(Closed) Help! budget wedding, average buffet catering cost? Floored by quote.

posted 4 years ago in Food
Post # 3
Member
4017 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Maybe keep looking at more caterers? It seems pretty reasonable to me considering the labor costs and set up/tear down fees. Can you bring in your own food to your venue? DIY BBQ could work if you have the help and your venue allows it! 

Post # 4
Member
2444 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@tnicole:  I also  had a a buddget. When I called catering places I let them know my budget and guest count up front. Basically, this is what i have what can you offer me. Maybe you could skip out on the servers? Have a family friend help with clean up? Ask the local bbq place to cater? 

Post # 5
Member
1854 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@tnicole:  what’s important to you? Do you want stainless steel chaffing dishes? If not- check into Boston Market catering. Here in california they start at $9-10, with $15 being full service catering with real dishes. 

 

Post # 6
Member
1857 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

Why not see if your local BBQ place does large orders? Almost all of them in my area do, and the price per person goes down as the number of people goes up – for about $10/pp you can get two types of meat (usually pork and chicken), some kind of potatoes, green beans, cole slaw, a bread and sweet tea.

For $10/pp or less, you’re likely looking at serving out of delivery containers (so someone will have to plate the food if you’re wanting a bit less casual) and no labor involved. Personally I think your quote is pretty decent considering you’re getting servers included, but you can likely get it a bit lower by trying to see which BBQ places cater events.

Post # 7
Member
3887 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

It’s going to be very difficult to find a catering quote for $10/person that includes the servers. It’s a lot of work to set up and break down the buffet and keep everything fresh, cleaned and filled while everyone is served. You’re about $400 over your budget; is there $400 you can cut back elsewhere and increase your catering budget? It might not be worth trying to DIY in this price range, given how much attention someone (or several someone’s) will have to pay to the buffet. Can you cut back on flowers or printed items (online-only rsvp’s, skip the std’s and programs, etc)?

Post # 8
Member
609 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I don’t  have a ton of experience with BBQ specific caterers but that sounds like a good deal to me.

Post # 9
Member
4525 posts
Honey bee

I don’t know where you’re from, but I wish I could get food and service that cheap around here.

Post # 10
Member
3083 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

It is possible to get a catering quote for $8-10/person.  Keep looking around.  We talked to a cajun restaurant that we go to frequently and we served 130 guests for $8/person.  We had three different entree options and salad.

Post # 11
Member
16 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2013

We are having BBQ and chicken for ours too…buffet style, along with coleslaw, salad, green beans, bread/rolls/butter, (I know I’m missing something here), sweet/unsweetened tea, lemonade, water and also a full ice cream bar (tons of topping options, brownies, cookies, etc…we are doing this instead of a wedding cake). Oh, and a huge fruit and veggie display for cocktail hour.  We about 140-150 I guests, and our quote was $12.50 a head. This includes all of the above, plates, silverware, napkins, mason jars for drinks, servers including bartenders (we are supplying our own alcohol).  my caterer is also decorating the food tables, guestbook table, gift table, and even our patio tables.  They are awesome, and I think I’m gettingood good deal.  I don’t think $15 is too unreasonable, considering everywhere else I checked was $25+ a head…and I wouldn’t have been getting so much extra with the deal.  

Post # 12
Member
16 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Sorry, my iPad autocorrects the weirdest things when I reply to posts on this site!!!

Post # 13
Member
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@tnicole:  We had a caterer that was going to charge us $16/head and then we found out that a nearby restaurant caters and could do it for $400 total!!! Thats $4/head! Needless to say we switched caterers.

Post # 14
Member
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@kittyface:  @fishbone:  Agreed. If you want servers, it will be very hard to get down to $10pp. I think you’d have to get takeout from a restaurant and everyone serves themselves. You could ask family members or friends to set up & break down. 

I would have been very happy if I could find 3 servers and buffet for $15pp!! Everything in my area would have been $30+pp with servers. We decided to do a buffet without servers (there is staff to set up, replenish buffet, and break down, but not enough staff to actually serve up the food) and it’s costing us around $20pp.

Post # 15
Member
7463 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Your expecting under $10 to include staff and labor (set up/breakdown)? That quote seems reasonable to me.

Post # 16
Member
1480 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Creek club at ion, SC

We are having more or less the same menu and my quote is $28 a head. I think $15 sounds fantastic. It is recommended that catering is 50% of your budget

 

The again we have less people, I am going for 55. I did end up cutting a lot of people that we were just inviting to invite. This made a huge difference. 

 

 

 

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