Find an event caterer near Los Angeles, CA

Find an event caterer near Los Angeles, CA

Find an event caterer near Los Angeles, CA

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Top 10 Event Caterers near Los Angeles, CA

Event Caterers Cost Guide

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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 Los Angeles event caterers
Thumbtack Customer
I hired Posh events to cater a dinner party for 40 guests. The food was amazing, and looked amazing. Richard is fabulous! Him and his team help me set up and took care of EVERYTHING. I highly recommend posh events for your catering. I will definitely work with Richard again.
Posh Events LA by Entertainment CateringPosh Events LA by Entertainment Catering
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
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
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
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
Nitzan B.
Marcel was an absolute professional who worked on our event from ideation to execution. He helped us come up with a delightful menu based on our theme, fit it within our budget, and then executed beautifully day of. His hard work was beyond appreciated, and showed through during the day of the event. Would absolutely recommend for your event to add not just great catering, but also ease of service.
Married To Food CateringMarried To Food Catering
Taylor P.
We highly recommend Chef Alexis and her wonderful team for your next event. We had been having difficulty trying to find a caterer who not only understood our needs for the event, but also was able to accommodate our last minute booking. Chef Alexis was more than accommodating with so many last minutes changes (menu, setup, guest count, staffing needs), always available to speak to be sure she and I were on the same page. She even went out of her way to hire additional staff to fit our “esthetic” for the event. Day of the event, Chef Alexis and her team went above and beyond to be sure everything ran smoothly. She was too able to work with our limited space to create a beautiful and delicious catering for our event. Thank you, Chef Alexis, for all your incredible help!!
So Divine CateringSo Divine Catering
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 !!!!!!
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
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
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
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.
La Panzano Gourmet CateringLa Panzano Gourmet 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
Giuseppe I.
Chef Luis was amazing! He did a phenomenal job catering my event and customised my dinner options to my liking. My event was running behind and he graciously waited an hour later and stayed until the end. He and his staff were so wonderful. I communicated with him a lot before my event and he wasn’t neither bothered nor annoyed with my million questions or changes. I will absolutely book Chef Luis again! He also has a great personality and very kind.
Cappuccino Catering ServicesCappuccino Catering Services
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
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
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
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!
La Panzano Gourmet CateringLa Panzano Gourmet Catering
Jake L.
Chef Mercel is incredible. From top to bottom, Married to Food Catering made our event a complete success. The menu was fantastic, his staff was incredibly professional, and most importantly for a small business like ours, he was able to work within our budget while still maintaining impeccable quality. The highlight for the menu was both the quesadilla and the chicken dumplings. Our guests loved them. I will have Chef Mercel and his amazing crew back for every event we have in the future. Thanks so much for giving us a memorable night.
Married To Food CateringMarried To Food Catering
Chef Marcel is very kind. He delivered an outstanding service. He was very professional and on time. He represented the food very nicely. He was well organized. The food tastes very delicious. I totally recommend him for any catering and he suggested good food choices. I had the pleasure to have him for our event and he did such an amazing job 👍👏😍
Married To Food CateringMarried To Food Catering
Erin S.
I had less than a week to throw together a reception in LA - a city I don't live in - and Chef Mumsie came to the rescue. You have to take a leap of faith when booking caterers on short notice and with no prior knowledge of their work and Chef Mumsie came through! Our reception was beautiful and seamless. The food was delicious and the staff was very professional. They made it so easy for me and my group and the event was great.
Chef MumsieChef Mumsie
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Mumsie is, without exception, one of the best caterers I have worked with in the Los Angeles area. Her personal service, commitment to excellence, and over-and-above contributions made our several week-long meetings (during Summer 2014) a huge success. The menus were savory and enjoyed by all guests, the food was delivered fresh, not and easy for us to display well. Knowing that all the catering was completely taken care of allowed me to focus on the things that mattered--my guests! Not a single detail was missed. I very highly recommend Chef Mumsie's services to anyone in the Orange or Los Angeles County areas for any event, large or small. Without question, I will be a repeat customer! Thank you!
Chef MumsieChef Mumsie
Kelorah F.
Chef David Gussin took a personal and professional interest in making sure that my annual Christmas Luncheon went off without a hitch. He made sure that every detail was attended to, prior to the day of the event. Everything was done to my delight. He and his staff arrived on time and got to work preparing and serving the most delicious meal to my guests. My guests and I were impressed with the quality of food and the professional manner in which it was presented. Food First Event and Catering Company made my Christmas Luncheon a most memorable one for me, for my family and friends. I certainly plan to hire them again.
Food First Events & WeddingsFood First Events & Weddings
Elizabeth F.
Hiring Steven and his phenomenal crew was the best decision we could have made for our event! We were tremendously impressed by Steven's professionalism and flexibility to all of our requests, he is an incredibly smart and resourceful businessman and was able accommodate our many brand-standards (for a very attractive price) and wow our guests with the results. The food was simply delicious, the service was exceptional (very warm and affable) and the set up/breakdown was seamless even in our small half kitchen and office space! If you're looking to work with a professional and provide a seamless catering service at your next event, I urge you to hire Steven!!
Rhonda R.
We booked Fusion Events to cater my 70th birthday celebration and I am so glad we did. Felicia came days before, did a walk through and let me know what to expect. On the day of the celebration, the group arrived early, set up everything and began preparations. Everything was really to go when the first guest arrived. The food was delicious and the service was great. Best part…they left my kitchen in tip top shape. I was very happy.
Fusion EventsFusion Events
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