Post # 1
Just wanted to know if this sounds crazy to you (I’m having my wedding in a small mid-west town…nothing too fancy) 200 people wedding.
Is it normal to charge gratuity for a buffet? My caterer is charging 17% gratuity (5.5% tax).
Dinner: 7/Dozen :$119
Salad: 6/Dozen: $102
Forks/Knivs/Spoons 5 dozen ea $255
Glasses:h2o: .50each $100
Set-up charge: $250
chef 24/hr (3 hours = $72)
Support staff $15hr (I have NO idea how many people this would be…3?! $135)
So WITHOUT taxes, food, or tips, the cost for the set-up and supplies cost $1033…
I’m assuming food will cost us around $4000 (plus tax/gratuity…tax $275, tip $680..my god)
TOTAL catering cost: 5000
This is for 200 people. This does NOT include rentals for chairs, linens, and tables…probably another 1,000.
Does this seem correct? I feel overwhelmed by all the extra costs….
Post # 3
Yes, gratuity is still charged for buffets. Waiters will still be working the event.
That sounds like an average to great deal price to me.
It is overwhelming because they are breaking the price down for you and we are not used to seeing bills this way, but it is pretty standard.
Post # 4
holy cows! i would be too! seems like there would be some more affortable caterers out there. Im from alaska so things are expensive because everything is shipped up and that sounds crazy. My venue is my caterer and he charges 20$ per person. it is a buffet style of halibut, salmon and bbq ribs. salad bar included. so if i had 100ppl it would be 2000. but that includes the venue for no extra cost. staff at no cost. i mean im sure i will have to tip but its not added in. everything is included except the alcohol.
It does seem like a lot added on to your bill. the forks and spoons and glasses? they even charge you to set up? i would prob look into a different caterer. where is your venue? outside?
Post # 5
@souza_2005: the shocking thing is, is that my venue is owned by the caterer….
I don’t understand why the chairs, tables, linens, platewear doesn’t come with the venue (which I’m paying $2,000 for the building to be in…)
My 4,000 food is the CHEAPEST off the menu: chicken and pot roast :/ …..
F. I have a meeting with them Sunday to sign a contract and I’m starting to freak a bit.
We COULD do plastic ware for FREE, but holy tacky. Should I just suck it up and be a cheap-ass, or do I pay the extra grand for glassware?
Post # 6
We’re paying 18% grat and 8.75% tax!
So it’s definitely normal. Also, NY taxes are HORRIBLE.
Post # 7
yup seems about right. Our grat charge is 21%. yowsa bowsa!
Post # 8
If you’re going to buffet route.. is it possible you can cater it yourselves? [You’d have to check with your venue, some venues don’t let you bring your own food]. You could easily cater for around $2000 if you did it yourself [or went to fazoli’s, or other iltailian restaraunt].
Post # 9
That pricing actually seems quite good to me.
Post # 10
Yeah that actually seems like a really good price to me, especially for 200 people. My catering total for 106 guests for a buffet and passed hors d’ouevres was around 7,000.
Post # 11
Yeah my catering for 150 guests is $15,000 when you consider rentals, service, and food.
Post # 12
We paid 20% service charge and 8.25% tax. Your food is MAD cheap.
Post # 13
That seems totally normal for catering to break out the costs like that. As far as charging for tables and chairs – I’ve noticed that some venues do and some don’t. At my venue I can use the tables and chairs that they have which are basic, but they only have so many of. If I need more or want something different I have to rent them. Every venue/vendor is slightly different. This has taught me to ask, Ask, ASK! And if it’s still not clear – ASK AGAIN! That way, you’re never caught off-guard by hidden charges.
Post # 14
Thanks bees, makes me feel a bit better…
Please keep in mind that the food is not steak or anything remotely fancy for that price. They DO have really great food, just not in our price range. We are aiming for a 15,000 wedding (without our rings)…and that’s up from the original 12,000 budget.
Post # 15
@crayfish: 20% service charge…that blows my mind!!!
Post # 16
That’s actually not bad.
I wrote a response telling you to look at other caterers, but then I did the math and it only works out to be around $25pp? That’s slightly over what I am paying, it’s a pretty good deal.
I still don’t understand why the tables and chairs are included in the caterering, not the venue though. That’s odd..
I was quoted some outrageous fees for caterering (up to $200 per person at one place, $90 at another! No, it’s one meal and I am not paying that), but really this price is not so bad. I think you need to look at what’s included though, because for $24 per head we’re getting a LOT of variety, but even if you’re not, caterers usually charge a lot more than that per head.