(Closed) How much is reasonable for catering?

posted 8 years ago in Food
Post # 3
Member
1566 posts
Bumble bee

I found that $100/person was common in Philadelphia. The rentals and the staff costs really do add up. We actually chose a venue with an exclusive caterer, because there the $100/person included venue, DoC, cake, and a whole pacakge of other extras.

If you want to go much lower than this, maybe talk to restaurants rather than traditional wedding caterers.

Post # 4
Member
1523 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I guess it depends on what you want. I live in Cleveland, Ohio and if you want cheaper catering costs you should rent a hall or someplace that is designed for wedding receptions. I would also consider doing a buffet meal and considering serving wine and beer only. These are good ways to cut down on costs.

We booked an old manor house with a plated dinner for $90 a head. The catering package that we chose includes appetizers, open bar, salad, plated dinner, coffee, tea, linens dishes etc… The From all the venues we considered $100 a person was not crazy at all and it would have been real easy to pay upwards of $100 for food! In my opinion, $100 is nothing crazy.

Post # 5
Member
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

For JUST food, I am look at costs around $30 a person. However, I have to rent everything as well, but I am going for a lounge feel, not a seated dinner, so I can’t break those costs down in that way. I am basically expecting another $30 to $40 a head for all of the rentals, but the more people who show, the lower the price per person, for me. And I plan on spending $15 a head on drinks.

I am having the wedding on the North Coast of California, which is cheaper than SF, but more expensive than where I live in Sacramento.

Post # 6
Member
1288 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union

I think it depends what is included. Ours will be 75/person, but that includes served appetizers, dinner, the wedding cake, dessert bar, and a 4 hour open bar. This is in central Indiana though.

Post # 7
Member
3344 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I’m looking at $40/person for just food. Tables, chairs, linens are extra.  Set-up/break-down are included.

Post # 8
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We are doing the reception at my parents’ and have to rent EVERYTHING. Reception will be in the greater Philly region, and the caterer we are using is very flexible, but the prices add up fast. We are doing a cocktail, not sit-down dinner, reception. Right now, we are at about $80/person including butlered hors d’oeuvres, butlered shrimp cocktail, cheese table, carving station with filet mignon, cake, tables, chairs, linens, bar service (but not alcohol; the FILs are supplying the booze), mobile catering kitchen, and food service.

We are assuming we’ll need to add another station to make sure everyone gets enough food (especially the vegetarians). Add in tax and gratuity, and yeah $100/person seems about right. There are easy ways we could scale it back by a lot though, and that is what’s great about hiring your own caterer. I bet if you express your concerns and ask them about your options, they can come up with some creative budget solutions. Good luck!

Post # 9
Member
2532 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

$100 per person sounds a little high….I think $40-65 per person is more reasonable but I think even thats high!

Post # 10
Member
1732 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Depends on your budget, of course.  I’ve heard that the food/drink should be about half of your budget.

Post # 11
Member
2250 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

does that include food? Rentals? Service? Just food?

Post # 12
Member
769 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

our catering is $39/person for just food, which i thought was reasonable. labor adds up though (and rentals!) so i would guess that $100 is about right for everything.

Post # 13
Member
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

If you are looking in the Chicagoland area, consider Froggy’s, Conn’s, City Provisions or D’Absolute Catering.  I think they would come in at the price you are looking for….

Post # 14
Member
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

For just food in Florida we are estimating about $30 per person.  The biggest expense that gets added to that is the sales tax (7%) plus 20% service fee.  That adds a HUGE expense!  

Our venue provides the drinks (soda, beer, wine, champagne). 

Post # 15
Member
4567 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

This is one of those posts that makes me stick my fingers in my ears and yell “la la la la la” the thought of looking at catering estimates is making my head spin!

Post # 16
Member
5985 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

so i live in evansville indiana and mine will be $10/person not including alcohol. but mine is a vegy dinner.

I would say anything over $50/person no matter where you live (except manhattan) forget it!!!

I would find another caterer.

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