Post # 1
I have contacted 3 caterers now. 2 have responded once and then didn’t respond again and one costs way too much.
We’re predicting about 150 guests and the caterer that got back to us said that their BASE PRICE before linens (we’re going to buy our own), silverware, service fees, etc. are added in is $80/person. Just for food – no drinks or anything.
That is just completely not do-able. And then like I said, the two other caterers didn’t respond.
We like unique food and we don’t want anything real formal. We aren’t asking for much… just food that tastes even moderately good. $80/person…. ha… So frustrating..
Post # 3
@YogaFaerie: Including rentals, staffing and food we’re at almost $180 a person…there’s no liquor in that either.
Post # 4
@YogaFaerie: Try looking into restaurants that also offer catering, rather than traditional wedding caterers. We researched a local Tex-Mex place that offers catering on the side and they could provide a taco bar for $15/person!
Post # 5
@YogaFaerie: we paid $160 pp and we are having 165 guests. We are having our wedding at a catering hall. This includes the wait staff, tables/chairs/choice of linens. ALso includes open bar, top notch cocktail hour and 4 hour reception with a 3 course dinner, dessert and wedding cake.
Post # 6
@YogaFaerie: that’s a lot! Here is what our catering is. We are doing buffet style with soup being served at the table. Their food is really good too. I’d keep looking, unless you live somewhere expensive. We are having 50 guests
Post # 7
We got a steal on our caterer. The package we are looking at going with is about $21 a head. That includes 3 tableside hors d’ouerves, 3 passed hors d’ouerves, a carving station, dinner rolls, pasta, a mashed potatoe station, assorted veggies, another meat, and tea, water, punch, coffee, and side sauces. Then linen, glassware, silverware, china, and napkins are 262.50. So overall when you add tax, gratuity, and their set up and breakdown fee, it’s about $34 total per person. Not bad, not bad at all. 🙂
We were gonna get married somewhere else, but the cheapest place we found only offered a fruit platter, tea, a meat, veggies, and salad at $50 a person. The set up wasn’t as nice and that didn’t include anything else. And they had plastic silverware, you had to upgrade $5 a person to get real silverware. So we changed our venue based on the caterer alone.
Post # 8
we’re paying $14.95pp plus a 10% or 15% fee.
With the fee for the site we’re paying $64pp
Post # 9
@remijp: That is awesome! I’ll have to look around some more at restaurants..
@Aelie: $40/person sounds much more reasonable. The funny thing is, is that as far as I know, the area I live in isn’t really expensive at all.
I want to find these $15-$30/person caterers! 🙂
Post # 10
@YogaFaerie: Yes, that’s a lot, and I definitely empathize with your sticker shock!! I’m not sure what area you’re in, but our city is expensive and that’s pretty run-of-the-mill. I had several caterers tell me it was impossible to put together a dinner for less than $85/person in just food costs alone. Eff that!!
We ended up finding a great caterer who is charging us $87/person for everything — food, bar setups, staff, linens, tax, gratuity. Only things not included in that figure are alcohol (which we’re providing) and cake (which another vendor is handling), but the caterer does not have any cake cutting/corkage fees. When you add in the booze and cake, we are at $100/person.
We got off pretty light for our area, and even so, it makes me a little weak in the knees to do the numbers!
Post # 11
55 Per person, not including drinks.
Post # 12
@brlabrat: Wow, yeah… I don’t think my area is that expensive. 🙂 I live around Harrisburg, PA… it really isn’t a happening area, or a pricy one. I’ve seen caterers around $30/person. I would love to have just a buffet or just a bunch of stations, but unfortunately the caterers I have talked to have said that you can have that after the $30/person plated meal.
I would totally do a potluck if I wasn’t worried that 150 people was too many to do that or if our venue didn’t require a caterer with insurance. 😛
Post # 13
My venue does the catering; ours will be $65 pp for food, and either $30 pp for open beer/wine, or $35pp for beer/wine/liquor. So that’s $95 + tax + service charge pp. I think it comes to $117 or so per head. Ridic. But this does include all linens (in every choice of fabric imaginable), plates, silverware, serveware, wait staff, etc.
Post # 14
You’d think that if a nice restaurant (which also pays the overhead for their staff, venue, linens and whatnot) can serve meals at $40/person + some more to cover tip and alcohol, then a caterer should be able to manage a similar quality for a similar price. It’s not like their costs start to multiply when they’re dealing with a large group–you’re giving them loads of advance notice, and they’re surely offering a more limited menu, rather than at a restaurant where they don’t know how many customers they’ll get, how long they’ll stay, or what people will order, and they still need to prep food and staff appropriately for any possibility.
It’s just part of how anything with the word “wedding” in it automatically gets a 100% markup.
Post # 15
@YogaFaerie: We paid 14.99/pp before service fee/taxes and got a three-course, sit-down lunch. After booze, hors d’evoures and taxes, I think we paid $23-ish/pp.
Definitely look online! A LOT of places have menus with prices listed there.
Post # 16
We are getting married on a ranch with the reception in a barn. We are paying $9.99/Person. Catering will be about 2,000 and that includes delivery, set up, serving, and tear down. We are getting sausage, brisket, turkey, potato casserole, jalepeno beans, Mac and cheese, broccoli salad, rolls, tea and water, condiments (onions, pickles, jalepenos, and BBQ sauce) and plates, napkins and cutlery. Wahoo for Texas BBQ joints!