How Much Should Catering Cost Per Person

Wedding catering can eat up a sizable chunk of your big day’s budget, but with the proper foresight, you can cut costs without sacrificing quality – and find yourself with a whole lot of extra cash to put towards literally anything else.  The key to all this is versatility, and being willing to build your dinner around several factors most couples take for granted.

there are many food trucks that are cute for your wedding

To start, it’s helpful to assess the average wedding catering bill.  The average cost of wedding catering will vary depending on the wedding service style. For a coursed meal, the average wedding catering cost in the US is about $40 a person.  While for a buffet, the average cost is around $27 a person.  Plated service is obviously the go-to for a lot of couples when it comes to planning, but it comes with some drawbacks – mainly the price.

But that price is compounded by all the extra elements you’ll need to account for – increased service staff for one.  If you’re coursing a meal for a party as large as your wedding, you’ll need lots of hands to ensure everyone’s being coursed at roughly the same time.  And most of that staff will come with five hour minimums.  What’s more, it’ll take a large kitchen staff to prepare everything at once, along with extra prep time on the clock.  And the clean-up won’t be a walk in the park either.  So in addition to the skillset you’re paying for with plated service, you’re also paying for quantity and time.

Buffet will save costs on all these elements at once, only requiring enough staff to maintain, replenish and clean-up.  And everyone serves themselves, eliminating the need for carefully choreographed coursing.  But of course, no matter how you dress it up, it’s tough to make a buffet….well…..exciting.  If you want the same function as a buffet, but with a hell of a lot more pizzaz – not to mention for slightly cheaper – a food truck is a killer choice.  

A food truck makes everything to order, but (with a paired-down menu at least), can do so quickly and in large portions, accomplishing the same serving pace as a buffet while providing a far more personal touch.  The creativity behind these dishes is often tough to replicate and sustain on a hot plate, giving your food an aura of specialness that wouldn’t otherwise be achieved.  What’s more, a food truck comes (and leaves) with its own kitchen, minimizing clean-up and staff required.  If you’d like to look at food truck options, get started right here.

So there’s lots of ways to dip under the average cost of wedding catering for the savvy couple.  We can help you with a few, but ultimately the decision is yours.  Stay hungry for options, and stay hungry for deals.