Calihan Catering is perhaps the most unprofessional and incompetent catering business in all of Chicago when it comes to customer service. My husband and I had planned on getting married at the Chicago Botanic Garden and were told before we could go to contract with them we had to go to contract with Calihan Catering.
After over a month, Nitin finally contacted me while I was on the train returning home from work. I repeatedly asked if I could call him back after I got off the train which he ignored. Aside from ignoring my requests, he started throwing prices at me right off the bat. He suggested I should spend $150 per plate for a "kitsch hamburger wedding." I informed him I'm a vegetarian and am not interested in a hamburger wedding. He didn't provide any other alternatives over the phone but said he would send me an email with an extensive list of what he could offer.
I spent the next several months waiting for this email. I frequently spent my lunch hour on the phone leaving messages for Nitin and the event coordinator at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Between the two of them, I had provided over a dozen contact numbers and emails for myself, my now husband and my mother. I NEVER received a call back from Nitin but was always given apologies by the poor woman who answers the phone. For the record, he also never tried to contact my husband or my mother.
During one of my routine calls, I called the Chicago Botanic Garden and was informed by another event coordinator that they went to contract with someone else for our date. This is how I was notified that we were no longer going to be having our dream wedding at the English wall garden in the Chicago Botanic Garden. At this point, I still had not received the email from Nitin.
I finally received an email from Nitin just before Christmas (after we already lost the venue). The menu essentially had no vegetarian friendly options and was ridiculously overpriced. Apparently the problem was he didn't know the difference between a dash and an underscore. Despite being provided with numerous contact emails, he was only able to send the much awaited email to one that didn't belong to me.
Thanks to Calihan's hurry up and wait policy and Nitin's failure to return any phone calls or emails, months had passed and we were left scrambling to find a venue. We weren't able to get married on the date we initially wanted but ended up having a beautiful wedding at Lake Forest Academy for a fraction of the price. The food was both delicious and ample.
Event planning is exhausting on its own. Save yourself the time and trouble and look for another company to cater your affair.
P.S. No hamburgers were served at our wedding. That's not kitsch, that's tacky for a formal affair.
Pros: None presented themselves
Cons: My entire experience with Calihan Catering