How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Caterer?

The price is typically quoted per person, so the first step in working with a caterer is to determine the number of guests at your event. Price differences occur based on the style of service. While a buffet or family style meal may cost $25 per person, a formal plated meal could cost $145 per person.

Catering encompasses a lot of things – so to get an average you have to factor them in many styles (and many different contexts) which can seem like a challenge.  From corporate catering to wedding catering, to birthdays and everything in-between, there’s a wide variety of events that necessitate a wide variety of approaches.

The ideal style of service will then vary from event type to event type.  But there’s a simple place to begin.  The price is usually quoted as per person, so step one in working with a caterer is: determine the number of guests going to your event.  Price differences then occur based on the style of service.  A buffet or family style meal usually costs $25 per person, while a formal plated meal could often cost $145 per person.  But again, this is just where you begin to calculate.  Nail down your event type, then apply the most service type.  

01. Weddings

For weddings, the average cost is around $70 per person for food and $85 per person for food and drinks together, if you’re shooting for formal service.  100 guests is a good number to calculate with, and in this case, it’ll cost you $7,000 – $8,500.  But you can save up to $5,000 by switching the actual service styles.
Food trucks, for instance, will cost $25-$45 on average, per person, to cater your wedding.  And in many cases make for a more enticing option than formal, plated, sit-down service.  Get started HERE to grab a sense of your food truck catering options.   
Buffet station or family-style dining is another popular option, and generally averages $25-$65 per person.  Learn more about How to Get Great Wedding Catering(for Cheap).

02. Corporate Lunch/Corporate Events

If your event is a bit more on the formal side, expect to shell out around $25-$50 per person.  But much like weddings, you can save money (and up your pizazz) by opting for a food truck or a live chef.   You can budge approx $20-$40 per person if you’re looking for this style of service. If you have 100 employees or guests to feed, that will come out to $2,000-$4,000.  If you have fewer than 50 employees, you may have a $1000 minimum to hit (which often comes standard for food trucks and pop-ups).  Learn more HERE.

03. Birthday Parties/Private Parties

Much like with corporate events, a $1000 minimum is gonna be a hurdle to clear here.  So if you have more than 50 guests, $20-$40 is a likely place to land per person (for traditional catering).  Again, however,  you can save money on a food truck, and expect to pay about $10-$25 per person (again, assuming your guest list is over 50. Click here to get started with birthday party catering.

Need Help?

Roaming Hunger helps you find the perfect option for your party, food truck, pop-up or otherwise. To learn more, go to our Private Party Catering page.  A dedicated catering manager can help you grab the best option to fit your needs.  You’ll also be protected by a 120% Roaming Hunger Service Guarantee.  Any way you slice it (then grill it), food trucks are a great way to nab affordable catering.