How much will it cost to engage a caterer?
The cost of catering is largely based on how fancy you want the food and service to be and the number of guests you'll invite. When you're first looking to hire a caterer for your special event, take into consideration how many guests you'll have as well as your overall budget for food and drinks. Catering prices for events can run up to thousands of dollars depending on the menu, the number of guests, and the service.
Event catering is an umbrella term that encompasses everything from fully cooked, ready-to-eat food that hosts prepare and serve themselves to full-service, multicourse dinners, as well as the renting of glassware, linens, and other items, with service staff organized by the catering business. A caterer usually determines prices based on the type of event you're having and the number of guests who will attend, the level of service you'd like, and the kind of menu you'd like to offer. For instance, if you have a predetermined catering budget, say $1,500, and you're hoping to have 50 guests attend this means that you will need $30 per person to eat. If you want to serve food, if have 100 people, and the same budget, then $15 per person is available. This is how you determine the price of catering.
What should the cost of catering per person be?
The cost of catering for events can range from $10 per person at the lower end, up to $150 for a person at the top price. Catering costs are the cost of providing quality food along with service, as well as variety. The cost of catering is more than just the cost of the food; they also include the costs for the company to host the event. Here is a simple overview of costs for catering:
- Menu: The food you serve to your guests will impact the cost per person. Organic ingredients, intricate recipes, elaborate presentations, or high-ticket items like lobster or filet mignon all contribute to the cost.
- Service: Buffet or family-style plated dinners. The way you serve your food will impact the cost per person. For example, a true buffet can be about more than buffets with staff assistance due to staffing costs. The per-person catering cost includes hiring waiters, bartenders, and a clean-up crew.
- Drinks and alcoholic drinks to guests are a great way to cost you more for catering. An open bar event can cost as much per person as a meal.
- Rentals: Seating, plates, glassware, etc. These will all affect the price per person for catering. For example, an inexpensive plastic conference table with seating for 10 is about $6 to rent on average, while a wooden farmhouse table is around $80 on average.
- Business costs: Any catering cost will also include the cost for the company to do business, such as insurance, wages for employees commercial kitchen space, and much more.
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