Customer Won’t pay for catering

South Dakota Catering
This is going to be a little long and am sorry for that. I just want
to be thorough.

I own and operate a pizza catering company. I booked a wedding and
sent a contract for the wedding to the customer. On the contract it
stated that I would bring enough to make 80 pizzas. After talking to
the customer a month or 2 before the wedding she told me to bring
115 pizzas just in case since she wanted to be sure everyone was
fed.

Then a couple weeks later the customer told me to bring even more.
The day of the event came and I ended up making 130 pizzas. After
billing the customer they will not pay for anything over 80 because
that was all I was contracted to bring. I have none of the past
correspondents in writing about bringing extra but did make note of
it on the contact when we spoke.

I have myself, my wife, and an employee that were all there at the
event making the pizza and know for a fact we made that much pizza.
Would I have a case for small claims court or is this just something
I have to eat and learn a lesson from.

I have been in business for 5 years and have done 100s of events and
never been accused of anything like this.

Is this a decent case to take to small claims court?

Any help or advice would be great.
Thank you.

Asked on May 31, 2016 under Business Law, South Dakota

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Since the customer requested that you make additional pizzas, this was an effective modification of the original terms of the contract.  Therefore, the customer is liable for paying for the extra pizzas.  You can sue the customer for breach of contract/account stated.
Altlhough you don't have the written correspondence, you have witnesses; your wife and the employee, who can testify in court or provide declarations signed under penalty of perjury of the number of extra pizzas that were produced.
You can file your lawsuit for breach of contract/account stated in Small Claims Court.  Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking) would be the amount owed by the customer for the pizzas and court costs.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.
You can enforce a court judgment in your favor with a wage garnishment against the customer.


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