Find a caterer near Livermore, CA

Find a caterer near Livermore, CA

Find a caterer near Livermore, CA

Give us a few details and we’ll match you with the right pro.

Zip code

Top 10 Caterers near Livermore, 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.

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 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.
Reviews for Livermore caterers
Pam B.
A Plus Catering did a great job. They were organized and were very acomadating and punctual. We ordered a fairly simple menu and it was very good. The entire staff was very curtius to our guest. We did not have a lot of requests for the event, so there was not a lot of conversation, which was great. I would recommend A Plus Catering for a simple menu, good service and reasonable prices.
A Plus CateringA Plus Catering
Alfreda Z.
I am so pleased I connected with Lykke2Eat Catering. From start to finish (planning, communicating, delivery, setup, enjoying the food), the whole experience was excellent. The food delicious, beautiful presentation. No problem at all meeting my needs for vegan as well as meat eaters fare. Everyone was in awe of the variety of dishes and enjoyed everything served. Thank you so much Mylynn!
Lykke2Eat CateringLykke2Eat Catering
Danielle K.
Didi did an amazing job catering my ten year high school reunion. She was so flexible and helpful with finding a menu that would fit out limited budget, and she was so patient. Didi was always quick to respond even when I got busy with work and took awhile to respond on my end. She showed up with an assistant and worked swiftly to set up a beautiful display in the funky space we had available. I continued to be blown away by the value when I saw that we received really nice disposable chafing dishes and serving utensils with our drop off catering deal. The 7 layer dip was AMAZING, and the rest of the food was very good too. I would absolutely recommend Didi for any event you might be planning, especially if you're looking for casual comfort food. Thanks Didi!
Thumbtack Customer
-I am very much looking forward to having Chef Deepak cater our wedding later this spring. He has such a wide range of culinary skills and many years of experience, and we are lucky to have him prepare the meal for our wedding. Chef Deepak has been extremely informative, friendly, and communicative in all of our online, phone and in-person communications. He has given us wonderful ideas on how to prepare a menu for our guests. We wanted to have a vegetarian meal, and he worked with us to create an excellent menu. We had our tasting this past weekend, and I can say is WOW. All of the food he prepared for us was wonderful. His quality in terms of taste and presentation are next to none. -Chef Deepak has been a pleasure to work with - between planning the menu and helpful us determine rental for the event. His prices are extremely reasonable as well. We are vegetarians so he will be making for appetizers a stuffed mushroom and brusheta. A beat, mango, endive salad with vinaigrette. For the main dishes: spaghetti squash with red pepper and mozzarella cheese, potatoes with herbs, eggplant vegetable napoleon, italian mixed vegetables, tortellini with creamy pesto sauce. I am very much looking forward to Chef Deepak's catering services at our wedding. Chef Deepak catered our wedding, and we are so very happy for his wonderful services. Chef Deepak is an amazing Chef and is just delightful to work with. We are vegetarians, and he was wonderful in creating a great menu. Appetizers were stuffed portobello mushrooms and bruschetta. The salad was absolutely delicious - mango and endive with vinaigrette. Entree was eggplant napoleon, spaghetti squash, creamy pesto tortellini, italian mixed vegetables, potatoes with herbs. All the attendees absolutely loved the food! As I mentioned previously, Chef Deepak had us over his home to choose the menu and select dishes. Chef Deepak was wonderful logistically. We went to the kitchen/event prior to the event, so he could have the kitchen set up. He arranged for servers at our wedding, which was wonderful as well. He also suggested a very good rental service where we got plates, dishes, etc. All these things made planning the event much easier. He was wonderful offering his advice on things to order for the event, and knowing the correct number of services and hours that were needed for their services. Chef Deepak is an amazing chef who is wonderful to work with. He really made our day special, and we are so very happy with his services. If we ever have any other catering needs, he will be our first call! Highly recommended!
Himalayan Chef Events & CateringHimalayan Chef Events & Catering
Elizabeth B.
Wedding Rehearsal Banquet Dinner 80 guest Catered by Nancy Gerbault Menu-Well planned, balance, great recipe, Cost-Very reasonable Spread- delightfully elegant! Fruits and cheese platters were presented in antique platters, entrees’ were steaming hot in an oak wood covered chafing dishes Portions and Taste- Delicious everything! Sirloin Roast so tender and cuts were huge, I love the Roasted Veggies, Guest were non stop on how satisfying and tasty the food was. Service- Nancy was very accommodating and friendly. Willing to work with your preferences. Her crew were very professional. They set up on time and packed up clean. ..Nancy Gerbault not only was the first to sent her menu and quote but she was the only one who really read my preferences and wishes and She honored everything that night. Thank you so much Nancy, your food made my guest , my daughter and me very very pleased! My pleasure meeting you in person. Elizabeth Bautista Livermore, Ca.
Abroad Catering: chef, Nancy GerbaultAbroad Catering: chef, Nancy Gerbault
Ready to find a pro?

See more reviews, compare prices, and hire your favorite pros all with Thumbtack.

Why hire professionals on Thumbtack?
Free to use

You never pay to use Thumbtack: Get cost estimates, contact pros, and even book the job—all for no cost.

Compare prices side-by-side

You’ll know how much your project costs even before booking a pro.

Hire with confidence

With access to 1M+ customer reviews and the pros’ work history, you’ll have all the info you need to make a hire.