(Closed) Catering Cost?? WTH people!

posted 7 years ago in Food
  • poll: How much did you spend on catering
    less than $1,000 : (11 votes)
    8 %
    $1,000- $2,000 : (20 votes)
    15 %
    $2,000-$3,500 : (20 votes)
    15 %
    $3,500- $5,000 : (16 votes)
    12 %
    More than $5,000 : (68 votes)
    50 %
    other : (2 votes)
    1 %
    nothing at all : (0 votes)
  • Post # 3
    2095 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    We went to a local restaurant for our food. It turned out great. Total was under 2k including servers.

    Post # 4
    5093 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: January 2012

    @Mrs_Amanda:  We are feeding about 200 people for $21.50 each, and I was really proud of ourselves for finding something so affordable.  I didn’t find a single place anywhere that could do a full meal for less than $20 per head.  Catering expenses are through the roof.  🙁

    Post # 5
    5800 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: May 2011

    Where are you located? $15 per head catering seems incredibly low to me.

    Post # 6
    1090 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    We have 160 people, plated dinners for 50.00 pp That includes open bar though. A buffet would have been the same price.

    Post # 7
    4824 posts
    Honey bee

    It will greatly vary based on area you live and the quality/experience/reputation of the caterer as well as the food you choose.

    We paid $63.50 and we got a great deal for our area. We did a lot of shopping around and negotiating. We also got a lot of different foods (we did cocktail style with lots of passed apps and stations that were open for 3 hours) That inlucded tax and servers and dessert buffet station. It didnt include rental of plates and silverware, which wasnt a huge chunk more.

    For $13 a head, your allotment, you may have to consider speaking with a local pizza place and have a buffet of pasta and salad and rolls and some apps trays of cheese and veggies.

    Or maybe you could work with a chinese place.

    I hate to say it, but that isnt going to get you very far in most places and won’t get you what you are hoping to serve.

    EDIT: Dont forget your $13 a head will have to cover tips if applicable, plate chafing dish etc rental if applicable, delivery fees, taxes and anything else that may be associated.

    EDIT 2: I didnt vote because the # of people will skew peopls choices. They could pay $100 for 10 people for $1000 or feed 500 people for $2 per person. It doesnt give you a good idea of what people actually spent.

    Post # 8
    14658 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    The best I could find for food in my area was about 35/person for salad, fruit, main, and dessert.  Average was about 50-75/person.  And I quickly crossed off a handful of places that was 100+/person.  None of this was including tax, tip, or drinks yet.  On top of it, full open bar was about 30/person, or 20/person beer and wine.  Or consumption based was 5-6/beer or wine up to 9-10 for mixed drinks.  For 150 people, the food/drink tab was well over 10k for me adding in the hor d’s too.

    Post # 9
    316 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    I found a buffet caterer here (Wisconsin) that does a 2 options with sides, salads & cake cutting for 15.95, 3 options are a dollar more. It was by far the best price I found. Most are 21+, but I’d say keep looking! Look at places you may not think of as typical ‘caterers’ like if they are at a bridal show, they won’t give you a good price. When you go out to eat, ask if they cater. Other than that just scour the internet! Good luck!

    Post # 10
    647 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    Your poll would probably be more helpful to you if you changed it to a “per head” price.  We paid about $2000, but for 50 people.  So it was around $40 a head.

    Post # 11
    3618 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    We are doing a sit down with an open bar it is $90 pp for 170 people. The buffet would’ve been slightly cheaper, but no where near $20pp.

    Post # 12
    726 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    im paying $73 per plate 🙁 and that was with a 10% discount… I thought that was good from where I am. Most places were $100 pp or more

    Post # 14
    273 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    That is going to be tough unfortunately.  I was looking at places to cater my day after ‘farewell brunch’ and can’t really find anything for less than $15 per person for basic brunch fare.  That doesn’t include plates, glasses, silverware or any servers either.

    I think the pizza or chinese is a good idea.  You can dress it up to make it fit the event. 

    Depending on what sort of requirements your venue has, are you able to work with a student at a nearby culinary school or someone who is trying to get into the industry?  They might be able to offer a better price to gain some additional experience. 

    I know many of the venues I worked with requires the caterer to have specific insurance and other things to work at the venue though. 


    Post # 15
    4824 posts
    Honey bee

    @lmoss78: Great idea!

    There is a program near here in SF area through St. Paul deVincent that is a culinary training program for people getting their life back on track. Its really a fabulous program and they are some talented individuals. They cater events all the time (not sure how its scheduled.

    Talk to your local charities etc to see if they know of something like that.

    Even check out the technical high schools that have large culinary programs. I know there was one by me growing up.

    Post # 16
    144 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    With tax and gratuity, it eneded up being @ $100/person….and that’s with my “employee discount”  

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