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Find a caterer near Sacramento, CA

Find a caterer near Sacramento, CA

19 near you

Find a caterer near Sacramento, CA

19 near you

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Top 10 Caterers near Sacramento, 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.

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 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.

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 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 Sacramento caterers
Trevor B.
It was an amazing first catering experience, the food was great and there were more vegan choices then any other option I found
Kincy Catering PlusKincy Catering Plus
Marella K.
Alisa and Passionate Plates provide the best catering I could have imagined, for both the rehearsal dinner and my wedding! Absolutely the BEST!!!!
Passionate PlatesPassionate Plates
Myra M.
Kincy's Catering is the best. Food was delicious, served professionally and enjoyed by all. His staff addressed all of our needs. Nothing was left wanting. I will definitely hire them for my next event
Kincy Catering PlusKincy Catering Plus
See T.
The food was delishious. Our family enjoyed everything from the smoke turkey to the mash potatoes, Mac and cheese, and peach cobbler. Imani was very responsive and punctual. The price for the food was within our budget and was deliver to our location. We would def recommend Kincy Catering and will use them again.
Kincy Catering PlusKincy Catering Plus
Thumbtack Customer
Taquero Feliz catered my husbands birthday party. We had about 60 guests, and everyone of them raved about how wonderful the food was. I highly recommend them for their quality of food, and customer service. Alberto was a joy to watch as he cooked up his yummy taco's with a huge smile on his face : )
Taquero FelizTaquero Feliz
Thumbtack Customer
We hired Paul Michael catering for our family's Christmas eve dinner. We had many appetizers all were delicious. We also had a prime rib for our main course that was outstanding. Everyone enjoyed the meal and professionalism of chef Paul. This event made for a very special and enjoyable evening. We would definitely hire chef Paul for another event.
Paul Michael Signature CateringPaul Michael Signature Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Mike and Heather are amazing, they went over and beyond to make my day perfect. Couldn't ask for a better catering company. The food was awesome. Guest are still raving about it, especially the Lasagna Stuffed Mushrooms... I had a custom build pasta bar and no kitchen on site at reception, but they made everything still come out amazing and HOT!. Highly recommend them. Williams wedding 2016
Heather WatsonHeather Watson
Dora K.
Working with Boris was a wonderful experience. He helped us to decide on a menu within our budget and was extremely flexible when our plans changed a few days before the event. His team was punctual, extremely professional and catered to all our guests needs. Needless to say, the food was excellent and our guests were very impressed. I would highly recommend Boris and his team and would definitely use them again for future events.
Sac Valley GourmetSac Valley Gourmet
Thumbtack Customer
Chef Paul catered my wedding celebration of about 45 people in a private home. Chef Paul and his assistants Maria and Cliff were an absolute joy to work with. The food was delicious and beautifully presented. There was more than enough to feed our crowd and everyone got to take home leftovers! The place was left immaculate before he left. I plan to use his services the next time I have a gathering. He is such a delight!!
Paul Michael Signature CateringPaul Michael Signature Catering
Reina G.
Emani was great! He invited us for a tasing and we booked that day. His food was sooo good my favorite was the tri tip and mac and cheese. I want some right now. He gave me a worry free experience and everyone love the food. I wish I knew where he was catering next so I can get a plate because he explained how diverse his plates can get and I want to try it all.
Kincy Catering PlusKincy Catering Plus
Thumbtack Customer
Going to a tasting with Chef Arturo was simply delicious! we knew we wanted him to cater for our wedding right away. Arturo not only delivered an extraordinary performance with all the flavors, presentation and food quality, he was a good listener and always tried to understand the vision for our wedding. I'm still catching up with some friends after the wedding and they tell me how beautiful the ceremony was and how much fun they had, but suddenly their eyes open wide and they shout: and THE FOOD! was amazing. I would definitely recommend him for your event.
Taste for the SensesTaste for the Senses
Kelly M.
We are so very happy that we used Moonlight Catering to host our recent wedding reception for approximately 80 people. From the start, Tom was very quick to contact us and actively communicate. Early on he promised that we would not have to worry about the event at all, and indeed he kept that promise!!! It seemed just overnight that he made a detailed offer for the menu which was within our price range and still met our needs perfectly. The wedding was weeks ago but the compliments on the delicious food and excellent service are still pouring in! Tom and his team created a delicious spread which was perfect for our families and their variety of tastes: elegant, fresh, gourmet and yet including several simple comfort foods that we knew would satisfy the range of palates. We also want to acknowledge the extremely professional and thorough service provided, which we can tell made all the guests feel very comfortable and relaxed. Tom and the dedicated staff stayed with us until the very last minute we were at the venue, cleaning up and even offering for us to take home some of the leftovers. Felt like we had hit the jackpot at the end of an already fantastic event! Overall it was such a great combination of both classy and down-to-earth food and service that we would happily use Moonlight Catering in the future. Thanks, Tom and team! Kelly and Rich Sacramento December, 2018
Chef Tom PaceChef Tom Pace
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