Wedding and Event Catering

Find a caterer near Laurel Canyon, CA

Find a caterer near Laurel Canyon, CA

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Top 10 Caterers near Laurel Canyon, CA

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Reviews for Laurel Canyon caterers
Thumbtack Customer
So Divine Catering catered my Christmas party for my family. Chef Alexis was professional and attentive. The staff was respectful and friendly. The food was AMAZING! (Stuffed mushrooms and sliders-- so good!!) a wonderful experience had by all. I will definitely be hiring So Divine catering for future events.
So Divine CateringSo Divine Catering
Lawrie C.
Incredible service. Incredible food. Marcel was fantastic to work with. I’m positive there’s no better catering service in Los Angeles. Don’t waste your time asking around for the best caterer. Go straight to the top. You won’t be sorry!
Married To Food CateringMarried To Food Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Great catering! Loved the chicken gyozas with the soy-sesame dipping sauce. Would recommend Marcel to anyone :)
Married To Food CateringMarried To Food Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Faisal provided full-service catering for my organization's group which included more than 100 people. The event went perfectly and there was nothing overlooked in the set-ups or the food. Faisal provided a large assortment of hors d'ouevres and added a signature beverage and desserts. All the attendees were impressed by the quality and taste of the food. If you would like a dependable catering experience personalized specifically for your event, I would highly recommend Clubhouse Cuisine.
FSLA CateringFSLA Catering
Nate M.
Awesome guy! Chef Marcel was a perfect example of what you should expect when hiring a caterer. Really easy to work with, very flexible and delicious menu. Would definitely hire again!
Married To Food CateringMarried To Food Catering
Melo P.
Moe came exactly on time and all the food were so amazing as well as the service. All the guests were so happy with the food, definitely will call Moe again for my catering needs.
Travis H.
Marcel was the perfect caterer for our event! The food was loved by all and he was great to work with! His team arrvied promptly on time and assisted us with the setup for the night! I highly recommend for any event large or small!
Married To Food CateringMarried To Food Catering
Sorrel G.
Chef David was great to work with and easily addressed all of the dietary restrictions our group had. Dinner was excellent and some of our guests are still talking about the food. I would absolutely work with Farm to Fork Catering again!
Food First Events & WeddingsFood First Events & Weddings
Shamya U.
Really enjoyed Tanesha's catering. The food was of great quality and the prices were reasonable. We had a some confusion over the time of delivery (so be sure to confirm the time you want the food delivered) but besides that everything was perfect. Would recommend.
G ThymesG Thymes
Alanah C.
Incredible! Everyone was so nice to work with and the food was to die for!! Will definitely be using them again for another event. Overall, had the best experience with this catering company. I wish they could cook for me every night, the food was so good :0 !!!!!!
Monica N.
Having found La Panzano on Thumbtack, I was a little hesitant to hire since I had never worked with them before. Joseph was extremely accommodating and responsive. He provided a tasting and was able to work with our dietary restrictions. La Panzano catered our office Holiday Party and our 125 staff were all very happy. The food was great! The servers were very friendly and moved the line along quickly. I would highly recommend La Panzano as a caterer and looked forward to having another event soon in order to have some of their other food!
Thumbtack Customer
Marcel and his staff came through with a delicious and well planned menu for a last minute holiday office party. He made the catering aspect easy to handle and was a true professional. I would highly recommend him for your next event!
Married To Food CateringMarried To Food Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Clubhouse Cuisine came in to cater the Hollywood Christmas Parade greenroom for the participating celebrities. They were great and very professional. The food was of high quality and the staff were great to work with. I plan to hire them in the future for other events. Thank you!
FSLA CateringFSLA Catering
Emily M.
Stephanie was a wonderful chef! She catered our office's Thanksgiving Luncheon and her food was absolutely delightful. All of the food was fresh. Not only was her food great, but Stephanie was sweet and had a great sense of humor. We'll definitely be working with her in the future!
Stephanie Loren CateringStephanie Loren Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Don and Taste of Gourmet catered a 150 guest event for the nonprofit organization I work for. Don was extremely easy to work with leading up to and during the event, and the food was delicious. The staff were flexible, professional, and made the evening feel special for our guests.
A Taste of Gourmet CateringA Taste of Gourmet Catering
Nicole M.
Collin is an incredibly talented chef and was great to work with. We had so many compliments on our food and drinks! He was responsive to my questions, on time, prepared, and overall a great asset to our event. He will be top of my list for catering at my next one!
Chef CollinChef Collin
Joanne C.
Very disappointed, I had exchanged numerous messages informing her that I was interested in her catering service for a birthday party and Thanksgiving dinner prior to November 20th as indicated by her and she booked the date I requested and is not completing my Thanksgiving order. Not trustworthy!
Personal TouchPersonal Touch
Kevin F.
Great tasting food! Easy to work with, responds right away. Work with me for a last minute event. Provided menu options and tailored food to my preferences. Explained process and kept me updated until food was catered. Would order again from them.
Tiffany H.
Chef Marcel did an amazing catering job at my company awards ceremony last week. He was flexible with our schedule, and I had guests thanking me for the amazing food, saying it was better than going to a hotel or restaurant. And on a separate note, his homemade chimichurri is to die for.
Married To Food CateringMarried To Food Catering
Jacqueline M.
Chef Marcel was really helpful in negotiating a price within our budget, and the food was a huge plus at our event! Many of our guests complimented the food and several had gone on to say that they had never tasted such a well-marinated chicken. We couldn't have asked for a better caterer :)
Married To Food CateringMarried To Food Catering
Niro S.
Chef Joe was absolutely amazing! My original wedding caterer dropped out a week before my wedding and I was left to pick up the pieces on catering- that's when I reached out to Chef Joe and he was absolutely amazing. He was kind, understanding and absolutely amazing at communication. He let me keep my customized menu and delivered everything we finalized over calls and emails. During the wedding we received raving reviews about the food from all our guests.. I can't recommend Chef Joe enough! He's fabulous to work with and showed passion towards his work! Thank you Chef Joe for giving us the absolute best!
Pamela D.
If I could rate you 100 stars I WOULD!!! EXCELLENT SERVICE!!! From custom menu selection, to being extremely responsive and helpful, to creating and cooking delicious and fresh food, I am so glad we had you cater at our event!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING!!!
Meals In Motion(Jamell)Meals In Motion(Jamell)
Thumbtack Customer
Bill Blackburn was exceptional!! Bill and Sara were pleasant, helpful and very accommodating considering we hired them last minute to cater an event with over 300 people. The service was great and the food was delicious! Nothing was left behind! We are very grateful to have crossed paths and we are looking forward to working together again.
Blackburn's Farm to Table CateringBlackburn's Farm to Table Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Tania stepped in at the last minute, truly, and did a wonderful job with a ton of limitations (as in, we have no kitchen and are essentially just a bar). She and her staff were timely, courteous, fast and flexible. Can't speak highly enough about Tania Spil, and she has jumped to the top of my preferred caterers list for private events.
Tania Spil /Spilosophy Catering+Event PlanningTania Spil /Spilosophy Catering+Event Planning
Deborah F.
Marcel and his staff catered a Birthday Party for a friend of mine and the evening was just great! From the wonderful hors d'oeuvres to his fabulous staff, everything went smoothly and beautifully. Service was just perfect and the food was delicious!! I will definitely use Marcel again...he did not disappoint! Thank you, Marcel!!!!!! Deborah Fabricant Design
Married To Food CateringMarried To Food Catering
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