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Find a food service professional near Phoenix, AZ

Find a food service professional near Phoenix, AZ

29 near you

Find a food service professional near Phoenix, AZ

29 near you

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Top 10 Food Service Professionals near Phoenix, AZ

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How much does a personal chef cost?

Hiring a personal chef usually costs anywhere from $40-$100 or more per person. Request free cost estimates from personal chefs in your area so you’ll know exactly how much it will cost to hire one for your needs. For an accurate quote, be sure to let the chefs know the number of people they’ll need to feed, what you’d like on the menu and other relevant details. 

To learn more about the factors that impact the cost to hire a personal or private home chef, read our cost guide.

How do you find a good caterer?

Reviews, interviews and menu tastings will help you find the right catering choice for your big day. Start by screening possible wedding caterers based on past reviews. If a caterer you are interested in has a review that concerns you, ask them about it; how they respond will be very telling. Next, ask about their availability for your wedding date.

If the wedding caterer is available on your date, it’s time to talk about menus and prices. Be clear about what your maximum budget is find out what choices this will allow you. Caterers may custom-create a menu for your event, or they may have menu templates within different price ranges that can guide your decision. A clear budget gives the caterer clear parameters within which to work and offer creative suggestions. Schedule a menu tasting to confirm you love your wedding menu. Once you have a menu and date, and have paid a deposit to reserve the caterer’s services, confirm additional details including when the food will be delivered to the site, what kind of service will be provided, how many servers will be onsite and for how long, and who is responsible for setup and cleanup. The more specific your contract, the fewer worries you’ll have on your wedding day. Get more smart hiring tips here.

Do you tip a wedding caterer?

Tipping 15 percent to 20 percent on a $3,000 catering bill can feel daunting — especially in light of all the other costs of throwing a wedding — but tipping your wedding caterer is standard practice. Be sure to ask your caterer about their specific policies. Many catering companies include gratuity as a line item on their bill. If tipping is not automatically included in your total, a good approach is to tip all the people involved the day of the event rather than paying one lump sum to the catering company. For each server and bartender, you can tip $20-$50, depending on how long they were onsite and whether they did exceptional work. You can also tip the chef; experts suggest $50. It’s also a good idea to tip the catering manager, the point-of-contact person who keeps the catering service running smoothly the day of your wedding, ensures all the food looks beautiful and is plentiful, and resolves any mishaps. Industry pros recommend tipping the catering manager $100-$200. If gratuity is not included and you’re tipping individuals, set aside $200-$500 in cash to be safe.

How much does wedding catering cost per person?

Wedding catering costs will always vary based on the number of guests you’re inviting, the menu you want to serve, and the way the food will be served to your guests. As you interview wedding catering companies, you’ll be presented with a cost per person for various menus. On the low end, wedding catering may cost approximately $15-$18 per person. This would include prepared food only, with no setup or service of any kind. The starting price for a simple buffet meal with minimal service typically averages $22 per person. Opting for the same menu with all organic ingredients could raise your costs to about $33 per person. A moderately upscale menu (finer ingredients, more elaborate presentation) could range from $24 to $34 per person. High-end wedding catering cost truly has no limit. Lobster, filet mignon, specialty seafood, organic ingredients — menu choices like these can boost your cost per person up to $150 and more.

How much should catering cost for a wedding?

The cost of wedding catering will reflect the level of service, the menu you choose, the luxury you desire and the number of guests you invite. Where you live also plays a major role in your wedding catering costs. The regional cost to do business and local cost of food will affect your catering bill. There is no set price for wedding catering, because each wedding and each menu is different. This is why many caterers provide a per-person price. This allows you to break down what it costs to feed each person based on the menu you want. Working with your caterer, you can adjust menu items, service level and more to accommodate your budget and guest count. Keep in mind that wedding catering costs are not just for the food. The bill reflects all the components that go into commercial food catering: a commercial kitchen, ingredients, staff, insurance, marketing and more. Here are some examples of average costs:

  • Three-course plated meal, moderately upscale, for 125 in Los Angeles: $14,000. Because of staffing costs, a true plated meal costs about twice as much as a staff-assisted buffet.
  • Buffet meal, standard menu, for 100 in Los Angeles: $5,000.
  • Per-person cost for hors d'oeuvres, dinner and nonalcoholic beverages: $24–$37, depending on menu selection, in Southern California.
  • Drop off prepared food for 50: $1,000 in North Carolina. Price does not include any service, setup or breakdown.

How do you serve food at a wedding?

Food service at your wedding will affect your catering costs and influence the atmosphere of the reception. Buffet style is more informal; plated meals are a bit fancier; family style encourages sharing. Read about the different food service styles to select your preferred wedding catering choice.

  • Buffet: Caterers can drop off prepared foods for a DIY and budget-friendly buffet option where you set everything up and food is entirely self-service. For a fuller-service buffet, the caterers set up food, oversee the buffet throughout the event, and clean up afterwards. For food only, prices per person might average $16-$18, while a service buffet may start around $20-$22 per person. Adding food stations can increase per-person costs by at least $3-$5.
  • Family style: Servers bring large platters of food to guest tables in courses. It’s less formal (and less expensive) than a plated meal, but more formal and higher-cost than a buffet. You’ll need large tables to accommodate the platters, so plan accordingly when renting furniture for the event.
  • Plated: A plated event is a formal dining experience; waitstaff serve your seated guests for each course, fill their drinks, and attend to them throughout the dinner. A plated dinner is typically the most expensive option for both food and service.
  • Food trucks: Similar to buffets, with food trucks your guests get their own food and bring it to their table. A food truck gives a relaxed and playful vibe to your reception.
  • Cocktail reception: If you don’t want a formal seated dinner, you can opt for a wide assortment of passed appetizers at an extended cocktail hour reception.

What should you look for in a caterer?

A delicious meal is a critical element of a successful wedding, with happy guests fondly remembering your fabulous wedding food. The right caterer for you will be:

  • Available: Even the best caterer is no good if they aren’t available on your wedding date. Ask early before you get your heart set on someone.
  • Affordable for you: Find a caterer that you can afford. Having a spending plan ahead of time will mean you won’t overspend on food.
  • A good personality fit: Wedding planning is stressful, so work with someone that you can get along with and communicate with easily.
  • Experienced and recommended: Ensure the company has a proven track record with events of your size and the references to back it up.
  • Transparent about money: Steer clear of shady pricing. Find a caterer who is very clear about costs and is happy to talk you through budgets and pricing options.
  • Transparent about food: Find someone who is clear about where they source their food from and where it is prepared.

How much should catering cost per person?

Catering prices can range from about $10 per guest on the low end to $150 or more per person on the high end. Catering costs represent the quality of food, presentation, variety, ingredients and service. But catering prices are more than the cost to cook the food that will be at your party; they also include the cost for the company to do business. Here is a simple breakdown of catering prices:

  • Menu: The food you serve your guests will directly affect the price per person. Organic ingredients, complex recipes, elaborate presentations, or high-ticket items like lobster or filet mignon all add to the cost.
  • Service: Buffet, family style, plated dinners — how you serve the food affects the cost per person. For example, a true plated meal can cost about twice the price of a staff-assisted buffet because of staffing costs. Hiring waiters, bartenders and cleanup crew will all be calculated into the per-person catering price.
  • Drinks: Providing beverages and alcoholic drinks for guests greatly increases your catering budget. Hosting an open bar can cost as much per person as the meal.
  • Rentals: Seating, plates, glassware, etc., will all have an effect on the cost per person for catering. For example, a plastic conference table that seats 10 costs about $6 to rent on average, while a wooden farmhouse table is about $80 to rent on average.
  • Business costs: Any catering cost will also include the cost for the company to do business such as insurance, employee wages, commercial kitchen space and more.

How much does it cost to hire a caterer?

Catering prices depend mainly on how fancy you want the food and service to be and how many guests you’ll have. When you’re first looking to hire a caterer for your event, consider how many guests you’ll have and your total food and drink budget. The national average for event catering is $340, but catering prices can range into the thousands depending on your menu, guest count, and service.

Event catering is a broad term that covers everything from fully prepared, ready-to-eat food that the hosts plate and serve themselves to full-service, multicourse meals, including rental of linens, glassware and other items, with service staff organized by the catering company. Usually a caterer will determine cost based on the type of event you’re having, how many guests will attend, the level of service you desire, and what type of menu you’d like to have. For example, if you have a set catering budget, say $1,500, and you plan to have 50 people attend, that means you have $30 per person for food. If you have the same budget with 100 people, you have $15 per person for food. In this way, the number of people you want to attend your event and the level of food you want to serve them determines how much catering will cost.

Reviews for Phoenix food service professionals
Francesca C.
Right price for amazing food and service!
Pork on a Fork BBQPork on a Fork BBQ
Erica f.
Great food,great service, very nice! Recommend
Cuisine Du ChefCuisine Du Chef
Shana P.
Outstanding food and service! I would highly recommend!! Professional from top to bottom.
Unique Luxury Catering and Event PlanningUnique Luxury Catering and Event Planning
JoAnne C.
Food and service were great. I never worried about one thing the day of my event.
Cuisine by CelineCuisine by Celine
Brady D.
I can’t say enough great things about Chef Natanya. Her service and food were excellent. I will without reservation use her again and refer her to friends.
Chef Natanya Oakley of UNI WellnessChef Natanya Oakley of UNI Wellness
Terri H.
The food, service and staff were fantastic. We entertained more than 60 guests in our home and Unique Luxury Catering made it look easy and classy. The compliments on the food menu were outstanding and our home stayed clean & organized throughout the entire party. We definitely will use them again and recommend to anyone needing top level catering.
Unique Luxury Catering and Event PlanningUnique Luxury Catering and Event Planning
Thumbtack Customer
Thank you!! The food was outstanding. Jim was able to provide us with an excellent Gluten Free menu. He was very helpful, the service was excellent and it was a great experience. I will definitely schedule my next occasion with Jim.
Cuisine Du ChefCuisine Du Chef
Thumbtack Customer
Chef was on time and had a great crew. The service was 6 stars - really beyond accomodating. The menu was great. my steak in particular was a little more done than I like but everything else without exception was perfect. The price was surprisingly low but I don't think it reflected in the food quality from the asparagus to the filet and lobster everything was top notch. My guests all raved about the food and the service. Chef made me look good in front of my customers. I would use artistic touch again.
Artistic Touch Catering LLCArtistic Touch Catering LLC
Tim T.
Used Dynamic Cuisine Catering for a neighborhood Home Tour party. Food was good, service was good, price was good. She had no problem adjusting the head count when we needed to. All in all a great experience.
Dynamic Cuisine CateringDynamic Cuisine Catering
Erika C.
Sasha was amazing. She was incredibly easy to work with and provided several ideas for my menu. She arrived early, which was perfect and the food was delicious. The kitchen was spotless when she left. I would absolutely use her chef services again.
Artisan Personal Chefs  LLCArtisan Personal Chefs LLC
Thumbtack Customer
I have to say that Van Kirk and the Longhorns team did an exceptional job with my event. We had over 700 people and they raved about the food, quality, and service. They did walk thru with me and my team the day before and were there on-time and ready the day of the event (breakfast, lunch, appetizers and finally dinner).I highly recommend them for anyone's event.
Van KirkVan Kirk
Aaron B.
Donna and her team did an amazing job! They came super prepared with enough time to set up everything for our event, even extra decorating stuff!! I can’t be more happy of having her as my catering service, i would defenitly use Advantage Events again! Food was amazing, attention was incredible, time efficiency was superb and they really work with your needs and budget! I can’t be more happy!
Advantage EventsAdvantage Events
Thumbtack Customer
Having Unique Luxury Catering was one of the best experiences we have had with any service professionals, the food outstanding, they took the time to explain the origin of each item and that we were all more than satisfied. Admittedly I don't normally take the time to leave reviews but they are more than deserving and sure you will find the same, I would recommend them for anyone looking to have the same experience our family did.
Unique Luxury Catering and Event PlanningUnique Luxury Catering and Event Planning
Thumbtack Customer
This was a great experience from the very beginning! Response from Juan was immediate when I inquired, we set up a meeting for him to check out the site, and he was exactly on time. Everything was outlined as to what was offered and how it would be served. Juan and his family showed up exactly on time the day of the party, the food was fabulous, the service spectacular, and we couldn't be more pleased that we had The Perfect SAIZ Taco (and family) at our celebration. Thanks Juan!
The Perfect SAIZ TacoThe Perfect SAIZ Taco
Jimmy V.
Thank you to chef Christina for the amazing experience and food. Sasha and Christina made my 30th Bday celebration dinner memorable with a French fusion 4 course meal. Sasha created a personal menu with info I gave her and Christina cooked a spectacular meal and her service was impeccable. She even washed all the dishes and cleaned the kitchen which made everything even easier. Thank you again and highly recommend. Will be using them again :)
Artisan Personal Chefs  LLCArtisan Personal Chefs LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Sandra and her staff were professional, courteous and attentive. She set up a gourmet style dinner for 50 guests for my daughter's birthday party. I was impressed with the quality and presentation of her food and so were all my guests. What I really liked about Sandra was her integrity to not only make sure every detail was perfect but also keeping me updated every step of the way and going out of her way to provide more than she promised. For example, she secured a pastry chef for my daughter's birthday cupcakes as an added service. She also brought extra staff to insure there were servers available to refill drinks and help serve guests (which was above and beyond my expectations). I didn't have to do a thing. She came in, set up, tore down, cleaned up and even packaged leftovers for us to keep. Sandra also made alternative dishes for my guests who requested it without hesitation. I would recommend her for any event big or small as she clearly is well connected in the area. By far the best private chef in the valley. Jan and Matthew Kingsley (TV Host and CEO of an Entertainment Company)
Sandra, Your Private ChefSandra, Your Private Chef
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