(Closed) Catering charges – what’s normal?

posted 7 years ago in Food
Post # 3
Member
949 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Whoa. Since my catering cost per person is less than half of yours, it may be that your “casual” and my “casual” are totally different things (or probably it’s a function of Martha’s Vineyard), but… that seems crazy.

With that said, I’m anticipating 80-100 people, and my caterer said she would need 6 people to do that. As far as I know, that includes kitchen help, servers, and bartending. I guess she would fill the role of “floor manager”, and she’ll have them there an hour before we start and an hour after for set-up/clean-up. That was a little more than I was expecting, but it makes logical sense and she broke it down for me very well.

So considering you’re expecting about 150 and it may be more complicated than my reception, I can see she might need like 10 waitstaff and 2 bartenders, but it’s the kitchen staff thing that blows my mind. Somebody set me right if I’m wrong, but… shouldn’t kitchen staff be part of the food cost? Something about that just seems crazy to me. And I agree that I don’t know where she would even put 12 of them. And what, are they supposed to just cook furiously for 10 hours? Kind of preposterous.

I am starting to understand that some prep/clean-up time needs to be build in, but yeah, this sounds out of hand. I hope you have other catering options and can find someone who understands what a casual buffet is.

Post # 4
Member
3314 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I’m probably not the best to ask since I was able to find an amazing and yet very inexpensive caterer.  All said and done with everything including tip and 3 servers for 76 people, we paid $1400 for our catering.  I can’t come close to imagining having to have THAT many people in the kitchen or even server wise for that matter!!

And are you serious?  It’s really $10,000 for just the wait/kitchen/bar/head honcho staff?  Jeez!  I want to work there and get $35 per hour!  I am in the WRONG career field apparently!

Post # 5
Member
627 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

i dont think you are supposted to have to pay for the employees to work, they are employees of the catering company… not you!…. im pretty sure you just pay per person and a service charge (ours is 21% —  yikes!) but i thought that was the norm.

Post # 6
Member
3314 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@kolsen206:  We did.  But it was a muuuuch more reasonable $15 per person per hour and our caterer gave us a deal of 3 servers for the price of 2.  We could have avoided those fees by only having them come and set up and not serve, but it was worth it to me to have the servers for the cost she gave us!

Post # 7
Member
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I know my area is quite a bit cheaper than your area, but with a buffet dinner we are paying per head, and thats it. Our caterer is one of the more upscale ones in our area, and hiring our bartenders through another company, but still WAY cheaper and less staff. We are paying $35/person for dinner, includes staff, and waiters walking around to clean up and fill water. Our bartenders fee (before drinks) is $500. (2 bartenders + head honcho sounds right to me for that area.. I have 200, and same)

I think that that area they can get away from it. I am wondering if you can hire an outside area caterer and usually they just charge more for travel time?? That just sounds really wrong to me

The topic ‘Catering charges – what’s normal?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors