Wedding and Event Catering

Find a caterer near Santa Monica, CA

Find a caterer near Santa Monica, CA

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Top 10 Caterers near Santa Monica, CA

Avatar for Fujioka Teppanyaki
Avatar for Fujioka Teppanyaki
Fujioka Teppanyaki
Fujioka Teppanyaki
Exceptional 5.0


Exceptional 5.0


  • Serves Santa Monica, CA

Online now

Fujioka Teppanyaki is a Los Angeles-based teppanyaki catering company offering exceptional food and impeccable customer service. If you are on the search for a reliable hibachi chef for a private party near you in LA, Fujioka Teppanyaki is a customer favorite. Specializing in Teppanyaki style Fine Dining, our team goes directly to your home to offer delicious food for you and your guests. Dedicated to serving up the finest quality food, we utilize Wagyu quality beef for every catering event. Known internationally for its melt-in-your-mouth flavor and texture, Wagyu beef is ideal for teppanyaki style grilling. You and your guests will be surprised by the deliciousness of every bite thanks to the quality and professional preparation of every meal we serve. Our guests are never served basic beef, making us the right choice for your teppanyaki catering needs. Our professional catering team also understands the importance of impeccable timing. That’s why we arrive ahead of time to ensure plenty of time to set up your private event. For guests in need of private catering within 24 hours, we also provide that option. Our customer service is 24 hours, which is the quickest on Yelp or any other platform in LA. Best of all, our Chef is an expert in the Teppanyaki niche, having at least 15 years of experience. When you reserve your next private event with Fujioka Teppanyaki, you’re hiring a team that goes above and beyond to ensure the success of your gathering.See more
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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.

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 Santa Monica caterers
John J.
From the moment we spoke on the phone, I knew that Segar would be catering my better half's 50th Birthday party. Steven was so knowledgeable and thorough as I explained my vision. He almost immediately came up with a menu, rental plan, party vibe, and other things that I would have not even had thought of had I not been working with a seasoned (no pun intended) veteran of the catering business. His experienced staff arrived on the day of the party and immediately set my mind at ease as they took over the scene, allowing me to completely enjoy the arrival of the guests and actually get to talk to them! Steven grilled up some delicious lamb lollipops on my grill while others prepped the food in my kitchen, served the guests on my outdoor patio (with rented tables, chairs, and umbrellas), and socially lubricated my family and friends with margaritas and other cocktails from the experienced bartender. 100% of the guests remarked that it was one of the best parties they had ever been to, and the food was delicious! Thank you Segar Catering!
Desmond J.
Chef Shirrell and the L.O.V.E. Premier Catering team were an absolute joy to work with. Chef Shirrell was transparent and adaptable when it came to the menu choices. She was quickly able to come up with vegan alternatives for the Hors d'oeuvres I wanted. Furthermore, they brought positive energy to the party I had and made station cleanliness, food taste, and food presentation a priority and executed superbly in all three categories. They exceeded my expectations and I would be honored to have them cater any event I do in the future. My guests were raving about the food after the party and I'm still craving their vegan crab cakes.
L.O.V.E. Premier Catering & EventsL.O.V.E. Premier Catering & Events
Thumbtack Customer
Marcel and his entire staff were fabulous. The food was fabulous, as was the service. They were very efficient and truly cared that our guests were all enjoying themselves. Many guests complimented Marcel's catering and I would highly recommend and higher him again. My experience was excellent with Marcel.
Married To Food CateringMarried To Food Catering
Thumbtack Customer
Susan is a very talented cook. We hired her to cater our daughters 18th birthday party. (30- 35 people) While the food was very good, she apparently had a very off night and arrived 1 hour late to our event (as guests were arriving) and forgot certain heaters for some of the food so the food was cold at times. We hired a bartender from her that was unfortunately just awful at $35/hour and Susan failed to inform us that she was leaving midway thru the party and left us with her very clueless staff. I had never hired a caterer before, just food trucks and I had expected that she would make my life a lot easier. It turned out to be an absolute nightmare with the bartender wasting over $200 worth of alcohol she should not have opened and food that should have been leftovers being ruined. THe biggest issue was Susan arriving an hour late which set the tone for everything feeling very rushed and unprofessional. I did give Susan this feedback and she profusely apologized and gave us a discount on the overall bill. However, even the discount did not warrant the expense given how unprofessional the staff were and the overall experience was just not what we had expected when paying for a professional caterer. Everyone has an off night and we told Susan that if she wanted to comp the evening we would give her another shot an unfortunately she was not willing to do this so we will not be using her service again. I do think she is a talented cook and her professional catering sense and staff need some help. I hate to write this review but these are the facts and this was very unfortunate. She did have wonderful reviews hence while we hired her so hopefully she will grow with this feedback and hire trained bartenders.
Wild Thyme Catering / Wild Thyme MixologyWild Thyme Catering / Wild Thyme Mixology
Thumbtack Customer
My experience with Chef Marcel was phenomenal. My team and I only had two weeks to pull off a large company event for over 100 people and I found Chef Marcel a week and a half into our planning process. From our initial call to when the last guest left the process was seamless. The food was beyond delicious, his staff was exceptional and Marcel himself is an absolute pleasure to work with. He was accommodating to our budget constraints and very helpful and willing to provide us with suggestions on sourcing items ourselves, such as alcohol to save on cost. My company does several of these large scale events a year and I'm happy to say that Chef Marcel is without a doubt our go to cater from now on.
Married To Food CateringMarried To Food Catering
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