Wedding and Social Events Catering

How Much Does It Cost To Cater A Wedding?

While every couple wants to host the wedding of their dreams, surrounded by loved ones, the reality is that cost is always a key consideration. Fortunately, there are many tools available to assist with financial issues. The Knot wedding budget calculator and many other resources are useful in helping you manage your expectations and avoid sticker shock. 

However, as valuable as these tools may be, most do not dig deep into certain expenditures, such as the cost of wedding catering. Getting a ballpark figure for the entire affair may lead to many additional questions about how much you can spend on individual components. Fortunately, you’re not alone if you find yourself asking: “How much does it cost to cater a wedding?” New York wedding catering services can provide you with a specific quote, but you should at least understand some of the factors that go into the calculation.

Your Vision For The Event

Determining the overall cost of wedding catering starts with conceptual considerations, such as the guest list and venue. If you’re planning on hosting a large number of invitees in a spacious setting, the event will be very different from an intimate wedding at a cozy spot. Regardless, it’s useful to review the highs, lows, and everything in-between for New York wedding catering cost:

  • Stationary Platters for Self-Service: Starting at around $6 per person for vegetable and fruit trays, a serve-yourself arrangement is an economical option. You can easily add on a few heartier dishes to ensure your guests don’t leave hungry. A gourmet finger sandwich platter offers variety at approximately $11 each, or you could go for something more exotic with an Asian assortment of appetizers at $22 per person.
  • Beverages Only: Does your brother-in-law smoke a mean brisket? Is your cousin a food truck owner? You may get food service offers from well-meaning loved ones who want to contribute, in which case you may only need a tendered bar. On the low end, your cost could be around $5 per person, per hour for juices, soft drinks, and other non-alcoholic drinks. Allow around $22 per guest for the first hour, and half that for each additional hour, for premium bar service.
  • Brunch Wedding Reception: If you’ve always dreamed of getting married at dawn on the beach, you might consider brunch to feed your guests after you tie the knot. The advantage is that your liquor costs may be lower since many people won’t go too heavy on alcohol in the morning. You could also reduce your catering expenses for a brunch event, with breakfast and lunch dishes ringing in at around $30 per person.
  • Food Service Stations: To offer your guests a more interactive experience, you might consider an array of food stations throughout the venue. Your invitees will also enjoy more variety since even picky eaters can find something to nosh on. The cost will depend on the type and number of stations, but your wedding caterer will provide details in advance.
  • Theme Buffet Stations: This arrangement combines the casual nature of food stations with the convenience of self-service – alongside the ability to blend the theme with your wedding vision. These benefits come with a price tag, however, as catered theme buffet stations tend to cost more than other options. Of course, the final bill depends upon the number of stations, the type of food you’re offering, and your total guests.

Other Factors That Affect Cost

If you’ve done the math for wedding catering costs based on the figures mentioned above, you could be ready to move forward with a decision for your reception. However, there are a few additional expenses you’ll need to work into your budget: 

  •         Staff to handle food service, including captains, executive chefs, assistant chefs, and event    managers; and,
  •         Bartenders and servers, for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

These professionals work at a rate of ranging from $40-$50 per hour, and there’s usually a minimum number of hours. In addition, you might include a tip for your wedding caterer, which is a common courtesy for professional services. 

Consult With New York Wedding Caterers About Your Budget

As you can see, there are multiple considerations and decisions that affect how much it costs to cater a wedding. At Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering & Events, we work with clients that have a wide range of budgets, so we’re prepared to advise you on how to get the best bang for your buck. Please contact our Manhattan office to set up a consultation today. We can offer more information on New York wedding catering costs and assist with all your planning needs.

Passed Hors d’Oeuvres

How much does it cost to cater your corporate event?

When you’re planning a corporate event, you know that your budget is going to be a top factor during the process. Whether it’s your first time or you’re an old hat, there are plenty of valuable resources to assist with cost considerations. Event Brite’s Event Budgeting: The 2019 Guide to Master Your Event Budget is one effective tool to help you get a grasp on the basics. However, there isn’t much guidance when you break down individual categories of expenses. 

As you review what you can spend, you may wonder if you can maximize your budget by retaining New York corporate catering services. In many situations, it’s wise to trust these professionals with your event, as they’ve amassed considerable experience and developed key vendor relationships to help streamline costs. Experienced caterers can assist with all your planning needs, starting with the key question: “How much does it cost to cater your corporate event?”

Your Corporate Event Purpose and Objectives:

Your first consideration is the role refreshments will play in your corporate event. Your menu and theme will be very different if you’re planning a meeting for employees, as compared to a spread for potential customers you’re looking to impress. The schedule for your event will obviously be a factor as well, since you want to maximize food and beverage service around your participants’ expectations. Some options include:

  • Prepared Platters, Delivered to Your Event: Probably the most convenient and unfussy alternative, you could make arrangements with your caterer to drop off multiple platters for offering in between sessions. Fruit, veggie, and cheese trays range from around $6-$8 per person, while a heartier antipasto platter may start at $11 each. Assorted sliders or chicken fingers are a fun break from the monotony of meetings, and they typically start at around $18 per attendee.
  • Pre-Meeting Breakfast Options: To get your corporate event off on the right foot, make sure participants have the essential fuel they need. There are many different options depending on your goals, starting from a continental breakfast at around $11 per person to a hot breakfast buffet for $14 each. If you want to keep things on the lighter side and avoid the dreaded food coma, you might consider a New York bagel platter at approximately $4 per guest or a produce-focused healthy breakfast for $12 a person.
  • Fixed Price Lunch: If your guests have spent the morning participating in intense sessions, they’ve probably worked up an appetite for lunch. Cost varies for a fixed price meal, starting at around $18 for a NY deli experience or hearty, meal-sized salad. Prices are higher for a typical meat or chicken and potatoes, usually $30 and up. However, a multi-course meal will usually be accompanied by a selection of sides.
  • Pasta for a Crowd: Pasta is filling, affordable, and can please even the pickiest corporate event attendees. Starting at around $14 per person, you could choose a few different options, such as meat-based, veggie-only, creamy or traditional red sauces – and many other alternatives. Fortunately, most caterers will also include a side salad, bread, butter, and rolls to round out the meal.
  • Themed Dinner Events: When you want to wind up your corporate meeting with a memorable feast, you might want to consider a meal that works around some theme you’ve developed for the event. If you encourage your employees to exceed their quota with a tropical trip, go for a Hawaiian luau. Is your company launching international operations? Treat your attendees to a Taste of Asia, France, or Italy. Many of these options start at around $30 per guest.

Additional Considerations for Corporate Event Catering:

Many of the above prices don’t include other costs for catering event dinners in New York, such as event staff. You need to add on expenses related to executive and assistant chefs, as well as event managers. These employees work at a rate of $45-50 per hour, and an hourly minimum usually applies. Plus, there are costs related to bartenders and services at approximately $40 per hour. 

Our New York Corporate Catering Services Can Help

This information may provide you with essential insight on how much it costs to cater your corporate event, but you may need additional details as you move through the planning process. Our team at Thomas Oliver’s Gourmet Catering & Events is here to help with all aspects of catering event dinners in New York and the surrounding region. Please contact our Manhattan office to set up a consultation with one of our experienced professionals.