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Find a food service professional near Scottsdale, AZ

Find a food service professional near Scottsdale, AZ

29 near you

Find a food service professional near Scottsdale, AZ

29 near you

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Top 10 Food Service Professionals near Scottsdale, AZ

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

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.

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 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.

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.

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 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.

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 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.

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.
Reviews for Scottsdale food service professionals
Monica D.
The food and the service were top-notch!
Dynamic Cuisine CateringDynamic Cuisine Catering
John A.
Awesome experience. Great food. Great service.
Dynamic Cuisine CateringDynamic Cuisine Catering
Luis E.
Great service! Food was very good and plenty for guests.
Chef Natanya Oakley of UNI WellnessChef Natanya Oakley of UNI Wellness
Thumbtack Customer
Food was delicious and service was great!! Would use them again the future.
Unique Luxury Catering and Event PlanningUnique Luxury Catering and Event Planning
Justin J.
Customer service was exceptional, onsite chef was nice, food was good, and guests enjoyed the event.
Unique Luxury Catering and Event PlanningUnique Luxury Catering and Event Planning
Thumbtack Customer
Thank you Sandra for making our daughters wedding reception an incredible event. The food was excellent and you and your staff were professional, courteous and friendly. Hands down the best guacamole we have ever tasted., your food selection was perfect and our guests all enjoyed the meal. We would definitely recommend your services to anyone. Thank you again for a wonderful evening of great food and great service.
Sandra, Your Private ChefSandra, Your Private Chef
Thumbtack Customer
Sandra and her team were amazing. I feel lucky to of meet her. The food and service was out of this world
Sandra, Your Private ChefSandra, Your Private Chef
Thumbtack Customer
Scratch Catering was amazing for my son's communion party. The service was great and the food delicious . I will be using them again.
Scratch Catering LLCScratch Catering LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Excellent job. Very professional & detailed. Delicious food & great bar staff. Extremely good price value for the service. Thank you!
Unique Luxury Catering and Event PlanningUnique Luxury Catering and Event Planning
Devin R.
Ordered a Thanksgiving meal for close to 25 people and everything turned out amazing! The food was great and the service was even better! I highly recommend using.
Pinky's Catering LLCPinky's Catering LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Absolutely could NOT have been more impressed! Amazing menu, food and service!! We will be using them for any future events!! We are foodies and were blown away!!!
Scratch Catering LLCScratch Catering LLC
Patricia R.
What an amazing experience and service Unique Luxury Catering and Event Planning provided for the Bachelor Party. Steve and Carol Anne were both extremely professional and provided 5 star service with customer service, fine detail and exceptional quality of food. Highly recommended and would definitely hire them again in the future!
Unique Luxury Catering and Event PlanningUnique Luxury Catering and Event Planning
Thumbtack Customer
Amazing food and service! I hired Scratch Catering for my husband's 40th birthday and couldn't be happier with the choice I made. Chef Giovanni was a pleasure to work with - very responsive to all my questions and created a menu to match the party theme (casino). His team arrived on time, were extremely professional and friendly, and our guests RAVED about the food. I will absolutely hire SC for future events!
Scratch Catering LLCScratch Catering LLC
Thumbtack Customer
We recently used Steve and Carol Ann for my husbands birthday party. We had a sit down 3 course meal for 9 people. The food was FANTASTIC! All of our friends were impressed with the food quality and level of service from them both. It was easy to work with them during the planning process and they were very quick to respond to any questions. I would definitely recommend Steve and Carol Ann!!
Unique Luxury Catering and Event PlanningUnique Luxury Catering and Event Planning
Thumbtack Customer
We are from Phila/NYC/LA much of the year and we frequently eat at 5 star restaurants. Chef Michael put every meal we have had to shame. Gourmet tapas does not begin to describe this amazing food, service or experience on New Year's Eve. Showed early (2-5 event) and was wonderful from start to finish. Best way to describe though is to show the food presented..... thank you, will use many times. again in future.
Artistic Touch Catering LLCArtistic Touch Catering LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Jim provided a 5 star food and service for our birthday party. He decorated his buffet according to the theme of the party (cowboy/rustic style) and was always available to answer my questions and accommodate our taste. Thank you Chef!
Cuisine Du ChefCuisine Du Chef
Michael V.
We celebrated our wedding anniversary with a dinner by Natanya. It was spectacular. The food was excellent and the presentation very pleasing. Natanya is engaging to speak with. We highly recommend her and plan to have another, larger dinner in the near future. Her service is a great alternative to a dinner at a nice restaurant, particularly when adhering to Covid restrictions.
Chef Natanya Oakley of UNI WellnessChef Natanya Oakley of UNI Wellness
Thumbtack Customer
I reached out to Jim to cater a professional luncheon for a group of physicians last Friday. Jim provided us with great menu options, and was flexible with some changes that were requested. The food was absolutely fantastic! Everything including the desserts was individually plated for the participants, however he also offered a buffet style if we preferred it. He was prompt, professional, and gave us an incredibly affordable rate for the quality and service of the food. When we asked if he could provide coffee, he showed up early with 4 Starbucks coffee travelers and homemade cinnamon muffins and really went above and beyond. We are now using him for another company lunch tomorrow and will continue to utilize his services. Thank you again Jim!
Cuisine Du ChefCuisine Du Chef
Terry M.
Unique Luxury Catering assisted us hosting an alumni event for 12 guests at our home Sunday afternoon. The menu items were perfect for the occasion, the food exceptional and the service provided by Chef Steve, planner Carol Ann, server Mariann and bartender Tara was fabulous. This was our first experience with Unique Luxury Catering - certainly NOT our last! Terry & Debbie M.
Unique Luxury Catering and Event PlanningUnique Luxury Catering and Event Planning
Thumbtack Customer
We had a family reunion of 15. Chef Jim provided not only a menu worthy of a 5 star restaurant but turned the entire evening into a gourmet food show complimented with printed menu, detailed verbal description of each dish being served and fabulous table service. Our 5 course dinner was fantastic and enjoyed by everyone. Chef jim and his assistant also dressed the part! By the time he left, the kitchen was sparkling clean and in perfect order. We will definitely use his services again. Paul M
Cuisine Du ChefCuisine Du Chef
Thumbtack Customer
We had a lovely Christmas Party catered by Unique Luxury Catering. Chef Steve helped me pick out the perfect menu for our venue. Carol Ann coordinated everything: chairs, tables, linens, food, ice. Everything was included which made my job easier. Chef Alice prepared items which satisfied us all, including those that were vegetarians. The service was incredible. They were friendly and took care of all of our needs. Great job! Rose
Unique Luxury Catering and Event PlanningUnique Luxury Catering and Event Planning
Thumbtack Customer
I used Sandra for a surprise bday present for my wife, just the two of us. I had never used a private chef before and was afraid to once I started interviewing because they would push what they knew how to cook and I wasn't sure I was being listened to. Sandra was the opposite. She never forced anything, she just listened to what I wanted and then sent me a menu that was exactly what I had envisioned and more. The one other criteria I had and told Sandra was I wanted a meal that my wife could not compare to any restaurant. I wanted something unique that tastes so good, it was incomparable. And she delivered! In the end, the food was amazing, the menu consisted of a lobster appetizer, amazing arugula salad just the way we like it, a filet like none other for me and salmon with pineapple and mango that my wife loved and couldn't compare to any restaurant, and for my wife (a huge dessert lover) Sandra made both "berries in heaven" (absolutely amazing) and a chocolate fondant (equally amazing)! I cannot express enough that Sandra was the perfect choice, delivered an amazing meal, provided incredible service, and was just a pleasure to have in our house and even more of a pleasure to eat her food! We are now planning on using her on an on-going basis because how could you not?! Better than restaurant quality food, amazing service, highly competitive pricing, and all with the convenience of being in your own home! What an amazing experience! So, to make a long review short, just hire her, you won't be sorry!
Sandra, Your Private ChefSandra, Your Private Chef
Thumbtack Customer
If we had more than five stars, we would give Giovanni at least ten. For our small backyard wedding it was difficult to find a caterer who was willing to put good effort into his food. Giovanni's approach is refreshingly different. He created a menu for us that was outstanding in quality taste. He puts not only time and effort into the planning, he also assisted us in finding the right choices. In addition, he was very flexible with chances and special requests, for example vegetarian options. His service also included servers who did an absolutely phenomenal job throughout the entire event. All our guests agreed that this was the best menu that they had ever had. Our wedding was perfect and Giovanni and his team contributed a lot to this beautiful event. We can highly recommend his service and wish him all the best and lots of success. Thank you so much, Giovanni!
Scratch Catering LLCScratch Catering LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Where to start? I recently planned a bachelor party in Phoenix for 16 guys all from Canada. I was lucky enough to find Warren here on thumbtack and he was everything we were looking for! He took a rough vision I had gave him for the party and totally rocked it! The rental house we had boasted a massive island and trust me it was totally covered in amazing,fresh,local inspired appies! Not to mention the food truck in the driveway(serving tacos) he was awesome enough to bring. It was a total home run with the guests. Everything was done online and through texts, Whats Fresh delivered a well organized and on time, trustworthy service. If we return we will be contacting them for all our catering needs, they also happen to be really amazing people to boot!! 5 stars!
What's Fresh? LLCWhat's Fresh? LLC
Krysten T.
JP went above and beyond when it comes to service! I highly recommend him for your wedding or event. I hired him for my wedding which was in the backyard of a rental estate. Him and his wife came on their own free time halfway across the town to one of our walk-throughs to make sure he knew exactly where to set up, and see what he was working with to make his own suggestions to help make the night flow as best it could (serving 200 people). Everything went great and I got so many compliments about the food--it was delicious! He was easy to work with and gave me different options to work with my budget. I am so happy I hired him, I didn't have to worry about a thing and it all went great and my guests loved it! Thank you! I appreciate all of your hard work that went into making the night a success!
The Perfect SAIZ TacoThe Perfect SAIZ Taco
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