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Find a food service professional near Los Angeles, CA

Find a food service professional near Los Angeles, CA

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Find a food service professional near Los Angeles, CA

77 near you

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Top 10 Food Service Professionals near Los Angeles, CA

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 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 Los Angeles food service professionals
Katana F.
They were late and upon arrival she had a terrible attitude. Food was good but service was horrible and not worth the food.
Dave's Chillin N GrillinDave's Chillin N Grillin
Thumbtack Customer
Great Food, Fantastic Service, at an affordable cost. They were punctual and professional in everything they did. They made the whole event a success. My guests were very impress with the service and the food.
Sensuous Taste KateringSensuous Taste Katering
Brendan L.
Annaliese was great! Enjoyed her food and service.
Cooking with AnnalieseCooking with Annaliese
Debra B.
My guests were blown away by the food and service.
FSLA CateringFSLA Catering
Shaletha s.
Food was excellent I’ll definitely use his services again
Bliss by RalphBliss by Ralph
Kirsten H.
Very responsive team. Provided great food and exceeded service expectations!
Married To Food CateringMarried To Food Catering
Thumbtack Customer
My experience with Ana was great, with a short notice Ana was able to provide us with her service. The food was outstanding and and our guests really enjoyed it. Great job and and of course awesome food.
From The Grill CateringFrom The Grill Catering
Samuel C.
Chief LaTay was amazing Quick response, great service and amazing food Thank you
Chef LaTay Its Made DevineChef LaTay Its Made Devine
Fola G.
Great service. Good food and Tobi was really nice and responsive and willing to work with me. He also stayed most of the event to make sure the food kept coming out and was presented nicely.
Simply Food Catering Service LLC,Simply Food Catering Service LLC,
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.
Thumbtack Customer
Great experience I whish to do again as soon as possible! Excellent food,excellent service,nice people.
Married To Food CateringMarried To Food Catering
Bindi D.
Moe was incredible! He was so easy to communicate with and was always willing to work with me at moments notice! Our guests really enjoyed the food and Moe even added a few items to the menu at no cost! Great customer service and excellent food!
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
Aki B.
Neicy was nice overall and engaging she seasoned her food very well, but she didn’t use food burners to keep the food warm. I like how she went to the store to get the items needed. The salad she made was soggy and the lobster tails & mash potatoes were made too early. Although everything wasn’t perfect I will still recommend her services.
Mema’s Southern HospitalityMema’s Southern Hospitality
Thumbtack Customer
Marc has delicious food. The meals are always fresh. Nice variety of fruit, vegetables and seafood/fish. Very easy and convenient delivery service. I would definitely use his services again in the future.
Chef Marc's Meal PrepChef Marc's Meal Prep
James A.
Acacia was great. She is a true gem! Her food was amazing. She had a great personality. Our guests all loved her and her food. She went the extra mile to make sure that our Mother's Day was extra special. I will definitely be hiring her again. Thanks for a great service, Acacia!
Acacia’s Table Catering ServicesAcacia’s Table Catering Services
Thumbtack Customer
Richard and his team provided excellent food and service in the short time frame we gave them. We will definitely be using Posh Events again. Thank you guys!
Posh Events LA by Entertainment CateringPosh Events LA by Entertainment 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
I hired Chef Michael to cater an event that was very close and special to my heart. The quality of the food, the presentation, and the professionalism of he and his staff exceeded any expectations I may have had. The guest list of near 50 continue to rave about both the food and the service. I can recommend Chef Michael without hesitation.
Sensuous Taste KateringSensuous Taste Katering
Thumbtack Customer
Marc has been great from our very first phone call to our very last meal! No complaints at all about the food or service. He was able to fulfill all request. HIGHLY recommended! (:
Chef Marc's Meal PrepChef Marc's Meal Prep
Asli B.
Food was plentiful and of excellent quality. Wendell was well prepared and setup was efficient. Next time we are in town we would definitely use his services again. Crowd favourites: Brisket, biscuits, potato pancakes, vegan stack and the crumble.
Wendell HooperWendell Hooper
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
Thumbtack Customer
Tye Bell and his sous chef Denise are everything you want for your personal chef experience and more. Not only was the food delicious and inventive, but the execution was perfect and the service flawless. Each course was served deftly with enough explanation to excite you without impeding your dining experience. It can be slightly awkward having a stranger come into your home, but chefs Tye and Denise are warm and friendly and break any awkwardness that could reasonably be in such a situation. They are professional, friendly, and make really delicious food.
Main CourseMain Course
Alicia C.
Steven and his team were excellent! Our office not only enjoyed the food and customer service, but the value was a bang for our buck. We were able to enjoy the event with our clients and not worry about cleaning or pouring drinks. Will definitely work with SEGARS Culinary again.
Thumbtack Customer
We were thrilled with Little Lily's Kitchen! Kevin was a dream to work with for my sisters 30th Birthday party. He not only worked in the constraints of our theme and dietary restrictions but he was on time, clean, and prompt to reply. He and his crew were professional, friendly and most importantly the food was fab. We received many compliments on the menu that was served. The food was not only served beautifully but it was just as lovely to eat. We had around 90 people for this party all left happy with the service that was provided by Kevin. Thank you guys it was such a pleasure working with you!
Little Lily's KitchenLittle Lily's Kitchen
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