahit man lang sana para dun sa cake. obvious naman sa picture na may mali yung staff nya no.


  2. grabe naman sya!
    may alam nga yan especially since he didn’t even want to look at the pictures or video. saka the picture of the cake strong evidence na nga noh.
    ako naman i attended a binyag that they catered and susko! turn-off!

    <a href="http://crazysexygorgeous.blogspot.com”>carla


  3. My relative also had robert camba as their caterer when they got married 3rd quarter last year. It’s the same thing. Promises and assurances but the actual quality of the food and service delivered leaves much to be desired on the day of the event.

    I should know because I was with my cousin-bride when we had the food tasting. But on the actual event, everything tasted differently, and for the worse. Madami din hindi nakadating sa wedding pero kulang ung sauce para sa food. Hndi nare-refill ng maayos yung buffet table. And yes, we also saw their waiters getting food and eating from the buffet. At konti lang din nauwi ng cousin ko food after the reception.

    And its so unfair because, this is turning out to be their practice. The problem is on-going because this wedding happened just recently. Robert Camba is not doing anything about it at wala mgawa ang mga newlyweds kahit nadadaya sila.


  4. […] be fooled by Robert Camba Catering… caterers for wedding, birthdays, baptismals, […]


  5. Hello!
    I also want to share my experienced to you guys! yup..it was ate nenang that is very accomaodating but siguro marami silang client nawawala minsan yung mga pinag usapan nyo na “keso ganyan, dapat ganito po” pero nung mismong wedding na namin..1. Hindi napalipad yung mga butterflies 2. yung mga chairs na tiffany walang ribbon? yung sa amin lang ng husband ko ang meron! napaka oc ko pa naman when i saw that parang na dis appoint talaga ako.. 3. yung mga drinks din na galing sa amin pati water na propel at gatorade nag kawalaan..tapos may nag sabi sa akin na kinuha ng mga waiters..hayy anyway, wala akong galit sa R. Camba is just that yung “training” ng waiters and “good service” siguro ang dapat nila pag tuunan ng pansin, kasi it will eventually ruin their names sayang naman if lagi na lang ganun, and minsan lang ikasal ang mga babae gusto nila laging perfect! but this waiters, nakaka sira sila ng event! I hope they will improve their service and manners nga. thanks!


  6. thanks for this feedback, very helpful for me since i was about to consider robert camba.
    time to look for another one!


  7. We were considering him for our daughter’s 7th bday party on January 2011. I saw how affordable the food packages were in his website and his business is very near our place. There’s also a food tasting that will happen tomorrow. Mukhang hindi na kami pupunta ng hubby. I don’t want to waste hard-earned money on lousy service.


  8. Hey,hey,hey! mag dahan dahan naman kayo, try to analyze this blog. Everything is non sense. Subok na subok ko na ang Robert Camba,almost 5 years na ako nag papaservice at wala akong na-encounter na ganyan. Sa palagay ko in this case, guest ng kinasal ang nagdala ng plastic na yan dahil sa pagkakaalam ko bawal sa mga staff nila ang magdala ng plastic, at walang sariling cake ang Robert Camba,options lang po kung gusto ng client. Kaya sa tingin ko yung nag post nito ang humingi ng cake at nagbigay ng plastic. At tungkol naman sa food, hindi basta-basta ma uubos kasi sa pagkakaalam ko ulit ay meron silang buffer for at least 20 persons i think, unless kung may nag-iinuman na guest, tapos feeling naman nila e bar, so hayun order ng order ng pulutan without knowing ng nag pa-cater ubos na pala yung food nila. Kaya hinay-hinay lang po. Basta ang trust ko parin sa Robert Camba is 100% 😉


  9. Hi Tamtam,
    You’re right, the bride and groom ordered the cake from Gervy’s Amazing Cakes. There was still a lot of cake left so they asked one of the waitresses na “itabi yung tirang cake para maiuwi nila.” The waitress was the one who placed the cake in the big plastic bag. And the fact that less than 200 people came and the food they prepared (which was contracted for 250 guests) was not enough is questionable.
    The bride’s sister recommended Camba to them and they failed to deliver big time. If you read through the other comments in this entry, this isn’t the only time they’ve delivered lousy service. If maganda service nila sa yo, then good for you. You’re one of the lucky ones. But negative feedback like these should make us really stop and consider our suppliers carefully.


  10. thanks for this post… grabe naman pala dito sa robert camba catering.. isa pa naman siya sa choices namin ng fiancée ko..


  11. I also got Robert Camba 6 yrs ago to be our caterer in our wedding day and I also had a share of disappointments.

    First, I requested for a white and yellow roses for the wedding table in which Mr. Camba assured me that it will happen.but on my wedding day, everything is white.

    2nd, I told Mr. Camba that my wedding is by 2pm and reception will be at 4pm so I expect everything is complete by 4pm. Mr. Camba assured me AGAIN that he will send his staff by 1pm at the venue so that everything wil be ready by 4 pm from the arrangements down to their staff. To my dismay, they arrived at 3:30pm and maybe you can just imagine how it looked like….my guests have nothing to sit on because there were still no tables and chairs on the venue…EVERYTHING WAS TOTALLY BARE..
    tHE 4pm reception time became 5.30pm due to irresponsibility… if you guys can only see the looks on our guests faces…. nakakahiya talaga.

    3rd, We had a “lechon” as a gift which was to be served. It came to my attention that the waiters are the ones who first attacked the lechon. In any way it should not be touched coz its not intended for them to eat…ITS FOR MY GUESTS!!

    4th, Could you guys imagine the nerve again of 1 of the waiters coming directly to my husband asking for a PhP1,000 tip???
    That’s a very foul move plus the mess that they made on our special day….. dammn…

    I chose Robert Camba bec they are the Caterer of Charo Santos MMK (MAALALA MO KAYA) as seen on TV. Hoping they have dicipline, I hired them but it only brought us di8sappointments.

    I only have 1 good praise..they have an EXCELLENT EMCEE “Mallory” but aside from that nothing more…everything is PALPAK!
    .


  12. Tamtam,

    Just a thought, if the services of Robert Camba is as you claim as PERFECT, then why do you think majority of us had similar experiences which are REALLY BAD?


  13. Oh my.. nakakagulat ang mga experiences niyo.. As far as I know, kilala ang Robert Camba Catering, kilala pala talaga…. ng mga super disappointed na clients.. Gosh! thank you so much for sharing your experiences because my fiance and I are about to make reservations next week for our wedding. Whew! thanks for saving us! I also read one of the blogs about Robert Camba’s food tasting. They were not accommodated well and parang pinakamukha sa kanila na they were there para lang sa free food tasting! Oh my gosh! very mean! Thanks guys, sharing your experiences are such a big help! Thanks Joan Cullada-Carinan for being soooo specific about what happened.


  14. Thanks for the info..I am considering pa naman.


  15. Buti pala nabasa ko tong blog na to! thanks for posting! i will now look for another caterer. Sayang, i thought Ok ang service ng Robert Camba, pero instead na maging worry free ka during and after the event, baka puro sama ng loob and disappointments lang ang mkuha ko ;((((


  16. well for me everyhting was done perfectly the way i expected you can check my wedding pix……just to be fair with the comments maybe there are instances talaga na ganun siguro…. thank GOd im not one of them………thanks again robert camba for the wonderful service…..still recommended naman….wag naman kayo masyadong griddy…… better yet tell your coordinator to perfectly manage everything and supervised it strictly…….peace guys….


  17. thanks for sharing this blog. hanap nalang ako ng ibang caterer 🙂


  18. they told you hold to count your guest…by plates…may be some of your guests used 2 plates…it’s not purely a buffet…in other caterer they count your guest per head not on the plates used..


  19. still i will consider robert camba for the baptismal of our baby this december..my sister got their service last november and she’s very satisfied with the taste of the food except sa pancit and the service and the staff was early to arrived considering h=the malakas ang ulan that day..


  20. malinaw na mukhang pera, at batikan yang tukmol na Camba na o Black Mamba (poisonious snake), napakadaming catering services n matitino…for sure ma-bbankrupt yan…i”ll wait for it…


  21. Okay naman yung naging experience namin sa Robert Camba nung 40days ng mom ko. Actually per plate ang pinagbabasehan nila.. Malamang yung mga nag iinuman hindi nila napansin na madami na sila nakukuha. Recommended ko pa rin to.. 🙂


  22. hi guys! im about to wed soon and we picked also Robert Camba to be our caterer for our special day. As referred by my friend whom experienced the service of Camba, its ok nman and that they were satisfied of the services. Thanks for this blog because i just identified the areas where their services should be emphasized once i talk again to Ms. Neneng. Thanks TAMTAM and MITCH for the positive feedback also. I will be posting my reply again after my wedding day on Nov. 2012. let us see what will happened. Hope all will be well 😉


  23. thanks for sharing this blog… i was considering on hiring them, pero now nagbago na isip ko… 🙂


  24. we were about to get camba for our wedding,,, thanks for the posts!


  25. I have an officemate who also had Robert Camba as their caterer last December 2012. I am surprised na meron palang ganitong blog for their reviews, bakit hindi ata nila nakita tong site na toh. Sa tagal ng Robert Camba sa catering services, i can’t believe na may mga ganitong comments pala sa kanila. Lalo pa’t kilala sila sa ganitong line of business. Imagine since 2009 ganito na kapalpak ang service nila, nakakataka na may mga clients pa din silang nakukuha. Or siguro nga, just like the other na nag-comment meron talaga silang mga naging kliyente na nabigyan naman nila ng maayos na service. In fairness, wala naman kasi talagang masasabi sa food taste nila at masarap naman. Pero gaya ng marami, sabi nga ng friend ko sobrang convincing talaga kausap yung Ate Neneng kaya baka may mga ilan pa din silang nabi-biktima. Sa tagal na may mga komento na ganito bakit hindi pa din na-aksyunan ni Mr. Robert Camba ang mga staffs niya na puro sablay at mga laging nangungupit ng mga pagkain at iba pa during the events? Ang mga staffs kasi talaga ang kasiraan sa Robert Camba catering. Gaya ng nangyari during sa wedding na na-attendan ko, sobrang kumonti tuloy ang serving ng food nila sa guest dahil sa umpisa palang nakapag tabi na ang mga staff ng pagkain. Pati softdrinks na dapat sa guest, nauwi sa puro iced tea na lang dahil nawawala na din ang softdrinks. Yung lechon na as instructed ng groom at bride na dapat nasa separate table at doon supposedly tatad-tadin during sa serving ng food sa guest ay dinatnan ng chopped na at halos puro buto at halos hindi nag refill sa isang lalagyan. At the end nakita naka-supot ang ilang parte at ulo ng lechon. To think na hindi naman nakumpleto ang expected guest na dumating halos walang natirang food na naiwan. Ang malala hindi pa tapos ang wedding kumakain na lahat ng staffs kahit wala pang go signal na wala ng parating pang bisita. Tapos inaabot pa ng syam-syam kapag may inutos sa mga waiter, yun pala nanood na sa wedding programs na nagaganap. Grabe! Same sa isang comment dito, meron din waiter na nag dedemand ng tip pa from groom and bride… sobrang the nerve!!!! Robert Camba, hindi naman pwedeng parating matanggap ang sorry at sa loob ng ilang taon na may mga complain kayong nare-receive na ganito from your clients ay hanggang ngayon hindi mo pa din alam na may mga anumalya ang mga staffs mo? O talagang ayaw mo din tanggapin na may problema ang services niyo? Sana makunsensya ka naman, to think na pinagkakatiwalaan ka ng mga kliyente mo sa mga espesyal at importanteng mga okasyon ng buhay nila na kadalasan ay hindi naman kayang balikan, ulitin o kahit bayaran mo pa.


  26. I had just my wedding last Nov. 24, 2012 and it’s a blast. Robert Camba as well as their waiters did a wonderful service, they even bothered to pack the leftover foods for us. Actually, I already read this thread when I was at the planning stage of my wedding, and I admit it gave me doubts but still I continue my intentions to pick them up because I also read good comments about them. I think the key for a successful event is through smooth and proper communication. I definitely recommend them to others. I want to clarify that I am not falsifying other comments here, my only intention is just to share my experience for those who has plans of getting the service of the said catering company in the future.



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