In November 2015 a former employee of All Occasions Catering in Knoxville, TN walked out after working a 14 hour shift that included him bringing his two small children to work with him for the last 4 hours of his shift and he vowed to never return. Not only did he feel like the environment was hazardous to his kids (ages 2 and 5) but he was often asked to make nearly impossible arrangements for his children to make up for the inadequate abilities of the management running the company. There are several other reasons including deception of customers that made the employee want to leave the company. The former employee wishes to remain anonymous but wants to warn others who may be interested in working for All Occasions Catering about what they will be dealing with once they become an employee.
For starters, he says, the schedule All Occasions Catering requires their employees to work is never consistent so it is very difficult to secure childcare. One day the company might require employees to work 16 hours and the next 12 only giving employees as little as 4 hours in between shifts before they have to return to work another grueling schedule. This is the case when the company had a large client back in the summer of 2015 which required them to feed more than 2,000 people breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The employee remembers he and his wife who also works at All Occasions Catering leaving at 2 a.m. one night only to have to return at 6 a.m. for another long, exhausting day. He says, schedules like these are the norm when there are big events with thousands of people to feed and blames it on the owner of the company Neil Greene for not wanting to hire enough people or bring in temporary employees to work during the peak times. Also, if there is still work to be done and employees do not have childcare Neil tells them to bring in their children and has them playing with boxes around sharp objects such as knives, can openers, and other hazardous objects they could easily get hurt on.
The culture was another reason the employee decided to leave the company. There is a huge “Good Ole Boy” network inside All Occasions Catering and if you are not part of it, then you are shunned and basically treated like a bought and paid for slave. He says the owner would often sit in the break room at lunch and ask him question after question about his sister and nephew who were brutally murdered a few years before he came to the company. He would often make cruel jokes and was downright insensitive toward the employee regarding the matter. There was even a time when the employee was hosting a function for the nonprofit charity that he and his mother started after their loved ones were murdered and the owner forced the employee’s wife to cook for the event so she could not participate in the event which was held in her sister-in-law’s memory and then went on to charge the organization full price for rental of the facility and food that was provided.
The employee says he was also tired of deceiving customers who are being way overcharged for food and services provided by All Occasions Catering. He says there are often times when food is donated to the company from others who would otherwise throw it away. The company does not know the safety of the food or anything else about it but accepts it anyway and then turns around and sells it to customers who book weddings and other events for a premium price. Also, about half of the food that is served to customers is simply purchased from a wholesale club such as Sam’s or GFS and then resold to customers as if it were made from scratch. The employee remembers being in attendance at a wedding that was being catered by the company and overhearing someone tell one of the guests who commented on how good the food was that it was made from scratch when in fact it was simply taken out of its package and put on a tray to serve only a few hours before.
The former employee hopes that his warning reaches anyone who may have an interest in working for All Occasions Catering in Knoxville, TN and make them think twice about their decision. He says if he had known the culture of the company and the poor management of the company he would have never agreed to work there. His wife is currently still on the payroll at All Occasions Catering; however, she has only worked a handful of days in 2016 and is currently drawing unemployment because the company will not give her any hours and they need the money to support their family.